Cryptozoo? more like crypto-boo

People losing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Logan Pauls newest scam

Hannah Adams, Asst. Opinion Editor

Logan Paul, a popular YouTuber and vlogger, has been associated with a fair share of controversies throughout his career. Perhaps the most well-known of these is when Paul recorded a corpse in Japan that was presumably that of a suicide victim. Most recently, the social media influencer got into a scandal regarding an NFT project called CryptoZoo. 

This project started as an outlet of cryptocurrency that Paul described as “a really fun game that makes you money.” 

Paul made many claims about the development of this project, stating that he had spent $1 million evolving it. After a few months of promoting the project through his podcast, “IMPAULSIVE,” Paul randomly seemed to abandon the idea, neglecting to speak on it through his platforms. 

The sudden change drew the attention of both investors and of cryptocurrency scam investigator Stephen Findeisen. Initially, the purpose of the CryptoZoo game was to allow players to act as zookeepers. Within the game, users would have the opportunity to buy and sell NFTs in the form of exotic animals. 

In BBC article “YouTube star Logan Paul apologizes for CryptoZoo project failure,” by Joe Tidy the dynamics of the game are further explained. 

In a now-deleted description, it was described as “an autonomous ecosystem that allows ZooKeepers to buy, sell, and trade exotic animals and hybrids. CryptoZoo incorporates cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) into a simple, fun game with familiar mechanics. The project sold images of cartoon eggs as NFTs, with the promise that collectors would be able to hatch them into randomly chosen animal images. Collectors would then be able to ‘breed’ their animal images to create new species and win coins in a linked cryptocurrency called $ZOO. In a since-removed project roadmap, many games were promised in 2022 that would incorporate the animal NFT images, but no playable features were delivered.”

NFTs are tokens that store information, typically on the Ethereum blockchain, and are often used for crypto trading by art collectors. NTFs are unique form of cryptocurrency because they are a digital signature that makes equality among them impossible. No NFT is the same, which was the ultimate purpose of the formation of CryptoZoo. 

With CryptoZoo, Paul’s NFT consisted of exotic animal eggs that could be bought, sold or traded to evolve animals or create hybrids. Each NFT egg that was bought would hatch into a unique species that no other investor had. This would prompt other investors to express interest in buying or trading their NFT eggs for those of another user.  

The idea was well-liked by investors and began to pick up attention through Paul’s social media advertising. One investor went on record to say that they had spent as much as $45,000 on CryptoZoo prior to Paul’s evasive behavior. Given the large sums of money that some users had committed to the project, there was backlash quickly when the project began to look like a scam. It was not until YouTuber Coffeezilla spoke out on the issue that Paul finally came forward with a statement.  

Findeisen, also known by his YouTube persona Coffeezilla, released a three-part YouTube series that investigated CryptoZoo and Paul’s involvement. Within this series, Findeisen claimed that Paul’s game was a scam to investors and that Paul had gone silent on the issue to avoid having to take accountability. Initially, following the release of Findeisen’s video, Paul threatened a lawsuit against him. Not long after, Paul dropped the charges and released a statement on Twitter. 

“Hey, all, just wanted to update you,” Paul said. “I deleted my initial response to Coffee’s series. It was rash and misaligned with the true issue at hand, so I called him today and apologized… the war is not with Coffee. In fact, I’m grateful; he brought this to light. I will be taking accountability, apologizing, and coming forward with a plan in the near future. Thank you all for believing in this project & sticking with me. I know it’s been bumpy, but your support is everything to me and I will make this right.” 

It is unclear how Paul plans to refund and repair the issues that have been inflicted on investors. Paul has yet to follow through on his claims that he will find a solution, but he did extend an invite to Findeisen to be a guest on his podcast and discuss the issue. Paul also claims that he fell for the scam of false professionals to assert that the failure of CryptoZoo was not completely his fault. Whether or not this is true will fall to the victims of this scam to decide.