Rise of the FOMO: How a Chinese FOMO3D Lottery ‘LastWinner’ Game is Clogging Ethereum’s Bandwidth
The struggles that Ethereum is facing in terms of scaling and bandwidth have been going on for an uncomfortable amount of time for both its developers and users, big and small. It's no surprise, honestly, especially with the reports that one smart contract, in particular, is burning as much as 30% of all GAS on Ethereum's network.
According to Experts, the perpetrator is one of the latest in a succession of Ponzi games that have made a re-emergence with blockchain, FOMO games. And that's exactly what this was, it was a game called LastWinner, which targetted a predominantly Chinese population LastWinner and its smart contract doesn't simply rely on players to burn up so much gas.
There is a reason to believe that many of the transactions taking place within LastWinner aren't user-generated at all, but are being conducted and completed by bots. What this does, especially for the user, is continue transactions, meaning that no other player can be the last player in, which would make them the winner, according to the game's rules (and name).
“The contract address in question was created by a Chinese mobile game developer called LastWinner. The rules of this game are very similar to Fomo3D and its clones which have become very popular in the past couple of months leading to Ethereum network congestion,”
said Yo Kwon, CEO of Hosho, a smart contract security firm.
According to experts working within Hosho, after successfully decompiled the code, and recognized a number of similarities with FOMO3D. It remains unclear, however, what the particular smart contracts may hold.
Along with these smart contracts, the deeper intentions of LastWinner also remain a mystery, according to Hoso and Yo Kwon.
“Lastwinner's choice to not publish their source code is one of the major reasons that the FUD and rumors surrounding the contract are able to circulate and are difficult to disprove. However, if the rumors are true, Lastwinner is taking advantage of a non-knowledgeable population — Chinese mobile users — with the allure of large payouts of money, to dupe them into buying into a contract that may not be secure,”
said Yo Kwon in an emailed statement.
Rumors that have been circulating also include that LastWinner is making it completely impossible for any human to win due to the number of bots in operation, conducting transactions.
“For anyone who plays games like FOMO 3D there is a clone game called “Lastwinner” that is being run by malicious bots to exit scam players. Please be careful!!! The game looks legitimate but is not. It’s bots were seen spamming the ETH network extensively today.” – @MDJordan911
One of the unseen consequences of LastWinner's febrile activity includes the fact that GAS congestion will hit major dApps on Ethereum such as CryptoKitties. According to a statement made via CryptoKitties Twitter account, the build-up is only expected to last until the end of the week.
“We're expecting Ethereum’s network congestion to clear by next week, which will provide a better Fancy Chasing experience!”
While there are hopes that this will all clear up within this window of time, it remains unknown just how far LastWinner would roll out to. Currently, the Smart Contract within the game holds roughly $12 million in ETH from countless transactions. This demonstrates that along with all the automated activity, an individual, or a group is continually shoveling ETH into it.
FOMO3D games have more complicated rules than simply buying the last ticket – teams and strategies form, and there are dividend payouts along the way. While the concept of the game, and game in general, are not scams, they serve as a gateway to other malicious games which may be built on, or completely be a scam.