Given the speculative nature of NFTs, it ought to surprise absolutely no one that the digital medium is rife with ample controversy. Scams abound, some will tell you, and no one's monkey is safe.

The most recent firestorm is a little confusing, so bear with me, but it contains some food for thought.

A fellow named Beanie, who goes by @beaniemaxi on Twitter, is at the core of this saga.

You may (but probably don't) recognize Beanie as the guy who, a month ago, claimed that anyone who steals NFTs must give them back because "That’s how property laws work."

Spoiler: that is not how property laws work, especially in regards to decentralized collections of monkey drawings.

Anyways, despite the bizarre take above, Beanie was a well-respected member of the cypto/NFT world, consulting with NFT developers and running the now-suspended GM Capital VC fund.

On January 17, Beanie was the subject of an exhaustive report published as a lengthy Twitter thread by NFTethics, a self-appointed industry watchdog of sorts.

NFTethics' post accuses Beanie, real name apparently Charles Moscoe, of frauds that range from casual deceit to pump-and-dump scams.

For instance, NFTethics alleges that Beanie leveraged authority in Discord chats and encouraged users to invest in his own ventures without revealing that he owned them.

These endeavors then shuttered, collapsed, or otherwise vanished, stripping investors of their funds.

This set off a mini-explosion in NFT Twitter. Other exposés followed and Beanie denied all charges.

He's apparently considering a libel lawsuit against NFTethics, though the chances of successfully taking a random Twitter user to court are hard to gauge.

Meanwhile, third-party NFT initiatives like Pixel Vault and Wolf Game distanced themselves from Beanie, having openly collaborated with him in the past.

Other folks came out with their own accusations of Beanie's culpability and piled on, though a few supporters stuck up for him.

I'd argue that the most salient point to take away from the affair is how NFT anonymity fuels strife.

Decentralization, touted as a prime strength of cryptocurrency and NFTs, is perhaps an even greater weakness.

It's entirely up to would-be investors to decide whether these mediums are ponzi schemes but it's plain to even a casual observer that plenty of NFT scams occur (and aren't punished) despite blockchains' supposed transparency, to say nothing of how crypto anonymity fuels evil.

To be sure, everyone's privacy ought to be an inalienable right. Whether you're a crypto savant or barely know how to Google, we all deserve to be left to our own devices, both online and IRL.

The issue is less with the individual users and more so these unscrupulous influencers and shady behind-the-scene types who operate with ulterior motives in mind. NFT influencers like Beanie typically enjoy the same anonymity as other users — they sure aren't as visible as the Elon Musk, who loudly manipulates crypto as he sees fit.

But maybe it'd be for the best that more guys with this much to gain — or lose — from crypto and NFTs stepped out of the shadows.

Or, at least, if you're going to follow anyone eager to share their investment wisdom with the world, perhaps get to know them a bit better before taking their advice.

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