Logan Paul’s CryptoZoo NFT project has been exposed as a scam, with some investors reportedly losing up to $500K. This isn’t surprising given Paul’s history on YouTube. Independent reporter Coffeezilla revealed that development of the project had stalled due to alleged nonpayment of coders.
At 27, Paul made a name for himself in 2013 with his Vine sketches. After the short video platform closed down, he moved to YouTube and even joined WWE. In August 2021, he announced his NFT project on his YouTube podcast.
Paul declared that his game is sure to make a splash, as he understands the NFT space well enough to know what works, earns money, and appeals to people.
Paul has an impressive 28 million subscribers on YouTube and podcast, plus 24.6 million Instagram followers and 16.6 million TikTok followers – a massive audience ready to generate buzz for his new NFT collection!
Paul’s fans can purchase NFTs of eggs that hatch into animals with varying levels of rarity. These creatures can be bred to obtain eggs containing hybrid animals, which also have specific rarity ratings. When the egg hatches, it yields $ZOO tokens; rarer animals generate higher token rewards!
Paul promised fans they could play games with their animals and “enter the metaverse” as per CryptoZoo’s product roadmap, however most of these goals remain unrealized.
Coffeezilla, an independent reporter, released a three-part video series in December to reveal his findings on the downfall of CryptoZoo. After investigation, he uncovered that Paul had hired conmen to work on the project.
We contacted Jeff Levin, Paul’s manager, for comment.
Coffeezilla interviewed Cryptozoo’s developer “Z” who is demanding $1 million for the code, alleging Paul never paid him. In response, Paul identified “Z” as Zach Kelling – a convicted felon.
Paul declares in his response video, “You’re probably thinking ‘What kind of fool would work with someone like Zach Kelling?’ I guess that’s what I get for trusting the team responsible for Eddie Ibanez’ hiring. It turns out he was a professional swindler!”
Ibanez’s shady record was already known when Billy Penn, a Philadelphia culture blog affiliated with the regional NPR network, investigated it in February 2022.
In 2019, while running data analytics company Zenabi, Ibanez was accused of sharing Mormon church’s sensitive information with International Champions Cup. His website declared he had worked with the CIA and two NFL teams; even boasting a 2018 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl ring. However Billy Penn revealed he did not meet anyone from the Eagles until after their win and never forged an official partnership. He also claimed to have attended MIT but this too was disproved by the MIT News Office.
Zenabi received $1.5 million in PPP loans from the government, but around the same time Ibanez’s landlord sued them for $118,000 in back rent and damages. According to a former Zenabi employee who spoke to Billy Penn, they are now being investigated by the FBI over their PPP loan use.
Despite numerous suspicious claims, Paul stayed on with Ibanez until July 2022.
Paul has drawn criticism for pushing crypto scams before, such as the “shitcoin” Dink Doink that plummeted in value shortly after its July 2021 promotion.
Kim Kardashian faced consequences for failing to disclose that she was paid $250,000 for promoting EthereumMax on her Instagram post; as a result, the SEC settled with her for $1.26 million. Despite using “#ad” in the post, it wasn’t enough and resulted in hefty fines.
CryptoZoo’s future remains uncertain until Logan Paul retrieves the code from Zach Kelling, who Coffeezilla claims has fled to Switzerland. But Paul ended his response video with a promise – CryptoZoo is coming in 2023 or 2024!