The Strange History of TOSA & the early days of KOJI

Tue. 30th Mar. 2021 About koji.earth

So there I was one night, hanging out in EllioTrades looking for my next 10x gem. I had been scrolling back to see if I missed anything usually once I saw the same coin shilled twice, I knew I was all caught up.

Hidden in that labyrinth of bagholders, moonbois, shillers and scammers, was a link to a telegram for this coin called “Tosa”. Being ever inquisitive and knowing that at any moment, any coin could either make me rich or steal all my money, I clicked. What I found was a very very small community centered around this coin called Tosa Inu, and a mysterious dev known only as “Amanda”.

I started asking about the project, doing some research and being my usual gadfly self. This was right around the time that SHIBA and AKITA launched, so it made sense that obviously the crypto world would need every different variety of dog breed coin to compete with Doge for the attention of Elon Musk. In asking questions about the project, and pointing out that the developer Amanda had posted no timeframes, roadmap, screenshots of a supposed farming platform, no github, nothing…

I was promptly banned from the chat. So I did what most of us do: I loaded up my other telegram profile and joined right back in.

In the chat under my new pseudonym, I could see the discussion was about the current state of the liquidity pool on Uniswap. It seems that the community at the time could only come up with about 5–7 Eth to throw in the pool, along with about 270 Billion Tosa tokens. The problem was super low liquidity, and the circulating supply of 10 Trillion tokens. This meant that once the LP contained about 25–30 Eth, early holders were up 10x and would obviously dump causing large price swings, which would inevitably result in more selling, etc…

Try as they might to make a community token, the original creator(s) of Tosa had created probably the most accurate version of a pump and dump meme coin I had ever seen.

I mean, sure, there are tons of pnd meme coins out there….but how many have a pool this small, a community this large, and LP tokens burned forever? Plus the fact that the contract is a direct fork of RFI with 2% fee on buys/sells and the huge amount of circulating coins, you can rack up tons of free coins just by holding.

It’s been fairly surreal to have been part of Tosa from the beginning and to document the ups and downs of this project, starting with the day Amanda showed up after a long absence and deleted the telegram channel… .

So the rumor was that the reason Tosa development was taking so long, was that “Amanda” had been sick. She would go about a week at a time without posting anything, pop into the telegram and give a one or two sentence update, and then disappear again. The community wanted to wait until she unveiled the farming platform (supposedly to compete with Bao finance) and then fix the liquidity pool, however the LP tokens had already been sent to Vitalik. So that would mean the only way to fix the pool would be for some brave whales to add to the Tosa/Eth pair and suffer horrible impermanent loss on the way up (I consider myself a giving person, but even that would be a stretch for me to consider)…

Um, Yes I’d like to lose all of my tokens while helping everyone else with their gainz is not a great investment strategy.

I mean sure, the price of my tokens might go up, but that would be offset by how many less of them I would have, and thusly, nobody has stepped up to fix the LP over at Tosa. It simply cannot be fixed. And either Amanda really did get sick, or realized that nothing could be done, and one day the telegram channel just vanished.

The curious case of Ethert Uopir

So after Amanda’s exit, a few of us got together in a new telegram and decided to come up with a plan to make the Tosa project work, mostly by issuing a new token with an improved liquidity pool. Then we found a “developer” named Ethert Uopir who claimed he could fork the project over to BSC and do an airdrop. “Nice” I thought to myself. “My .5 Eth investment in Tosa could pan out still”. Ethert claimed he had exams at a prestigious India university, so he wouldn’t be able to start 100% on the project. That would be ok, since we weren’t really in a hurry and some progress was always better than none. So we waited.

And waited… and waited some more. 4 weeks from the time Ethert said he was going to pick up the pieces on Tosa, the community had waited long enough. A friend of mine “Jeff” and I decided to start moving on something…anything. We created a Trello board and started planning on how to best take the project forward.

Who knew this cutting edge website would lead to a rugpull?

It’s a strange thing in life, that sometimes when there’s a thing that nobody wants, and you decide you want it and start improving it, then suddenly everyone wants it. It could be an old classic car rusting in a field, or an abandoned house that needs rehabbed, or a failed project who’s developer has ghosted. The moment Jeff and I started gaining traction on Tosa 2.0, along comes this group of Hoge and Poodl holders who are now coming to take over Tosa. Jeff and I decided that it was best to let them do their thing…

I mean we had no new token contract, no ownership of the existing contract. Nothing. There was nothing we could do if this group wanted to come in and take over.

