Before Twitch became the Amazon-owned live streaming platform it is today, it was known as the gaming category of Justin.tv. Its namesake and cofounder, Justin Kan, has long since separated from Twitch and is now involved in the world of NFTs. Kan’s massive Discord server for his NFT-focused community, Fractal, was hacked yesterday.
Specifically, one of Fractal’s Discord bots was hacked and posted a fake link in the server’s “#announcements” channel. Hundreds of server members were tricked, thinking it was a message from server admins. 373 members sent $150,000 worth of the cryptocurrency Solana to the hacker’s wallet.
Kan released an apology video shortly after realizing what happened. He assured those who got scammed that they will be reimbursed. “We’re still investigating our Discord on exactly how that happened, but we shut everything down for now,” he said.
A scammer’s playground — A big part of what makes cryptocurrency so appealing to scammers is that stolen crypto cannot be taken back. Anyone sending cryptocurrency should be wary of all links, take extra precautions before sending crypto anywhere and never connect crypto wallets to any sites that have not been extensively verified and vetted. The importance of self-education and self-stewardship cannot be understated. Because most cryptocurrencies are decentralized, no corporate or governing entity can force cryptocurrency to be returned once it has been sent.
As a result, Kan plans to refund community members out of his company’s own pocket as a gesture of goodwill toward those who got scammed.
Gaming NFT marketplace — What is Kan doing with NFTs, anyway? He created Fractal, which launches December 24, as “the next step in gaming.” While it’s not entirely clear yet what Fractal will be, its current description on its website and Medium page sounds like it will be an online marketplace for trading in-game items as NFTs.
The future of gaming? — Blockchain-based gaming marketplaces have become a controversial topic, as some fear that microtransactions might price some out of the fun or lead to a pay-to-win gaming culture. No matter where you stand on the topic of crypto and NFTs, Kan is a big fan of the space and joins the chorus of other voices like Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, whose executives believe that NFTs are “the future of our industry.”