Most regular users of crypto twitter are likely to have seen the $FEW cashtag mentioned in the past few days.
For those who have not seen the story, this was a short lived plan to hype up and pump the price of an airdropped token named $FEW, based on the “few understand” meme.
On September 22nd, at the $MEME all time high of $1962.68, this airdrop was worth $696,751.40.
It’s easy to see why people who missed out would want to emulate this success, especially those who received the $MEME airdrop but sold too early… Sam Ratnakar and Alex Masmej (creator of the world's first personal token $ALEX) were the founders of the “An Experiment” $FEW group, which quickly grew to over 500 members as they started hyping up their token on Twitter.
Despite the group members having no coding knowledge, no website, and no planned use case for the token, desire for the $FEW tokens built up quickly, and more well known names were added to the group.
Co-founder Sam Ratnakar claimed that the goal was to gather 50 smart people and airdrop a token, but it seems the actual goal was to gather 50 well known people and use their influence to shill a token to those who didn't receive the airdrop. The 1 year vesting didn't happen. 52 people immediately received the initial airdrop of 769.23 $FEW tokens, 1.8% of the total supply each.
With 95.5% of the total supply airdropped to members of the Telegram group, it seems the remaining 4.5% was set aside to provide liquidity to a Uniswap Pool.
However, the chat screenshots went public before the pool could be opened, and the only $FEW pools on Uniswap are fakes. Although they never listed their token on Uniswap, they created more opportunities for scammers to take advantage of others desperation.
Taylor Monahan, who seemed to switch from promoting to denouncing $FEW, published a tweet thread showing an interesting live feed of how these tokens were developed. https://twitter.com/tayvano_ (23k followers) The attitude of the Telegram group members was quite different before their screenshots were made public. https://twitter.com/sassal0x (~25k followers) In this thread Sam Ratnakar explains the story from his perspective. No mention here of it being a joke; an excuse that some participants relied on once their intentions were made public. This doesn’t correlate with what was said in the Telegram group. Those screenshots have now been widely shared, and many of those included have been trying to backpedal their way out of the negative reaction caused by their behavior in what they assumed to be a private chat.
The group's intentions were made public before $FEW started trading properly, preventing them from making any real profit.
11 $FEW holders have since burnt their tokens. If this truly was a joke, why did they not say so from the beginning? Why would they wait for the screenshots to be leaked before making their excuses?
There are more than enough screenshots of the conversation for anyone who wishes to read further into their true motives.
Anthony Sassano is the only person who has issued a full public apology since the incident. In his Twitter thread here, he goes on to apologise in full for his actions. The media coverage on this story has been scarce. Several of the Telegram group members, including Cooper Turley and Anthony Sassano, are linked to media companies within the space. Although the group's intentions are made clear through screenshots, The Defiant refused to condemn the actions of those involved, and only briefly covered the topic.
Bankless and The Block made no mention of the story.
Employee behaviour of this type doesn’t reflect well on any organisation, and the lack of any real self-investigation raises questions on whether their conflict of interest prevented them from wanting to report in more depth.
Those who have managed to position themselves as experts in their field have a certain responsibility to behave in a way that benefits the space. If not, what purpose do they serve?
It’s true not all names seen in the screenshots will have actively agreed to participate, but there are certain names that now have a lot of work to do if they wish to redeem any trust or reputation that they may have previously held.
We are living in increasingly uncertain financial times, and what might seem like a joke to some, could appear to be a genuine opportunity to others. Desperation can blind one's judgement, and we would all do well to remember, or imagine, what that feels like.
This story fits all too well with the increasingly prevalent arrogance and smugness of many crypto twitter users.
Too many anonymous accounts seem to enjoy pretending to be part of a secret boys club, adding no value to the space whilst enjoying the frustration of their followers when posting vague content implying they are privy to some secret knowledge that only “few understand”. Let's try to be more inclusive and honest in our actions. Of course “alpha” is something to be guarded, but there was no alpha here, just deception, greed, and empty promises.
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