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Akutars NFT Project Loses $34M to Smart Contract Blunder

The much-anticipated Akutars collection became a nightmare for its developers, losing $34 million after its launch this weekend.  The incident occurred due to flaws in the Ethereum-based NFT project’s smart contract, which resulted in freezing of assets. 

An Expensive Irreversible Mistake?

The development team behind the anticipated Akutars collection might have just experienced the biggest nightmare launch. While there are cases of devs rugpulling coins and absconding, this might just be the opposite. Barely a day after the Akutar launch, its team is scrambling to save the project.

Akutars are a 15,000 3D proof-of-profile (PFP) collection of ex-baseball player Micah Johnson’s project, Aku Dreams. Not only is Micah involved, famous entertainment icons Pusha-T and Upscale Vandal are also part of the creative council. Previously, owners of Aku NFTs received a free avatar for each unit they owned.

Bad Code, Warnings Ignored

The remaining avatar collection went live on Friday through a Dutch auction system. During the auction, investors bid on the amount they are willing to acquire in terms of quantity and price. The attack was not exactly sudden. Following the project’s launch, the dev team overlooked a warning from a security researcher, Hasan. The security expert later stated that the project’s designers informed him that fail-safes had been implemented to avert the problem.

However, one individual triggered the potential vulnerability, which appears to have suspended both Ethereum withdrawals and payouts from the contract. The exploit was accompanied by a notice to the developers advising them to perform a smart contract’s bug bounty.

Later, the exploiter lifted the restriction, and the project resumed operation. Even so, another fault arose as a result of a defect in the project’s smart contract code. The algorithm failed to account for multiple NFT mints in the same transaction. Actually, the smart contract required the numbers to line up correctly in order to allow any type of withdrawal.

As a result of the issue, 11,539 ETH worth about $34 million, were permanently locked up within the crypto contract. In other words, neither Aku’s dev team nor Aku’s NFT owners will be able to process any withdrawals.

What’s Next for Akutars?

So far, Anonymice, another NFT initiative, has updated the Akutars minting contract, plus multiple engineers have reviewed and audited it. The new smart contract will allow the distribution of Akutars NFTs to customers through an airdrop.

Micah also promised refunds to Akutar Pass holders using funds taken from a separate account for previous Aku NFT purchases. He went on to say that the team will continue to build on what they initially intended to do. Aku Dreams further said that they are taking their time and will keep the public updated.

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In addition, NFTgo revealed that 60% of investors have kept their Aku Mint Pass for more than a week. The NFT project, which appeared to have a promising future, turned out to be a fiasco.

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