A trending Ponzi scheme that leverages the hype around Avatar: The Way of Water sci-fi movie has become the fifth largest holder of Polygon (MATIC), a core cryptocurrency of the Polygon network (MATIC) ecosystem.
Crypto Ponzi Avatar allocated $26 million in Polygon (MATIC) tokens
PeckShield, a leading cybersecurity firm in blockchain, noticed that an account associated with Avatar, a Chinese Ponzi scheme, jumped to the top rankings of Polygon (MATIC) token holders. In a few days, it managed to amass over 23.1 million Polygon (MATIC) tokens, which is equal to $26 million.
#PeckShieldAlert The address 0xc772, associated with a Ponzi scheme, has amassed ~22M $MATIC, making it the 5th largest holder of $MATIC.— PeckShieldAlert (@PeckShieldAlert) February 13, 2023
It is one of the Top gas spenders on Polygon and has been consuming a significant amount of gas fees in recent days. https://t.co/Oum2lnY2qJ pic.twitter.com/ZeeS48s0Oe
Chinese journalist and insider Colin Wu added that the project looks more and more like a "multi-level marketing" (MLM) scheme. His sources claim that Avatar users are offered unbelievably high interest over 1-2% daily. As the project targets only Chinese audience, it has no social media activity on Twitter, Facebook or Reddit.
Initial deposits are capped at 1,000 Polygon (MATIC) tokens; users can lock their funds for three to thirty days.
So far, the main contract of this scheme is the fifth largest account on the Polygon (MATIC) network; it surpassed even the hot wallets of Binance (BNB), the largest crypto exchange. By press time, the platform is responsible for 0.25% of all Polygon (MATIC) tokens in circulation.
Its team is also among the largest gas consumers in the Polygon (MATIC) ecosystem. In seven days, it spent over $120,000 on gas fees. As of Feb. 13, 2022, it is the fourth most active gas consumer; it uses over 3.5% of the gas on the Polygon (MATIC) network.
Why is this dangerous?
First, such schemes create an enormous transactional pressure on the network. In May 2020, the Ethereum (ETH) network became almost unusable thanks to the activity of the MMM and Forsage Ponzis: the transactions became too expensive and too slow.
The activity around Avatar has already pushed Polygon's (MATIC) gas price to multi-month highs. In recent days, it surged to levels unseen since the collapse of the FTX/Alameda ecosystem.
The Avatar team can start dumping these tokens, causing unhealthy volatility. Polygon (MATIC) is the most popular token of the burgeoning "ZK mania," so it might be really profitable for Ponzi creators to explore this hype.