The Rise and Fall of Blue Kirby - The Daily Gwei #93
The story of how an anonymous Twitter persona went from community darling to community pariah.
It seems that we’re still experiencing the hangover in the Ethereum community as the high profile account that was associated with yEarn/YFI, Blue Kirby, seems to have pulled an “exit scam” after just ~3 months of existence. If you haven’t been following this stuff closely, you may be very confused as to what happened over the last few months with Blue Kirby. Well, don’t fret - today’s piece will go through the entire saga from beginning to end. Enjoy!
Act I - The Rise of a Star
The ‘Blue Kirby’ Twitter account seemingly came out of no where ~3 months ago when yEarn started gaining prominence due to the surprise release of the YFI token. Then progressively over the last ~3 months, Blue Kirby’s Twitter account grew from 0 to almost 20,000 followers and they became a much-loved Ethereum community member. Anything they tweeted out would get insane engagement (usually because it was bullish tweets about YFI).
What Blue Kirby did was classic growth hacking - they latched onto something that had insane potential (yEarn/YFI) and made sure that they were at the center of it. Blue Kirby didn’t just use Twitter to do this - they also contributed real value to the yEarn ecosystem early on through education, marketing and community management. This earned Blue Kirby a spot on the yEarn community payroll (for a short time) which saw him bringing in ~$7,000 USD a month for his work. In addition to this, he was donated 25 YFI (~$400,000 at today’s prices) by Andre Cronje (the founder of yEarn) for his efforts.
Kirby was also a master at creating and spreading memes. Kirby was responsible for popularizing the “few understand” or “few” memes in the Ethereum community along with the “oh my” meme. Though, these memes would go on to become something of an annoyance for the community and eventually get phased out.
Act II - The Good Times
Kirby was riding the highs of the YFI boom and it seemed like they were unstoppable. Their tweets were full of hype and YFI “shilling” which worked a treat because the price of YFI was exploding upwards and everyone holding it was “getting rich”.
Using this new-found fame, Kirby started selling NFT’s on the Rarible platform which saw them become one of the top sellers on the platform. This was due to two major factors - firstly, they had a massive reach and would constantly promote their NFTs via Twitter. Secondly, their NFTs were created in the likeness of yEarn’s founder (Andre) and in the likeness of Blue Kirby themself - this was like Disney selling Star Wars merchandise after the 7th movie was announced. According to Rarible’s metrics, Blue Kirby made ~500 ETH from selling NFTs over just the last 30 days which amounts to $186,000 - not bad for a months worth of work, right?
At this point, Kirby seemed like an unstoppable force because YFI’s price just kept going up and Kirby’s success was directly tied to this metric. Their NFTs were selling like crazy, they kept getting richer from the rise of YFI’s price and their Twitter engagement was off the charts. Kirby must of felt as if they were on top of the world at this point.
Then the music abruptly stopped when YFI’s price started falling and, as is tradition in the crypto markets, everyone tried to find a chair before losing money. But what Kirby decided to do was break the legs of all the chairs and then run out of the room.
Act III - The Fall from Grace
As YFI’s price was falling, we saw the latter stages of the market cycle play out perfectly. Though, during this time, nothing had changed fundamentally for the yEarn project - the team was still building innovative products, releasing new farming strategies and achieving growth in total value locked.
It was when Andre deployed a new project called ‘Eminence’ from the yEarn Deployer Ethereum address that things really started going south for Kirby. This project was not live yet - there was no UI, no guide on how to get involved, no explanation as to what it was at all - there was only a Twitter account teasing the project and a token you could buy and transform into other tokens using the contracts. Though, this didn’t stop Kirby from doing what they did best - promoting the hell out of yEarn-related products.
Kirby was posting fomo-inducing tweets, providing links to guides for people to buy the EMN token, all while knowing full-well that Andre “tests in prod” and these smart contracts were most likely not audited and not ready for people to interact with. So, sure enough, the Eminence contracts were promptly exploited and $15 million was stolen in just a few hours. The hacker did give back $8 million (of which they sent to YFI) which was then later dispersed back to those who bought EMN, but the damage was already done. It’s worth noting that Andre quit Twitter/social media after what happened with Eminence as well.
