Virtua rug pulls Cardano users

Virtua has removed the mint function for Cardano users to mint their 2021 summit NFTs already saved in their account.

Background

  1. Cardano users were able to collect “tokens” in the virtual world of the 2021 summit. It was not possible to convert these to an NFT at the time.
  2. Virtua emailed summit attendees 26 April 2022 at their registered email address and sent them details about how they could create an account on Virtua’s website to claim their NFTs.
  3. Initially users claimed their NFTs into their Virtua website account.
  4. Later a minting service was provided whereby 2021 summit NFTs could be minted and transferred to a cardano wallet (but only for Nami wallet users).
  5. Virtua subsequently pulled the minting service at end June 2022 without any notification.
  6. Virtua says they told “the community” via Discord, Twitter and on their blog about the cessation. However, this is like shouting into the void if you don’t have a Discord or Twitter account. And there was no specified requirement for people to read the blog daily or at all.
  7. Virtua did not provide any correspondence or notification via email and email was the only communication channel they stipulated.
  8. At the recent summit I minted my 2022 summit NFT with little trouble and could use any wallet to do so. This was a good experience.
  9. Remembering about my saved 2021 summit NFTs on my Virtua account, I logged in and try to get them out only to discover that Virtua has disabled the mint function.
  10. So I email Virtua and asked how I can get my saved NFTs delivered to my own wallet? The representative of Virtua said: “Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done in this case to keep it fair for all.”

How is that “fair for all”? Virtua has rug pulled me! They did not inform me about any time limit via the only method of communication they specified; email.

I don’t know how others in the Cardano community feel about this. To my mind, Virtua is operating a clique designed to benefit their in-group of friends communicating on their proprietary Discord channel.

Cardano is supposed to be about inclusivity and access to everyone. Virtua seems incompatible with that vision and I think their actions need to be called out.

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That’s a clearly explained problem that has to be fixed… @cf-team how would Virtua be persuaded to honour the legacy NFT provisioning, which according to point 7 above they cancelled with no notice?

Without that notification over the NFT minting lifecycle it seems they’re either in breach of contract or in violation of statutory law: since if the contract for their services was only for those 9 months then they would still have been obligated to notify the end users (individually, by email) that the service period was coming to an end. :face_with_monocle:

However it does seem like something that can and should be resolved as a matter of good will… once someone in authority for Summit can take this problem up with them at a management level. :pray:

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Exactly.

This is one reason I posted the topic here. Another is that I really don’t like the cliquey inner circle approach they are taking. And, it really gets at me when they claim: “to keep it fair for all”.

This massively devalues their metaverse project if they have designed advantages for their cliquey inner circle, secretly communicated over discord.

Apparently Virtua is currently doing some land auction for their “metaverse” and I believe the 2021 summit NFTs give holders some advantage. I don’t care about this and don’t want their land. I pleaded with the representative that they could switch back on the minting feature after the land sale is over but they still refuse to do it.

From my point of view the 2021 NFTs are just a memento that I thought I had secured by saving them on my Virtua account. That is certainly the impression their site gave. I had advised my kids to do the same with theirs. I was waiting for Virtua to enable withdrawal using Yoroi.

I got rug pulled by FTX for 1.5K of Bitcoin I had sitting on my account. But this Virtua rug actually annoys me more even though it is just a simple memento which I never expected to be worth any real value.

How to win friends and influence people eh.

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It wasn’t even 9 months but rather only 2. They only sent out emails notifying about the ability to claim the NFTs from end of April and then they rug pulled the service at end of June. (With no email notification.)

Only their secret discord buddies knew about the rug.

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Since the NFT production cut-off stopped the supply from expanding, that explains the phrase to keep it fair for all… by “all” they appear to mean the current NFT holders, and by “fair” a “higher” value of the previously minted NFTs: at the expense of all those who would otherwise still have been eligible.

Likewise, an email announcement that the NFT production was ending… especially if Virtua had by then expanded its support to other wallets… would have meant more NFTs produced in response and again a correspondingly diluted market value for the existing holders.

This exposes a motive for keeping the end-of-life date a secret, in what could be an attempt to manipulate the market for that NFT. In any case, for the sake of the community I’m hoping the company will step forward and resolve this issue of their own accord. :face_with_monocle:

(Disclosure: I am actually feeling a bit silly for not seeking this NFT last year, even though I was a panellist for the 2021 Summit… I was going though a period of rebellion against NFTs and the “metaverse” at the time.)

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I wasn’t particularly fussed about them either.

What got me thinking about it was this 2022 summit which allowed you to mint the NFT immediately on the spot. It only cost transaction fees and I don’t expect it to be worth anything to anyone else. It is just like a ticket stub but a bit, sort of, cool. In fact it only displays a number in my wallet, there doesn’t appear to be any artwork associated with it.

This was what prompted me to get my 2021 NFTs off Virtua’s platform and into my wallet. But then BAM!!! I got rug pulled.

It is amazing how something that has no value except as a memento actually really annoys you when it is taken away.

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You make a really good point there. They are seeking to create a Ponzi scheme with their secret discord buddies.

That is not the sort of thing I want to see happening on Cardano. That goes against the grain of Cardano’s culture. It is NOT “fair for all”.

The Ponzi culture is something I really dislike about crypto. The mentality that those who were first or early expect to be showered in extra wealth.

That culture is really bad and it discourages future adoption.

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