Developers for a non-fungible token (NFT) based private Minecraft server briefly disappeared after raising an estimated $1.2 million for their project.
Blockverse was planned to be a private play-to-earn Minecraft server, which would have allowed users to trade and sell items with each other using real money. The servers would have been restricted to those who purchased an NFT for the game to allow them access.
The project launched with 10,000 possible spots to be purchased, all of which sold out in less than 1o minutes. Shortly after launching the server and collecting the money, the owners of the project deleted the official website and Discord server and took the game offline, not saying anything to the community, which caused many to believe they are con artists and that the entire project was a scam.
Angry fans of the project who paid for a spot in the server started their own Discord server to track down the owners of Blockverse, and managed to find some personal information about them by following the paper trail of NFT transactions they took part in.
“They thought they got away,” one user told PCGamer. “And now they know we have that trail they left.”
The Blockverse team returned to Twitter in order to address the controversy and promised that the project was still going to happen.
A statement from the Blockverse Team
— Blockverse (@Blockverse_NFT) January 28, 2022
In the statement, they apologized for their lack of communication and claimed that they decided to shut down their website due to threats and harassment. They also insisted that the project is legitimate and that they plan to work alongside trusted members of the community in order to get it off the ground.
“We are disappointed that the community jumped to false accusations so quickly, but we still believe in our project, and in order for everyone else to regain that faith, we are in talks with professionals in the space about how we may proceed,” they said. “Our intention is to work with other trusted developers and community members, granting them access to our website, servers, and all of the backend infrastructure so that there is no risk in people’s minds of the project going offline. We’re aware of how much damage we’ve caused already, but we hope that this gesture towards the community can help us get back on track.”
This announcement was met with skepticism from their fans, who believe that they only came back because users managed to track down the owners of the project.
Getting some irl threats aye? We all know that’s the only reason you opening back up. You rugged and than got pressed.
— Idkhowtokms (@JackLew01712451) January 28, 2022
Did you actually finish with "We'd like to apologize to our supporters and loyal patrons for the inconvenience we've caused".
It's not an "inconvenience" that you ran off with the money and people suffered a 100% loss within 48 hrs.
— Benny Wright (@BennyWright9) January 28, 2022
NFT projects, despite their popularity, are considered very risky due to the decentralized nature of the practice, making it difficult to protect users against scammers.