$2 500 000 USD

MARCH 2021




TurtleDex was "a decentralized finance (DeFi) file storage project on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC)" "TurtleDex touted itself as a decentralized storage platform for users. It [promoted itself] as a “big data protocol” to help users keep data and preserve files without needing to keep them on their computer." "The team opened their liquidity pools on two major BSC DEXs: Pancakeswap and Apeswap." "The platform product launch was met with high expectations and excitement." "TurtleDEX raised 9000 BNB tokens worth $2.5 million in a pre-sale round on March 15." "The team raised their entire pre-sale round in just two hours."


"TechRate, an analytical agency that concentrates on blockchain-based platforms, audited the protocol. The analysts did not discover rigorous security issues, and the project was probably safe."


"[W]hen community members asked the TurtleDex team whether investments in the project carried risks of deception, they, playing on the name of the project, replied that the turtle had “too short hands” for this."


"On March 19, just days after their presale of 9,000 Binance tokens worth roughly $2.5 million, TurtleDex, a Binance Smart Chain (BSC) DeFi project, performed a rug pull on its investors. The project’s developers drained funds from trading pools on PancakeSwap and ApeSwap, converted them to Ether and send the funds to large, centralized exchanges in an attempt to cash out. While the project had previously been audited, no critical security issues were previously identified." "The situation comes shockingly to everyone due to the organic hype the project has achieved."


"Liquid[i]ty on both @ape_swap & @PancakeSwap [was removed] & swapped to $ETH, split to 9 wallets, all sent to @binance." "Based on TurtleDEX team wallet transactions, the DeFi project emptied the raised amount from trading pools on Pancake Swap and Ape Swap and transformed the ETH liquidity. They then transferred the funds to Binance exchange wallets to be traded."


"The social media accounts associated with the protocol were deleted soon after the exit." "At the same time, the TurtleDex website was unavailable, messages in the project’s Telegram group were banned, and administrator accounts were deleted." "[T]he owners instantly deleted TurtleDex’s telegram, the official website, and the Twitter page." "[T]he exchange has not made any official remark at the moment."


"$2.4 million in funds were drained from trading pools on major BSC DeFi exchanges Ape Swap and Pancake Swap."


"Now users are questioning the reputations of Apeswap and Jetfuel Finance, which have entered into a partnership with TurtleDex. Jetfuel subsequently delisted the TurtleDex token. The collaboration was to provide incentives to provide liquidity." "Jet Fuel Finance, a yield farming protocol that partnered with TurtleDex, confirmed the scam." "We are just as shocked as everyone to see this unfold."


"ApeSwap & Jetfuel perform due diligence on every project to make sure we’re bringing the best for our communities. But that can only go so far. Each one of our partners is a separate project and we must trust them to deliver, do the right things, and be responsible for their own investors and communities."


"All eyes are on Binance to mitigate the damage to investors’ pockets. So far there has been no word, but a tweet from company head CZ earlier this week clarified that “We actually help with a few rug pulls recently too.” Binance did not respond to Decrypt's request for comment." "[S]ome users are now asking Binance to intervene by freezing the stolen funds and reimbursing the affected investors."

An audited smart contract allowed the creators to remove funds, despite naming the project after a turtle, which would not have had hands long enough to use a keyboard.


Nothing appears to have been done to resolve the issue for investors, who are still out millions of dollars.


In our framework, we advise that all customer funds should be held in a cold storage multi-signature arrangement, and that signatories should be trained and background checked.


Check Our Framework For Safe Secure Exchange Platforms

Sources And Further Reading

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