Oyster Pearl’s Founder Steals $300,000: Responds, Calls Crypto a 'Ponzi'

Nuno Teodoro

The  founder and lead developer of Oyster Pearl (PRL), Bruno Block, has reportedly taken advantage of a breach in the token smart contract, allowing him to reopen the ICO and sell approximately $300,000 worth of PRL on the KuCoin exchange.

The situation was reported yesterday on Reddit. William Cordes, the CEO of Oyster Pearl, has also released an updated on the situation over Medium.

How it Happened

Although Oyster Pearl’s smart contract had already passed three separate audits, the CEO of Oyster Pearl was told by Bruno Block that the “directorship of the token contract had to remain open so that the peg could be adjusted over time”.

By keeping the directLock set to false on the contract, it allows the director to do anything he/she wants to at any time. And that according to the post, was exactly what happened. Bruno decided to reopen the ICO and re-issue new tokens, allowing him to buy 5000 PRL for 1 ETH. He then sent the new tokens, upward of 3 million PRL, to Kucoin and sold them until the Oyster Pearl’s team found out and requested the shut down of trading and withdrawals on KuCoin.

The team is inclined to believe that Bruno did this now in order to avoid the new Know Your Customer (KYC) policies that are scheduled for implementation on Kucoin on November 1st.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the whole incident is the fact that no one from the Oyster Pearl’s team knows the real identity of Bruno Block.

“We are also interested in obtaining any information that folks may have around Bruno’s potential identity. Despite working alongside him for the last 10 months, Bruno has always maintained his anonymity. After I took over the CEO role, Bruno’s activity within the project dropped off sharply.” - William Cordes, CEO of Oyster Pearl

William has also stated that the team will be working hard to remedy the situation. He also assured investors that the team will, most likely, execute a contract swap on the block just prior to the incident. This means that it is possible that all 98.5 million PRL prior to the contract breach will be exchanged for a new token, PEARL, on a 1:1 ratio.

Recent Developments

Bruno Block has since released a statement a few hours ago over Telegram. He justified his actions by accusing the CFO Bill Cordes of insider trading and of ignoring his numerous requests to hire more developers. Bruno then went on to warn everyone that there is an imminent global financial collapse, while calling cryptocurrencies a ponzi scheme:

 

Go educate yourselves about what is happening with Tether. The entire crypto sphere is a giant Ponzi scheme. I warned all of you, multiple times, in private and public, and nobody listens. Ethereum is going back to $5, if you want to sell back to a greater fool then you will only find yourself to be that fool.

 

He promised to continue working on the Oyster Pearl project, expressing his wishes to only have the token listed on exchanges once the protocol is finished. He then declared that he might reveal his true identity in the upcoming days.

About Oyster Pearl

The Oyster Protocol system utilizes the IOTA Tangle to functions as a decentralized, fully-anonymous data storage system. The price of PRL has taken a nosedive, coming down to $0.20 on Monday and is now being traded at $0.035. The trading is still at a halt on many exchanges, including Kucoin - which is responsible for more than 90% of the total trading volume of PRL. The CEO William Cordes, however, maintains an optimistic outlook on the future of the project:

“Despite the losses, $300k only represents ~1.5% of our market cap prior to this all transpiring. While this is far from ideal, this will most definitely not be a deathknell for the project.”

 

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer is Now Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments

Digitec-Galaxus, Switzerland’s largest online retail company, has reportedly decided to start accepting bitcoin (BTC) payments.

Digitec and Galaxus customers can now pay for goods and services with bitcoin and a few other major cryptocurrencies. In addition to BTC, users can make payments in XRP, ETH, Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX), OmiseGo (OMG), and NEO.

Digitec and Galaxus’ online retail outlets will also be taking payments in Bitcoin “Satoshi Vision” SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Binance Coin (BNB). Commenting on the Swiss retailer’s decision to start accepting cryptos, Oliver Herren, the co-founder and CEO of Digitec, remarked: 

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating and could become a relevant means of payment in e-commerce. We would like to support this development. We wanted to do that for a long time.

Coinify Will Help Convert Crypto Transfers To Swiss Francs

Herren added that Digitec decided to take cryptocurrencies as payment because people may have invested in them and they may want to use them. “Or because you cannot turn them into real money [since] your bank does not accept it. Or maybe just because you ...  like to try new things,” Herren said.

According to Switzerland’s e-commerce giant, it wants to encourage millennials, who may be heavily invested in the blockchain space, to start using cryptocurrencies for practical purposes such as paying for everyday goods and services. Price volatility of cryptocurrencies may not be an issue as Digitec and Galaxus will immediately convert crypto payments to Swiss francs using Coinify’s services, a third-party payment processor.

At present, crypto payments are only available for Switzerland-based users, however the company has said that it might allow customers in other areas to pay with crypto if their initial effort is successful.

Danish Food Takeaway Outlet Accepts Bitcoin Payments For Its 1500 Restaurants

In December 2018, Hungry.dk, one of the largest online food portals in Denmark, started accepting Bitcoin again. The food takeaway company handles orders from more than 1,500 restaurants in Denmark and had been accepting BTC payments since 2014. However, it had decided to stop taking crypto payments in late 2017 due to very long transaction processing times.

A representative from Hungry.dk noted (last year): 

We have accepted Bitcoins as a payment method for quite some time. We decided to remove the feature temporarily last year though because the average transaction time took too long, and the experience wasn’t the best.