BALD on Base - REKT

Coinbase’s compliant and grown-up L2 is already a shitshow.

…and it’s still supposedly just a testnet.

Over barely 24 hours, users aped into Base’s latest memecoin, BALD, before the rug was pulled for $23M.

Every shitcoin needs a catchy name, and what better imagery for popping Base’s cherry than evoking Brian Armstrong’s powerful shining orb.

A beacon of resistance in the battle against Gensler.

The deployer has dubious origins, to say the least, but degens don’t take time to DYOR, opting instead to yeet their cash across the cryptoverse, before paying the inevitable ape tax.

With no established bridging UI yet established, users deposited ETH directly into a contract address without a care in the world. While options (either slow or unofficial) did exist to bridge back, many users simply piled into the pvp, leading to a pump of epic proportions.

And with many options having rugged already, BALD was the only game in town.

YOLO-mania is in full force while DeFi burns

Credit: PeckShield, thiccy

With a well-funded deployer who kept adding liquidity ($12M in first 24 hrs), BALD skyrocketed.

Many might have suspected the deployer to have been Armstrong himself, willing to front so much cash in order to draw attention to the new chain.

After the initial mania, the price stagnated. The deployer then began buying BASE, prompting a pump of almost 100% to ~$0.10.

The fresh capital deployment was accompanied by the obligatory:

steady lads

Then came the rug.

Shortly after midday UTC on Monday, a total of ~$23M of liquidity was pulled (example tx), netting a profit of 3,163 ETH ($5.9M).

The aftermath:

After rugging the pool, the deployer defended themselves on Twitter:

I didn't sell a single token at any point since deployment. Just added/removed 2 sided liquidity and bought

But when called out, they didn’t seem interested in keeping up the pretence of innocence.

BALD deployer address: 0xccfa0530b9d52f970d1a2daea670ce58e4176389

Example rug tx: 0xd4fce790…

As the dust settled, users started looking for someone to blame. And it soon became clear that the deployer address had some very interesting connections…

Sizeable transfers from Alameda, involvement in early Sushi and dydx governance, even pushing the cbETH lending market to the limit.

All evidence pointed towards a close association with FTX/Alameda, with some of the more out there conspiracy theorists even suspecting SBF himself.

While he may have previous, rugging FTX for a cool 10 billy, the master hypocrite has been under house arrest, now apparently with very restricted access to the outside world.

A deeper dive from veteran researcher Igor Igamberdiev points to another Sam…

Whoever it was, they continue to fiddle with the liquidity pool, making even more profits in the process.

After Saturday’s latest zksync rug we wondered:

Will BASE be next?

It looks like the answer is yes.

Shortly after the rug, Base’s main DEX got rekt for $630k by a price manipulation attack, due to a public transferFeesSupportingTaxTokens() function.

The last few days haven’t been a great look for the potential FedChain, especially while Coinbase is trying to prove itself an upstanding entity ahead of a length legal battle with the SEC.

The current state of L2s perfectly encapsulates the hypocrisy of our sector: attempting to redefine financial engineering while constantly plagued by rampant degeneracy.

Is this… RetardFi summer?

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