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AkuDreams Faces Nightmare as Team Locked From $34M Takings

AkuDreams launched in chaotic fashion after much anticipation yesterday, but a bug in the smart contract code means that the team is unable to access $34 million locked inside the contract.

AkuDreams Faces Nightmare as Team Locked From $34M Takings
Shutterstock cover by VTT Studio

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AkuDreams said it would prioritize refunding users after its shambolic launch. 

AkuDreams NFT Project Suffers Exploits

The much-hyped AkuDreams launch has turned into a nightmare for the team behind the project. 

The highly-anticipated avatar collection went live with a Dutch Auction Friday, but it suffered a series of setbacks due to issues in the smart contract code. The auction opened at 3.5 Ethereum with the premise that the lowest bid would set the final price, and anyone who placed a higher bid would receive a refund. AkuDreams pass holders were also promised a 0.5 Ethereum discount on each NFT they minted. 

Due to a bug in the contract, an exploiter was able to halt refunds and withdrawals from the contract, meaning auction participants who bid above the final NFT price could not receive the Ethereum they were owed. As a result, both refunds and withdrawals from the contract could not be processed. The crypto developers 0xInuarashi and foobar posted tweet storms explaining the exploit, which helped bring attention to the incident. 

The attacker executed the exploit and then unblocked it after highlighting the issue in a series of on-chain messages, which meant that users could receive their refunds. “Well, this was fun, had no intention of actually exploiting this lol. Otherwise I wouldn’t have used coinbase. Once you guys publicly acknowledge that the exploit exists, I will remove the block immediately. – USER221” one message read. 

The AkuDreams team acknowledged the issue early Saturday, saying that the exploit “was not done out of malice” and that it was looking into the incident. “To be clear this is our fault,” the announcement added after the team promised it would return funds to the community. It later confirmed that the NFTs would be airdropped to bidders, and it would honor refunds for the pass holders who are owed a 0.5 Ethereum discount. 

While it looks like the team is making efforts to make sure the community is made whole, the team itself hasn’t gotten off so lightly. Its takings, which amount to 11,539.5 Ethereum, are still locked inside the contract due to an additional exploit. That’s about $34.2 million that’s likely gone forever.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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