"Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli Might Have Done a Crypto Rug Pull: All the Details

Since being released from prison, Martin Shkreli has been busy in the crypto world. His crypto, however, just plunged and he seems to be at fault.

Robin Hill-Gray - Author

Aug. 19 2022, Published 1:06 p.m. ET

Martin Shkreli
Source: Getty Images

Shkreli leaves court

"The most hated man in America" is in trouble again and no, I'm not referring to Hunter Moore, the "most hated man on the internet." The hated man who's in trouble again is notorious "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli. You may remember Shkreli from 2015, when he jacked up the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent.

Amid his release from prison, it seems the pharma bro is now tinkering around in the crypto industry.

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Shkreli created his crypto coin called Martin Shkreli Inu, a name similar to that of the meme coin Shiba Inu. Since the release of the coin, there's been a downtrend and crypto enthusiasts are wondering if this coin was just another crypto rug pull.

Source: Getty images
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Was Martin Shkreli's coin another rug pull?

A rug pull occurs when a developer lures investors to buy their coin. In some cases, the developers might increase the online presence for the coin to create buzz and, after enough people invest and drive up the value, the developer abandons the project and walks away with the funds. In this day and age, no one wants to hear the words "crypto" and "disappear" in the same sentence, especially after the QuadrigaCX crypto scandal.

Some suspect that's exactly what Shkreli did. Bloomberg reported that Shkreli's coin plunged more than 90 percent, and the unexpected drop appears to be linked to an anonymous crypto wallet that had been moving funds around. The wallet reportedly sold a huge stake in the coin, causing the value to drop. It appeared the wallet may belong to Shkreli.

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A wallet named 0xshkreli.eth transferred over 160 billion coins on Friday. Soon after the transaction, the coin's value plummeted.

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Shkreli claims his wallet was hacked.

An account on Discord that appears to belong to Shkreli was asked what happened with the coin, to which the account responded, "I got hacked." But people on social media aren't buying it.

One user tweeted, "Martin Shkreli is full of sh*t. He didn't get hacked. The guy is a con artist, scammer, and a criminal trying to dupe people once again without any remorse."

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Per, Input, Shkreli had an explanation for the hack. He reportedly said the hack stemmed from malware Shkreli encountered while attempting to download pornography. The file he downloaded wasn't a .mp4 but rather a .zip file with a screensaver. Once he opened the file, the hackers employed the use of a remote trojan to complete the hack.

Regardless of whether or not he was truly hacked, this experience isn't likely to gain Shkreli any grace from the crypto world. The hack resulted in a loss of $50,000 in crypto.

Shkreli has already been banned from operating in the pharmaceutical industry after his Daraprim price hack. He might not get banned from the crypto world, since it's still largely unregulated, but if he decides to develop another coin, he may have a hard time finding investors.


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