SwirlLend rugs on new Coinbase layer 2 Base as large number of scammers reported


Base, Coinbase’s new layer 2, has been fully operational for a week and has already seen an influx of bad actors. In the latest incident, crypto lender SwirlLend, formerly active on Base and Linea, has apparently carried out an exit scam, otherwise known as a rug pull. 

PeckShield reported in a post on X (former Twitter) on Aug. 16 that SwirlLend transferred around $289,500 worth of cryptocurrency from Base. It later transferred 94 Ether (ETH) from Linea as well, bridging the crypto to Ethereum. It then created a new token and laundered 253.2 ETH through the Tornado Cash crypto mixer.

SwirlLend has shut down its social media accounts and website. Its total value locked on Base has fallen from $784,300 to $49,200.

Related: Coinbase layer-2 network Base hits 136,000 daily active users

The SwirlLend rug pull came two days after Base project RocketSwap, a decentralized exchange, experienced an $865,000 exploit. Before that — and even before the platform was officially open to the public — the BALD coin lost 85% of its value on July 31, after the developer “added/removed 2 sided liquidity and bought.”

There may be more trouble ahead for Base, judging from a blog post by crypto trade surveillance service Solidus Labs. The company found more than 500 scam tokens on Base, it reported. Among those were 300 tokens with hidden functions to mint unlimited numbers of tokens. Also, 70 contained hidden transaction fees and 60 would not allow buyers to resell their tokens.

The Base ecosystem. Source: Base

Scammers have made off with $2 million worth of crypto so far, according to Solidus. That was in addition to “soft” rug pulls such as BALD, which Solidus Labs estimated cost users $5.2 million.

Coinbase announced the launch of its Ethereum-based Base in February. It began onboarding developers on July 13 and opened the platform to users on Aug. 9.

Coinbase did not respond to a Cointelegraph request for comment.

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