After the hack, Kirby tried to do what he does best - make a meme out of it. They came up with the #HalfRekt meme which was meant to reference the fact that people only lost 50% or “half” of their money. Maybe this would’ve been a popular meme with the community if YFI was still going up in price but at this point YFI was dropping like a rock and many people who bought in at the highs were most certainly not only #HalfRekt - they were #FullRekt - and these same people were probably also the ones who bought EMN.
Kirby had fallen from what was effectively a position where they were basically untouchable to one where they were now the face of the fallout.
Act IV - The Betrayal
So, Kirby had fallen from the good graces of the community after the Eminence hack and was doing everything in their power to get back to their previous position of influence. Unfortunately for them, they were trying to do this against the backdrop of a rapidly falling YFI price and a community that got “half rekt” from buying into EMN (with many doing so because of Kirby’s “shilling”). On top of this, Kirby publicly sold their YFI for ETH at around $22,000 (as seen on the bluekirby.eth address) and their explanation for doing this was simply to move their funds to a more private account by washing their ETH through Tornado Cash (which they subsequently did). Though, the community didn’t buy this reasoning since it would’ve been easier for Kirby to just use a centralized exchange to “wash” their assets. Thus, Kirby selling their YFI was seen as a deep betrayal by the community.
Shortly after this, Kirby began heavily promoting a new project that they were involved with called ‘Off—Blue’ which naturally had a brand new token to go along with it. No one really knew what the project was about or what it was trying to do but there was hype around it since Kirby was involved and people thought it had some relation to yEarn/YFI.
More information about the Off—Blue project came to light over time where they claimed that the project was being built by Kirby + some “anons” and that it would have something to do with NFTs. The details of token distribution reflected this with people able to get their hands on the majority of the tokens by purchasing NFTs created by Blue Kirby as well as NFTs created by Off—Blue itself. The token distribution also included an airdrop to addresses that had interacted with YFI governance which lent further credence to the “associated with yEarn” theory.
Source: https://rekt.ghost.io/whale-hunt-sbf-blue-kirby/ (another good read on this whole debacle)
Within a couple of days, the Off—Blue account had sold ~2,000 ETH ($746,000) worth of NFTs and there was no clear indication of what this money would be used for - people speculated that all of this money was just going to Blue Kirby (some evidence of that here). Due to the public outcry about how many people believed that Off—Blue was a scam or at best, a fraudulent project, Rarible decided to suspend Off—Blue’s account on their platform. Thankfully, Off—Blue is offering refunds to those who bought their NFTs with ETH (which you can do here) but obviously the damage is already done and the project will have to shutdown (for now).
Act V - The Disappearance and The Fallout
During this time, Blue Kirby was still dealing with the fallout of Eminence, the YFI price falling, them selling their YFI, dealing with the Off—Blue chaos and on top of all of this, someone had identified who Blue Kirby was and was in the processing of doxxing them.
This all led to Blue Kirby deleting their Twitter account and effectively disappearing from the public eye after making off with with an estimated $1 million from selling their YFI and keeping the ETH proceeds from both their original NFT sales and the Off—Blue related sales.
The fallout from this whole saga has been pretty brutal - many in the community are now much more weary of “anon builders” after Blue Kirby’s disappearance because even though Kirby had a reputation, it was not tied to any real life identity for the majority of their existence which means they had no real personal skin in the game. Ironically, when they did have skin in the game (after they were doxxed), they decided to just exit the community altogether.
Will there be a redemption arc for Blue Kirby? Will they come back to the community with a renewed spirit to make up for all of their wrongdoings? Will they give back the money that they made? I highly doubt it. There are some things you can come back from but it doesn’t seem like this will be one of them. Even if what Blue Kirby did was an honest mistake and even if they originally had good intentions, they have probably hurt too many people and broken too much trust to be welcomed back with open arms.
For now though, Blue Kirby has disappeared into the ether.
Have a great day everyone,
All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.