Even after two massive rug pulls and a change of “management,” meme token Floki lives on thanks to its community’s determination.
Earlier this week, Floki Inu (FLOKI), a new dog-themed token inspired by Elon Musk, “pulled the rug” from under its users not once but twice in just a few days. However, Floki’s community members have shared their side of the story: one full of betrayals, sacrifices, and miraculous revivals.
Floki’s story began on June 25 when Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that he plans to name his Shiba Inu pup (a real one) Floki—apparently in honor of the eponymous character from popular TV series Vikings.
Shortly after Musk published his tweet, a fresh bunch of opportunistic meme tokens—unsurprisingly—popped up on the crypto market, likely hoping to capitalize on the shiny new hype train. One of them, however, quickly managed to gain a strong following—Floki Inu.
As its popularity grew, users soon discovered that Floki’s developer not only continues to mint new tokens to be redistributed but also pockets a significant portion (or even all of them) of every transaction via a hardcoded 20% tax—instead of keeping 5% and spending the rest of it on marketing.
With this knowledge, the community confronted the developer and pressured him to create a new hard fork—essentially a new alternative version of the token—which would “become the most decentralized, fairly driven and fun community project in the name of Elon’s beloved pup, Floki.” And this is where things took a turn for the worse.
Rug pulls begin
After the corresponding community vote ended in favor of launching “Floki V2,” the original developer quickly went radio silent and began withdrawing funds from the token’s smart contract, according to Bamidele, a pseudonymous user who was one of the effort’s initiators.
“He was initially defiant, but with some pressure, he agreed: provided the community is on board. We polled the community, and they overwhelmingly voted in favor of a fork. Immediately after, dev deleted his account, got out, and started moving funds,” Bamidele told.
According to an Ethereum address that ostensibly belongs to Floki’s original developer, he managed to get away with roughly 2,600 ETH—worth over $5 million.
“Not sure how much but certain it’s at least $5 million—in less than two weeks. I checked just now and it is 2,590 ETH; that’s more or less $5.5 million,” Bamidele estimated.
With the new hard fork underway, the most active community members began all the necessary preparations for its launch. To this end, a new developer named “Marvin” (it is unclear whether this is his real name) was added to the team to take charge of Floki V2’s code.
“Why do we fall, Bruce?”
At the same time, community administrators and their friends—whom they also onboarded—started to add liquidity to Floki V2’s pool so that it can be easily traded later. In total, the community members invested around $550,000 in the revival of the already problematic project. Little did they know.
“Hours to deadline, however, this dev proposed that we start swapping and tell folks to ‘buy’ the dip so we get more liquidity that way. I opposed him vehemently in [Telegram]—and feared a possible rug coming. But the partner influencer that referred him is highly trusted, so I stayed calm,” Bamidele recalled.
Ultimately, he personally messaged other administrators to convince them that this is a bad idea and “thank God they agreed.” Ultimately, however, that didn’t prevent things that were to come since after his plan faced rejection, “Marvin” decided to pull the rug anyway the very next morning.
Bamidele noted that he had already reached out to a new developer—pseudonymous “moontography”—at this point and “made sure to have a backup plan just in case.”
“So when I woke up and saw the rug, I immediately posted tweets telling folks to stay calm that there is a backup. I contacted the dev immediately, reached an agreement, and work started. This time around, everything was in my control until stuff was done,” he explained.
But the losses were significant. In a blink of an eye, “Marvin” siphoned around $550,000 from Floki V2—funds that were contributed by the community members who didn’t want to see this puppy die.
Further, the initial migration plan—using a swap wallet that would allow users to exchange their Floki V1 for equal amounts Floki V2—also failed due to a “minting bug that resulted in more tokens than should be in the pool.” Thus, after the second devastating rug pull in a row, the token’s chances to survive had become nearly non-existent—but the stalwart community still wasn’t giving up just yet.
Saving private Floki
In a desperate last-ditch effort to save Floki, community admins yet again invested another $450,000 in the project, with some of them reportedly selling nearly all of their crypto holdings to keep the token afloat.
The lion’s share of these funds (around $300,000) was added to Floki V2’s liquidity pool (now totaling $600) while the rest was spent to compensate developers, pay for audits, and so on.
“The team went through hell to get this launched. We actually unrugged this from the first Dev who was scamming, got rugged on our own money (not the community) and then launched with a team funded [liquidity] pool and paid 50k in Eth gas fees to airdrop,” pseudonymous user Uniswap Detective, who also was one of the community project’s leaders told. “The community paid for nothing. They would have had nothing if it was not for us taking over the project.”
Finally, after the initially planned swap failed, the new team decided to compensate Floki holders via a so-called airdrop. However, not all users received all 100% of their Floki V1 amounts.
“The idea was to compensate every user. However, inflation kicked in at the last minute (with supply almost doubling 30 minutes to the end of the swap—possibly due to a massive increase in volume) so we made some changes. Those who sent in before 12 hours to the deadline ALL got a 1:1 swap—others were discounted proportionately based on the estimated increase in inflation on the old contract,” Bamidele explained.
At the time of writing, Floki’s price continues to recover, according to crypto platform CoinGecko. The token is currently trading at around $0.00000541, up roughly 32% over the past 24 hours. However, this is still a far cry from the token’s all-time high of $0.00001412 recorded on July 1.
In the end, while Floki clearly is just another meme token created to capitalize on Elon Musk-fueled hype, at least one thing sets it apart now—it has actually become “the token of mischief.”