Pro basketball player De'Aaron Fox has temporarily shut down his NFT project, SwipaTheFox, after raising over $1.5M. Although Fox has suggested he will restart the project after the basketball season ends, some investors are calling Fox's treatment of SwipaTheFox a rug pull.
SwipaTheFox was an NFT avatar project on Ethereum that promised to be a "high utility NFT collection." The project was announced in December 2021 and went live on January 15, 2022. SwipaTheFox promised investors access to a metaverse basketball experience and chances to win All-Star game tickets. The project also intended to provide a scholarship at the University of Kentucky, Fox’s alma mater.
On February 23, SwipaTheFox's social media accounts were deleted and its Discord was mostly disabled. De'Aaron Fox canceled SwipaTheFox officially by tweet on February 24, 2022.
I want to address an NFT project we launched recently. The project launch was ill timed. I delegated certain aspects to the launch of the NFT in an attempt to partner with professionals. We weren’t happy with the execution & demand on my time and attention during the NBA season.
- De'Aaron Fox
Some of SwipaTheFox's investors were not happy. Investor @mediolanum_base called Fox's project shutdown a rug pull. Others felt that their investment would be safer in a project backed by a famous athlete. De'Aaron Fox is in the first year of a five-year, $163M contract with the National Basketball Association's Sacramento Kings. Their reasoning was simple: why would someone with so much money rug pull a project for just $1.5M?
Although Fox hinted at continuing to develop the SwipaTheFox project after the NBA season, the project's social media is inactive. According to Twitter user @BigBallerCrypto, Fox has offered some SwipaTheFox investors autographed jerseys as consolation for the project's early shutdown.
Investors will not be able to recover their money, because NFTs are not regulated like the stock market. Unfortunately, it also appears that the scholarship at the University of Kentucky will not be available.