Ultra-rare Meebit NFT minted via exploit sells for $765,000 |
Meebit is an Ethereum-based game where players buy and trade creatures called meebits, which are non-fungible tokens. The reason they’re called non-fungible is because there’s no guarantee that meebits will all be created equal. The more desirable the meebit, the more valuable it is, and the more players will want to collect it. Some meebits are more rare than others, and one of the rarest of them all just sold for $765,000 on an auction site called The Duckanoo.
On Thursday afternoon, a cryptocurrency blog called DarknoteTalk posted the story of a digital Meebit token that was mined by a flaw in an ERC721 standard (the token standard for non-fungible tokens, i.e. rare items that are unique in the virtual world) smart contract. The Meebit was issued in the fall of 2017, and the owner mined roughly 1,000 of these coins, but had no idea they were worth anything until last week, when they were able to redeem 903 of them for a digital asset valued at $765,000.
Through an exploit in Meebits’ non-playable token (NFT) platform, created by OG Collectibles developer CryptoPunks, a user was able to trick the system into obtaining a super rare NFT, which he immediately sold for 200 Ethereum (currently about $765,000).
CryptoPunks has been the most popular product in the current NFT craze lately, surpassing even giants like NBA Top Shots. For example, the legendary auction house Christie’s will be offering $9 million worth of CryptoPunk cryptocurrencies for sale next week.
To build on this success, earlier this week CryptoPunk developer Larva Labs launched a new NFT project called Meebits. These collectibles work in much the same way, but instead of randomly generated pixel images, each Mibit is represented by a Minecraft-like 3D block model.
Buy one, get one free
As a sign of loyalty, Larva Labs has offered all current CryptoPunks owners a set number of Meebits mining attempts on an individual basis. At the same time, the scarcity of freshly mined meebits should be random, much like the lootboxes so popular with game developers today.
However, some users soon found a way to manipulate the system so that it forwarded their meebits. This was possible because the project’s smart contract included an archive file that contained the identifiers for each token. Knowing this, maybe smart users will stop making low quality bits until they get a really rare NFT.
1/ Meebits Exploits Recap – @0xNietzsche posted a hint that they’re up to something https://t.co/9 14T9tk pic.twitter.com/CaNgJe2KgF
– Sillytuna (@sillytuna) May 8, 2021
One such user, 0xNietzsche, decided to exploit the attack by bragging on Twitter that he could make 300,000 an hour with such an attack, and eventually won.
According to Etherscan, 0xNietzsche initiated more than 300 transactions to mine the expensive meebit, most of which were aborted. He eventually managed to hit a super rare meebit guest and almost immediately put it up for sale on the OpenSea NFT marketplace for 300 Ethereum ($1.15 million), but then dropped the price to 200 ETH.
Pranksy, a well-known crypto and NFT kit, then quickly bought out Meebit, probably without knowing about the exploit.
Step 1) Take the @larvalabs @discord tag.
Step 2) Check out the #Meebit visitor for 200 ETH ($700K) at @opensea.
Step 3) Buy #Meebit
Step 4) Hear about Exploit for Mint, Exploit closed @larvalabs.
Step 5) Capture and retain your visitor #Meebit #16647
https://t.co/MlBqZc5Mxq#NFTs #AlwaysLiquid pic.twitter.com/vxHMqj13SE
– Pranksy (@pranksyNFT) May 8, 2021
Meanwhile, 0xNietzsche’s win may not have been as impressive as he had hoped. According to his own account, the transaction cost about $20,000 per hour in transaction fees. He also had to buy more crypto currency tokens that had not been redeemed. The user ended up winning 50 ETH and 5 ground punk, he reported in a since-deleted tweet.
When the exploit was disclosed, Larva Labs suspended mining and trading on the Meebits trading platform.
We have temporarily suspended the execution and negotiation of the Meebits contract. The contract is safe, all meebits are safe, and trading works perfectly, the developers announced in their Discord channel.
7/ From @larvalabs Discord pic.twitter.com/kUNkLPNFx7
– Sillytuna (@sillytuna) May 8, 2021
To allow other users to extract their mybits while preventing exploitation, Larva Labs will provide them with a form where you can sign a message with your wallet confirming ownership of your punks/gliffs, and we will extract the mybits for you using the devMint feature.
Meanwhile, Pranksy has already put the Meebit visitor up for sale for ETH 369.69 ($1.4 million) and is apparently looking to double his initial investment. If, of course, someone is willing to pay nearly $1.5 million for a workable NFT.
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