A Crypto Alchemist Made Me an Accidental Billionaire | #youtubescams | #lovescams | #datingscams

“I was very scared, because I thought that would obviously draw a lot of attention,” Broeksmit says. Then reality set in: This number could not be right. “I know I didn’t put in a trillion. I don’t have anything close to that in my liquidity pools.” Yet, the app kept showing an astronomical valuation for his coins, which he thought proved that he could game the app, or that it was a scam. But when Broeksmit tried to trade his parsecs and drone algos for bitcoin, ether, or BNB, and then presumably cash them out, Incognito returned an error message: “No trade route found.” He says the same message appeared when he tried to exchange one of his custom coins for another. (The same error appeared when I attempted to trade my billion, which was mainly in parsecs.) 

The right thing to do, given the fact that the value attributed to his coins was not correct, he says, would have been to alert his FBI contacts, as he thought these loopholes could be abused by money launderers. Or, more simply, to shame Incognito for its shoddy design, and for its blocking of trades in contravention of its professed creed of decentralization and free trade.

Still, the trillions beckon to him. It is an amount so ludicrously eye-popping that even cashing out a fraction of it would be life-changing. While he says a part of him—the rational part—knew that the value was likely illusory, the mirage of suddenly becoming rich was irresistible. “I thought I could—I can—figure out a way to keep it somehow. That was when I became just like everybody else. That was my tragic, stupid error,” Broeksmit says. “I got greedy.”

The Scramble to Empty the Wallet

In a way, what Broeksmit is doing is part of an honored crypto tradition, the industry’s unwritten principle that if your coding skills leave you vulnerable to hacks and thefts, you have only yourself to blame. On the blockchain—the decentralized, leaderless ledger where cryptocurrencies trade—there are no such things as thieves, just smart people finding novel ways of using a certain product.

In June 2016, that attitude was tested when a decentralized venture capital fund called The DAO launched on the Ethereum blockchain, and users exploiting a loophole in its code spirited away some $50 million in crypto. In response, some members of the Ethereum community shrugged, implying that the attackers had done something allowed by the code, hence legit; others advocated for a rewriting of blockchain history that would return the missing funds. The latter faction won the day, but the “code is law” ethos survived in other parts of the ecosystem, such as decentralized finance, or DeFI.

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