The game with a $ 9 million cryptocurrency prize is real or a scam?

  A pot of gold pieces with the Ethereum logo.

On his face, Fomo3D is a simple game of chance: players have 24 hours to buy in a pot, whose lion's share goes to the last buyer to get under the bell. Every time a player buys, 30 seconds are added to the clock, which limits to 24 hours, and the subsequent buy-in becomes more expensive. Players can buy them as often as they want, either at once to raise the time or at the last moment, thus winning the pot.

The first round of Fomo3D started on July 8 with no money in the pot. At the time of writing this document, there are two hours left in the clock. The buy-in went from less than 49 cents to $ 2.22, and with over 34 million buy-ins, the pot is worth nearly $ 9 million. As it ends, nobody is really sure.

Far from the simple game of chance, Fomo3D is an incisive critique of the cryptocurrency and the clamor surrounding it. All transactions in the game are conducted on Ethereum, a decentralized information system with its own cryptocurrency and contract functions. The idea is that players can feel confident that Fomo3D will play honestly because Ethereum is based on books and distributed and open source records through which everyone can see where the money is, when it should be paid and who. But this is not true for any cryptocurrency enterprise.

"Cryptocurrency as a whole is 99.9 percent of fast-paced schemes from projects that will never be published," says Justo, "one of the four pseudonym Fomo3D developers, collectively known as Team JUST. Discord online messaging platform, Justo refused to disclose any other personal information (including his gender) or his collaborators, who claim to have never met in real life.

Fomo3D calls you to play, then he ridicules you for trying.

"Cryptocurrency itself is not a real investment as much as a speculative toy," continues Justo. "Our game brings this to the next level."

From form to functionality, Team JUST designed Fomo3D both to attract and pay attention. The entire game is intentionally framed around the concept of "exit scam" (the URL of the game is exitscam.me; its use is described as "exit scamming", whose tagline is "All the fun of a scam ", with" Fun "" Flashing as "Fear"), in which a scammer collects the payment of goods and skips the city before delivery is due.More recently, the term has been used to describe cryptocurrency companies that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in initial coin offerings, only to disappear.

Fomo3D evokes the mad rush to cryptocurrency by investors who hardly understand technology or its risks. The language and images of the game simultaneously cultivate the greed of the players and frustrate their hopes. The button to buy a key (essentially a game ticket) is updated with the handle of the most recent buyer, embedded in messages like "X is trying to take everything, stop them!"; "Coming out of wage slavery is at hand, just beat Y, you can do it"; and "Z would go there too, if it were not for those pesky children and your key purchase." At the same time, the symbol of the game is an inverted pyramid, and even its name is a joke, playing on the slogan acronym of "fear of losing". Fomo3D calls you to play, then ridicules you for trying, blinding you with dollar signs along the way.

The JUST team is also using Fomo3D to ask some philosophical questions. In a web page that introduces the game, designers call "a psychological social experiment in greed" and "some form of evil super-science", and Justo describes it as "just a trick of the human psyche" on Discord.

What they mean is clear considering all the implications of Fomo3D's design. Because more time is added to the watch every time a player buys a key, the only way to end the game is when players stop trying to win, which is unlikely considering the amount of money in game. And because each key purchased increases the price of the next, they will always be more money up for grabs, encouraging players to invest even more in the hope of winning. Moreover, since the game runs on Ethereum, which is decentralized, Team JUST claims that it can not be tampered with by anyone, including designers, nor can it be stopped, less than all the over 10,000 Ethereum nodes worldwide come down simultaneously. This would not only make the nearly $ 9 million worth of cryptocurrency that is effectively linked to Fomo3D inaccessible, but would also undermine the entire Ethereum, estimated by Justo to $ 42 billion. In other words, Ethereum is not which descends.

While Team JUST is firmly convinced that the Fomo3D mechanisms can not be modified and that the pot can not be usurped by anyone except the winner of the game, others are not so sure. Developers familiar with blockchain technology have examined the game's programming and have encountered problems. Péter Szilágyi, a developer of Ethereum, has published a vulnerability, which allows exploiters to siphon "airdrops" or minipots that are randomly assigned with the purchase of each key. (Justo attributes this to "the lack of consistent and understandable documentation" for Ethereum's security requirements, Szilágyi declined to comment.) The JUST team members say that there is nothing they can do to correct it. Other involuntary exploits may emerge, but critics are also looking at the backdoors with which designers could escape with the pot. For its part, the Ethereum Foundation, which supports the research and development of the platform, has refused to discuss Fomo3D. The external relations of Ethereum lead Joseph Schweitzer: "We do not comment on the individual applications built at the top of the platform".

When asked directly if Fomo3D is really a scam, Justo replies: "I mean, if it were a real scam at the exit, it would also be nice, right?"

And they have a point. Because, at the end of the day, if they had escaped with everything, could you really blame them? In many ways, they told you that this was always a scam.

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