After several tales of embarrassing losses to crypto trading bots, one YouTuber and crypto trader finally salvaged the reputation of his peers by tricking a bot into giving him US$1.5 million (AU$2.30 million).
The trader in question is Hanwe Chang, a YouTuber from the Netherlands who has over one million subscribers on the platform. Outside of creating YouTube videos, it seems that Chang also has a knack for trading NFTs.
Bro finally made profit
In a recent Twitter/X post, the YouTuber claimed that while he was trading on NFT marketplace Blur, he noticed that a crypto trading bot was copying his NFT bids on the platform.
For context, on Blur’s NFT marketplace, if a user intends to purchase an NFT that’s already owned by someone else, they can place a bid. The NFT, as well as other perks like ‘bid points’ and Blur’s native token, would then be rewarded to users who make the “riskiest” bids.
In Chang’s case, after catching the bot’s behaviour, he started accumulating twelve NFTs from a blue-chip collection Azuki, and made them available for bidding. He then used another account to place bids of 50 ETH, or US$91,470 (AU$139,000) on each Azuki NFT. In other words, he was placing bids on some assets that he already owned to lure the bot into copying his moves.
The bot copied what Chang bidded, and similarly placed bids of 50 ETH for each NFT. In the end, Chang accepted the bot’s bids and took off with a total of 800 ETH, or US$1.5 million (AU$2.30 million).
Crypto trader: Genius or just theft?
Chang’s story shortly went viral within the NFT community. Many of his peers were impressed by his strategy, describing it as “genius” and praising Chang as a “Chad” for crippling the trader who owned the bot.
However, many also criticised the YouTuber’s trap, describing it as “theft”. Several also questioned the legal and moral grey areas behind his move.
One user pointed out that what Chang had committed was a scam known as ‘bid spoofing’ or ‘shill bidding’. It is a sort of market manipulation where a user places orders “that have no genuine intention of being fulfilled, making it appear as if there is strong or low demand for something at a specific price or rate.”
According to the user, what Chang did could amount to wire fraud, which could potentially see him get into trouble with the law.
Later, the owner behind the bot that was tricked came forward to claim ownership of the bot. They also proposed an offer to Chang for him to return the money taken.
“We would like to discuss a bounty with you. We are offering a 10% bounty of any funds stolen from our bot, which are yours to keep if you return the remaining 90%,” the bot’s owner, elizab.eth wrote.
At the time of writing, Chang has yet to respond publicly to elizab.eth.
“Crypto is turning into an immoral and dishonest space and the worst part is that the majority is applauding for it,” noted one user on Twitter/X.