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Yet another NFT project has pulled the rug from under its users. This time it’s Blockverse, “an on-chain Ethereum NFT that enables P2E on Minecraft like no other.” Essentially, it is a private play-to-earn Minecraft server available to holders of Blockverse NFTs. The project sold 10,000 of these NFTs for about $120 a piece shortly after the project was announced, netting over $1.2 million. However, just a few days later, the creators unexpectedly deleted their website and Discord server, and shut down the game server, making off with all the money.

After three days of complete silence, some of the community members managed to track down information about the project creators, after which the official Blockverse Twitter account published an apology, saying that the project was fully legitimate and everything was going well, but that it had hit a few hiccups, including “high gas fees.”

“Hey, all. We feel that we owe everyone an apology, and more importantly an explanation. Blockverse was supposed to be a great project, as before our launch we invested an enormous amount of time and resources working on it,” the statement reads. “Everything was fully legitimate: our contract was verified, the game infrastructure was fully set up, and our launch went well, albeit with some small bumps along the road.

In the midst of our continued development, we failed to realize and contain all the FUD [Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt] that was going on through a multitude of issues, including but not limited to: gas fees being high, MC server not being able to hold everyone at once, and the lack of utility of $DIAMONDS. Eventually, things started spiraling out of control.”

The statement further explained that after people started growing frustrated and asking questions, the Blockverse team panicked and “deleted the discord server on impulse” before shutting down everything they had to “prevent the continuation of harassment that had occurred so far.” Blockverse claims that the measure was intended to be temporary, but because the situation “has only worsened” it’ll still be a few days before the Discord and Minecraft servers are restored.

“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,” the Blockverse team wrote. “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.”

The statement seems to have failed to convince the Blockverse community, who believe it was issued only to avoid prosecution after the creators were tracked down by the people whose money they had apparently run off with. Many users appear to be pessimistic about there being any actual plans to carry the project forward. 

The Blockverse community leaders are now trying to gain control of the project, but the founders have said they will hand over the codes only on the condition that they get to keep the 500ETH ($1.27mn) raised by the initial token sale.

“What we really want are the assets and 200-400ETH to hire people to run the project,” said the community leaders. “Most rug pulls recover little of anything, so the community is realistic in terms of a settlement. We are in agreement to letting them keep some. We just want enough to run the project.”