One of the unsettling aspects of the crypto ecosystem is that some founders stand to gain the most by never actually building their proposed projects. Token presales are notorious for offering tantalizing promises that seem almost impossible to fulfill. Investors who have backed Richard Heart, the leader of the Hex and PulseChain projects, are coming to terms with this bitter reality.
PulseChain and PulseX, virtual replicas of the Ethereum smart-contract platform and the Uniswap decentralized exchange (DEX) had generated considerable enthusiasm among investors, or “sacrificers,” before their official launch this month. However, post-launch, the platform has hit several snags. Despite PulseChain’s claim of offering lower fees than Ethereum, high fees continue to plague the system. Additionally, an injurious bug has potentially stripped millions of dollars’ worth of fees from PulseX DEX’s liquidity providers.
The launch’s failure was perhaps foreseeable, given PulseChain is not a mere fork of Ethereum code, but a copy of Ethereum’s state itself. This includes all wallet balances and assets, a decision that critics have long warned would cause multiple issues. For instance, stablecoins like USDC have a reserve backing on the Ethereum platform, but nothing backing them on PulseChain.
Blockchain researcher Eric Wall refers to projects like PulseChain as part of the “bizarro crypto world.” This term denotes it as being fundamentally similar to, but critically different from, its legit counterparts like Ethereum, Bitcoin, Uniswap, and Filecoin, which function more-or-less as intended.
At the heart of PulseChain’s issues is its leader, Richard Heart. His online persona is characterized by ostentatious displays of wealth and questionable taste, seemingly aimed at maintaining a certain level of obscurity. By creating a parallel universe, Heart has attracted a sect of credulous investors who view him as a blend of prominent crypto personalities like Satoshi Nakamoto and Vitalik Buterin.
The seductive appeal of this alternate space may eventually lead to a collision between ‘Bizarro Crypto’ and the legitimate crypto world. However, the current scenario of Hex, PLS, and PLSX selling off aggressively since the launch, experiencing a 30% or more drop in value, is a testament to how the real world isn’t always as charitable towards ambitious projects following their initial hype. When imitation cryptocurrencies face genuine platforms, the result is rarely favorable. Instead, it creates a stark reminder for investors to tread cautiously when venturing into the crypto realm.