It's a hard rock life for one crypto user. A clumsy keystroke and the actions of a sniper bot caused a million-dollar mistake on March 10.
A rock valued at 444 Ether (ETH), or $1.2 million, sold for 444 Wei ($0.0012) to a bot as the seller, DinoDealer, confused WEI and ETH. In a tweet, the seller said “in one click my entire net worth of ~$1 million dollars, gone.”
The "bot sniped" refers to bot snipers, which initially came into usage on auction site eBay. Buyers looking to time their bid to the last second would use the tools. Now, they are prolific on nonfungible token (NFT) listings. The popular freelance website Upwork currently lists bot sniping tools for the NFT platform OpenSea from as little as $200.
Once the bot snaps up the NFT or digital receipt, there’s no going back. Blockchains are constructed to be immutable so simple mistakes, such as confusing ETH and WEI, can be extremely costly.
Indeed, human error abounds in the crypto world. An unfortunate Bitcoin (BTC) user recently lost $10,000 (0.25 BTC) in a mistake that could have been avoided had they double-checked the receiver wallet address.
The seller, DinoDealer, seems to have come to terms with the loss, publicly sharing the address of the rock’s bot snipe. They made light of the situation by uploading a new Twitter profile picture and adding a crying emoji after their Twitter handle. Their avatar stands next to the precious rock, crossed out in red.
More jokes came from DinoDealer's futile attempt to reach out to the “crypto customer service.” Their attempts to speak to members of the crypto community were met with replies from suspicious users purporting to help, offering email addresses and WhatsApp numbers.
Do not reach out to these numbers or email addresses.
The past month has been tumultuous for seemingly minor errors with potentially dire consequences. In some cases, a simple mistake can wipe millions of dollars of market value and that has been increasingly common.
A Coinbase white hacker discovered a mistake in the Coinbase Pro code that could have nuked the market, while frantic bot trading behaviors drained the WTF token launch of 58 ETH. “Poor liquidity pool management” left the launch exposed.
In better days for DinoDealer, other crypto rock enthusiasts have come to his aid, one user sending the geologist salesman a picture of the rock with glasses and headphones, signed “mfer rocks.”