Degens Are Sending Tokens to BlackRock for the Memes

BY Lorepunk •

March 22, 2024

After BlackRock launched its BUIDL tokenized asset fund, putting $100 million of dollar-pegged assets on-chain, crypto degens have been celebrating by sending NFTs and crypto to their Ethereum wallet.

The tokens include CryptoDickButts, Goblintown, and Kaiju Kingz, many of which are worth serious money; at the time of this writing, dickbutts are worth more than half an ETH.

Other tokens sent to the BUIDL account include fungible currencies sent through the US-banned Tornado Cash app and a great number of meme coins.

To those of us who are dealing with a tight financial situation, this kind of profligacy makes very little sense—but when you think about the nature and culture of blockchain, a few reasons come to mind.

One of the most important things about blockchain is that its heart is a public ledger. Everyone can see what you are getting up to on-chain and what you hold. Chucking an amusing NFT at a famous wallet can help boost interest in that collection, cheering holder communities and even, sometimes, hiking the floor price.

In the case of the sending of things like dickbutts–meme-fuelled collections in which Internet culture is deeply ingrained–some of this behavior is meant to congratulate BlackRock chief Larry Fink on the rhetorical size of his member, making a big pro-crypto, and pro-Ethereum, statement by launching BUIDL and putting a hefty load of BlackRock’s bags on-chain. ENS gifts like “bigdickfink.eth” also fall under this category.

There will be a fair share of rugs and scams sent to the wallet, too; always up for a chance to drain the unsuspecting, scammers will hope that sending their NFT or token to the wallet will encourage those having a look around to click on a wallet drainer.

One of the more interesting things sent to BlackRock is one ETH sent through a sanctioned ETH address linked to the banned Tornado Cash privacy service.

This could be anything from a troll to an act of political protest because wallets that have received funds through Tornado Cash are at least some risk of having accounts seized or tokens frozen as part of anti-sanctions proceedings.

This attack vector, called “dusting,” can cause a significant amount of inconvenience for an account’s owners, as DeFi protocols and dApps may block wallets that have touched Tornado Cash funds in an attempt to comply with economic sanctions regulations.

Tornado Cash has been banned by countries, including the United States because they claim the service has been used to obfuscate the sources of funds obtained by sanctioned states and criminal enterprises.

While it is unlikely that BlackRock’s BUIDL fund would run afoul of anti-sanctions measures, the “donation” of ETH that has passed via Tornado’s mixer to the fund could be seen as a call by privacy advocates to reassess the app’s criminalization. After all, when the nature of blockchain means it’s impossible to prevent receiving Tornado funds, or a dickbutt, it’s unfair to penalize an address simply for holding these tokens.

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