@LittleShapesNFT, who had been touting an NFT project consisting of 4,444 images of different shapes he said were generated with a physics engine, subsequently tweeted a photo showing him “walking out the hospital.”
Then came the gut punch. “what the fuck happened to my FTX account,” he tweeted, followed in quick succession by “oh my fucking god.” During the period @LittleShapesNFT said he was in the coma, the crypto exchange FTX had collapsed spectacularly, ripping him and many other investors from their cash.
The tale went viral, and a series of crypto publications credulously covered @LittleShapesNFT’s story. One site ran an exclusive interview with the victim, who told them that he was T-boned by a Ford F-150 and had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in FTX while in the coma.
“The story of the owner behind the Little Shapes reads more like the script of a Hollywood thriller than a real life story shared on Twitter,” that piece began, “so I reached out the accounts’ owner for some much-needed context into his insane experience.”
The reason the story sounds “like the script of a Hollywood thriller” is because, BuzzFeed News can now reveal, the tale was completely fabricated.
But the deception wasn’t, as one might expect, designed to drum up interest in the Little Shapes NFT project. The 23-year-old Miamian behind @LittleShapesNFT, who asked to use the pseudonym Atto, told BuzzFeed News that he made everything up as part of a plan to gain attention for his allegations about the way the NFT industry is corrupted — claims he is going public with today.
Atto first admitted to BuzzFeed News that his story was fictitious on Jan. 5, after we approached him to talk about his incredible story. (BuzzFeed News did not publish that the coma story was made-up at the time as a condition of gaining access to the findings of Atto’s investigation ahead of release.) He said the hospital bed photo that started the whole saga was supplied by an NFT world friend of his. The tweet featuring the handwritten proof of date was shot outside a local hospital. He didn’t have any money in FTX either.
And the evidence he presented to naysayers in subsequent days, including medical bills, were forgeries created using online image-manipulation sites. Tweets he posted about struggling to tell his wife about his financial loss were also untrue. “Yeah, bro, I’m 23,” he said when asked if his spouse was fabricated. “Fuck a wife.”