NFT aggregator Genie may be named after a magical wish-granting character, but Genie’s wishes were not granted this week. On May 1, Genie’s website was attacked – and founder Scott Gray accused competitor Gem of being behind it.
Gray said that Gem conducted a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, which is used to disrupt a site’s connectivity by overloading its servers with requests. Cryptocurrency platforms like Solana have previously been victims of DDoS attacks.
Scott tweeted that the attack began when Yuga Labs’ Otherside mint began. He tweeted, “In the last 24 hours a header with the URL http://gem.xyz has sent us 1.7M requests in an attempt to crash our website and degrade our performance.”
Scott told the Defiant, ”their backend was calling our API then their API was passing it to their front end.” Gray claims that Gem was using Genie’s pricing data to display prices on their platform. He attached the below screenshot of Genie’s AWS EC2 instance.
Denial From Gem
Gem’s lead developer Vasa denied the accusations. He said that Gem only uses market APIs and does not depend on anyone else, and that it “can also be possible that some third party is setting the origin headers as “gem.xyz” and sending it to any server, which would make it seem like it’s coming from Gem.” Vasa tweeted a photo of Gem’s database with about 38M assets and 100,000 NFT collections, saying “we have all the resources to do everything ourselves.”
He continued that Gem themselves had been DDoS attacked this week, citing the attacks as the cause of Gem’s recent instability. He included a list of IP addresses and the number of requests they made in a single hour on May 1. Vasa is yet to respond to The Defiant’s request for comment.
Scott told The Defiant, “[Vasa’s] defense makes no sense.” When asked why Gem would attack Genie, Scott told The Defiant that it was because the Otherside mint was so popular and Gem “lost a ton of users to Genie when the OpenSea acquisition happened and wanted to prevent it.”
After checking DappRadar, our team at The Defiant found that Genie’s user base (amount of unique wallets transacting with Genie smart contracts) only increased from 401 users to 456 users in the two days following OpenSea’s acquisition of Gem on Apr. 25. Genie’s user base then dropped off to 364 users. It should be noted that in the time since the accusatory tweet, Genie’s user base has increased from 364 users to 522 users.
According to a Dune Analytics dashboard, the number of new addresses using Gem continues to outpace Genie.
This is not the first time there has been outward competition between NFT marketplaces. In January, LooksRare performed a ‘vampire attack’ on OpenSea by airdropping tokens to OpenSea’s largest customers, thus incentivizing them to use LooksRare’s marketplace over OpenSea’s.
UPDATED @ 5/4 1PM ET: This story was updated to include data from Dune Analytics.