New “BALD” Memecoin Drops 92% in Apparent Rug Pull

BY Andrew Rossow

July 31, 2023

Just a day after its introduction on crypto exchange giant Coinbase and its recently launched Base network, a new memecoin has already been labeled and considered a “rug pull” after the token’s deployer removed $25.6 million dollars in liquidity from the network. 

BALD, which dropped yesterday, pokes fun at Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s lack of hair. And since yesterday’s deployment, which garnered a 3,000% increase in BALD’s overall value, the coin has already plunged by 92%, according to data from CoinGecko.

The Onchain Intrigue Telegram Channel, which monitors such activities, traced the wallet associated with the BALD token, revealing that the wallet went back onto the decentralized exchange LeetSwap to purchase more BALD tokens, while simultaneously sending a very strange tweet that appears to be guiding users to buy more of the token – before removing all the liquidity again. 

Following a number of allegations that the memecoin was a scam, that same account (@BaldBaseBald) denied any allegations of having sold the tokens, instead, claiming to have “added/removed 2 sided liquidity and bought.” However, another user contradicted this statement, who highlighted that the token had indeed been sold.

In a recent interview with Decrypt, Matt Aaron, the project lead at Cielo, which oversees Onchain Intrigue, described this situation as “puzzling” because the wallet moving the funds was considered to be a “sophisticated whale” that holds large amounts of Coinbase’s Ethereum liquid staking token cbETH, which can be bought, sold, and swapped for other digital assets. 

Aaron also added that this same wallet “allegedly…KYC’s their wallet on a centralized exchange.” 

Crypto Twitter commentators have been closely following the unfolding events, with some even speculating that former FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried or another highly-situated former FTX or Alameda executive could be the developer behind the ill-fated memecoin. Observers pointed to FTX and Alameda deposits in the developer’s wallet’s transaction history over the span of more than two years.

However crypto journalist Tiffany Fong was quick to shoot down the SBF speculation, citing the limited phone, laptop, and Twitter access in his current bail conditions.

Who do we blame?

A “rug pull” in the crypto world refers to a deceptive strategy where developers introduce a new token, create an illusion of its legitimacy, and then abruptly withdraw the liquidity, leaving investors in the lurch.

The incident with the BALD token underscores the challenges and vulnerabilities inherent in an evolving crypto landscape with no legitimate regulatory framework to govern misuse and abuse cases to the detriment of investors.

Unfortunately, the risks we have continued to see within DeFi add a stronger onus on regulators and platforms to implement robust security measures to help safeguard these types of scams. But, can a “rug pull” actually be prevented at this current stage of where we are at? 


Coinbase, which is considered to be one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, will likely face increased scrutiny in the wake of this incident. How the company responds and the measures it adopts will be closely watched, not just by its user base, but by the broader crypto community.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

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