The blockchain can’t solve for stupid.
That painful truth hit the internet-of-things blockchain project Waltonchain hard today, with one Twitter huge fuck up leading to the erasure of tens of millions of dollars in the market cap of its associated Walton Coin.
And people are pissed.
Here’s what went down: On Feb. 8, the team behind Waltonchain posted a contest to Medium with the goal of spreading awareness about the platform. If you followed the @Waltonchain Twitter account, quote retweeted a specific tweet, dropped #WaltonchainLove in your comment, and tagged someone, then you were eligible to split a pot of 564.96 Walton Coins (WTC) with 213 other people.
Pretty simple, right?
According to CoinMarketCap, on Feb. 8 one WTC was worth around $22. That means each winner could potentially get around $58 for just tweeting some stuff. Not life changing, but not bad.
The problem came when the official Waltonchain Twitter account decided to announce the contest winners on Feb. 28.
What happened next was, well, really goddamn dumb.
Someone from that same Twitter account tweeted out a message that read like it was just a lucky Joe excited about winning the contest. The tweet was quickly deleted, but it was too late: A screenshot was posted to Reddit, people called the contest rigged, the company a scam, and a massive selloff soon followed.
This resulted in 30% drop in tokens value at one moment – a whooping 165M of market value disappeared because of one tweet. Damn right that person is fired lol
— CryptOrangutang (@cryptorangutang) February 28, 2018
The Waltonchain Twitter account has yet to publicly address the screw up, but for many in the cryptocurrency space, their minds have already been made.
“Luckily for them Twitter doesn’t use Blockchain,” joked one redditor. “The tweet would remain there in the public forever if it did.”
“LOL, this kind of error reminds [me] of kids in school that made up having girlfriends over MSN,” wrote another.
“She isn’t made up…. she lives in Canada,” read the reply.
While definitely a bad look for Waltonchain, this entire fiasco might have one overall positive outcome: the reminder that distributed networks aren’t impervious to really dumb tweets.