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Explained: The Animoon Rug Pull (June 2022)


Rob Behnke

June 14th, 2022

Animoon was a NFT project based on Pokémon.  The Animoon NFTs were recolored versions of the Pokémon images.  In June 2022, the team behind the protocol performed a rug pull, stealing approximately $6.3 million of invested funds.

Inside the Rug Pull

The Animoon NFT project was promoted as a play-to-earn (P2E) NFT game.  It also promised real-world travel, clothing giveaways, comics, and a secret project with Netflix.  15 Legendary Animoon NFTs also promised monthly dividends for as long as they existed.

The Animoon project had a history of overpromising and underdelivering with promised deliveries not arriving and the details of the dividend-bearing Legendary NFTs changing over time.  However, in June 2022, the project team went a step further, rugging the project.

In a rug pull like this one, the team behind the project closes up shop after draining relevant smart contracts of value. In this case, the team stole $6.3 million in tokens and deleted the project’s website and Twitter feed and shut down conversations on its Discord server.

Lessons Learned From the Attack

The Animoon NFT project made big promises. It claimed partnerships with both Pokémon and Digimon and promised significant rewards to token holders.  However, these promises constantly changed, and an analysis of the project’s history found no evidence of the development of the P2E game, let alone follow-through on other promises.

Big promises with no roadmap to delivery is a key red flag of crypto scams and potential future rug pulls. Before investing in projects like Animoon, it is vital to do your own research. If a project seems too good to be true, it probably is.