Investors In The NFT Project Of NBA’s De’Aaron Fox Claim He Scammed Them For $1.6M


Investors In De'Aaron Fox's NFT Claim He Scammed Them For $1.6M

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  • Back in December 2021, De’Aaron Fox announced he was releasing his “SwipaTheFox” NFT Project
  • The NFT dropped in January, generating 475 ETH, or $1.6 million dollars at the time
  • This week, Fox took down his NFT website and said he was pulling the plug on the project to focus on basketball

Back in December of 2021, Kings Point Guard De’Aaron Fox announced he’d be releasing his “SwipaTheFox” NFT project.

The NFT had a successful release in January 2022, selling over 475 ETH, or $1.6 million at the time, to over 3,000 buyers. This past week, Fox announced on his Discord channel for SwipaTheFox he was shutting down the project.

Why De’Aaron Fox Shut Down his NFT Project

Fox seemed to be doing all the right things as an NFT project owner. One of the main signs to look for in a trustworthy NFT project is knowing who the owner is—the NFT space refers to knowing the owner of the project as being “doxxed.”

Fox is an NBA superstar. Investors at the time likely thought the NFT project couldn’t be a rug pull or scam because doing so would hurt his reputation.

Why Investors In De'Aaron Fox's NFT Project Are Saying The NBA Star Scammed Them For $1.6M

As you can see on Opensea, the SwipaTheFox project is not doing good.

Another sign NFT investors look for is to see how the community interacts—which normally happens via Discord. Fox was regularly providing updates on his Discord channel. Then, Fox announced he was suspending SwipaTheFox.

Stephen Noh of Sporting News had a good screenshot of Fox’s message in the channel.

Fox seems to chalk up the stalemate of the project by saying, “I overstepped and stretched myself too thin, trying to do this project in the middle of an NBA season.”

Apparently Fox had not been paying out any of the giveaways or upholding any of the promises he made to the NFT owners.

What Benefits De’Aaron Fox Promised His NFT Holders

Often called a “roadmap” or “utility map,” NFT projects will provide some sort of layout on (1) how they plan to incentivize NFT owners and drive up the value of their NFT, and (2) explain how they plan to spend the money they raised.

Fox promised his NFT owners everything from signed jerseys, giveaways, Sacramento Kings tickets from Fox, gaming tournaments, and more. Fox supposedly even said he was going to establish scholarships to the University of Kentucky, his alma mater.

Here’s what Fox’s roadmap looked like.

Why Investors Are Saying Fox Scammed Them

Many of the NFT owners are now saying Fox scammed them. Fox not only shut down the NFT’s website, but he shut down the Discord channel and turned the SwipaTheFox Twitter and Instagram accounts to private. Fox then issued a similar statement from his Discord to his Twitter account.

Fox then explained he needed to focus on the Kings.

But what Fox has failed to address is what NFT investors are supposed to do now. Where did the 475 ETH go? Is Fox going to refund them?

The article from the Sporting News included a couple of statements from the NFT owners themselves. One person by the online name HoneyBuzz had this to say about it,

I know there’s a degree of risk, obviously in any NFT project, but I think like for me personally, I try to mitigate that risk as best you can. And I think usually you look for projects with public founders. And so I felt like [Fox’s] was pretty safe.

HoneyBuzz also had this to add,

I think a lot of people were new to NFTs completely and were brought into it through De’Aaron because they were fans of him, and so they had no idea what to watch out for. And obviously we’re like eating up all these promises that he was making. The way that it all happened was really gross.

Another individual by the name of Ty Wolter also chimed in. Wolter is a tennis coach who buys and sells NFTs on the side,

In hindsight, it was a poor investment decision. But from my perspective, I’m not upset about money being lost. I’m upset about being promised a service being provided, and then it never being provided. It would be like ordering a fence and them telling you it’s going to be too much effort so we’re just going to go ahead and disappear.

Many of the owners are cutting their losses and dumping their SwipaTheFox NFTs on Opensea right now.

The Legality of it All

It’s worth noting Fox doesn’t have any threat of legal action against him. Buying and selling NFTs can be volatile—and unless there’s evidence Fox knowingly set up a scam, which there isn’t right now, there is little authorities would do.

From a personal reputation, however, this could certainly cause damage. It could even potentially hinder future business deals for Fox.

I think a better explanation is in order, as well as some sort of direct address to the original NFT investors as to where their money went.

And for what it’s worth, Fox signed a max extension with the Kings for 5 yr, $163 million in 2020.