Within 2 days they had a website, telegram, 4chan, reddit, memes…everything. The speed at which this group came in and took over was mind blowing. The price did a 10x in 3 days. Everyone thought “We’re saved!”

…until the price came crashing down just days after. And just as quickly as this group came in, they were gone.

An old face reappears

Scammers have a weird way of knowing when to strike. And our old friend Ethert reappeared right around this time, claiming he was all done with his university exams (he passed everyone!) and now he could take Tosa forward.

I asked him “Why didn’t you come into the telegram just once a week and tell us what was going on?” to which he replied he was busy. “Sure, I understand…but do you ever browse on your phone when sitting on the toilet? Or what about when you are waiting in a line? You couldn’t have taken 30 seconds out of your life and said something??” His answers were unsatisfactory. This is when I started to get the feeling that our savior Ethert was anything but. And it wouldn’t take long to be proven correct.

Ethert proceeded to tell us he would create a token contract on BSC, do a 1:1 airdrop, and then do a presale to fund the LP. Any unsold tokens would be burned, he claimed. What actually happened was he created the BSC contract, only instead of 10 Trillion tokens, he created BSC Tosa with 100 Trillion tokens, bought 30% of the supply 1 minute after creating the LP (with 2 BNB by the way) and then stealth launched it to all his friends. Then he reneged on the airdrop and burned all the tokens that were supposed to go to the original Tosa holders.

Right around the 2nd day, he rug-pulled, deleted his telegram profile, took down the website… only to return a day later, convince people he was hacked, and then rugged the pool a 2nd time.

3rd time’s a charm perhaps?

Throughout all of this, I proceeded to call him out every step of the way. But strangely he never blocked me. I have tons of screenshots of chats with him. I find them to be fascinating. To talk to a scammer is a bizarre thing. They almost always have a smugly superior attitude, an attitude that says “you should be grateful I am even acknowledging you”. They are very controlling, very manipulating, and lie almost as easily as typing or speaking.

Sure, I’ve been dishonest in my past before, my days of drinking heavily or being in a bad relationship… but this was almost pathological. I started to suspect our friend Ethert wasn’t just lying about one thing…he was lying about everything. I traced the wallets that created the LP on BSC, and found that he had been trading heavily on BSC for 9 days before he returned to our telegram channel claiming he had just gotten done with exams. I mean if you have time to trade, you have time to stop in and say “Hi”.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt

Perhaps it’s “unprofessional” of me to post my chats with old Ethert. I mean, he’s not here to defend himself. I get to kick him while he’s down. And maybe, where he comes from, he lives in such poverty that 1 or 2 BNB is a lot of money. Who knows? But he still scammed people. You see, I believe that even though to do things the right way is harder, it’s really the only way. Ethert had a chance to really create something for good and he decided in the end to take everything for himself.

The way forward

In the aftermath of these developments, a group of us finally came together with renewed energy and a real sense of purpose. How could we rescue the original holders of Tosa, and actually help not only them, but others?

This is where the idea of Koji came from. In Japanese, the word “koji” means to cultivate, to heal, peace.

We decided to create a new project that focuses on giving rather than taking. We would create a token where instead of 2% going to holders, we would make sure that 1% of all transactions would go to charity. Each month a different charity would be selected, and they would receive in Ethereum the value of the amount of Koji in the charity wallet.

We’ve made real progress so far in the short time since our team has come together. Token art, NFT art, website, token contract, audit, networking, etc…are all underway. Our telegram is over 200 members and growing. We intend on taking this mission forward and setting an example for the crypto world, that you can be unselfish; that there is enough to go around. And maybe if you take care of others, then you will be taken care of also.

We are still young in our journey with Koji and have a lot to learn, but I believe we are on the right track and we are creating something special.

As far as the old Tosa project, it’s still alive of course. The group that came and went ultimately returned and stuck around. I don’t think Tosa will ever die. It will be picked up by this group or that group, and eventually dropped with the realization that there is only so much you can do with a zombie token, only to be picked up again. Yet it’s still a great community to be involved in.

There’s hope within that community for something better. And while we are delivering that with Koji, I still hang out in that community (and as a courtesy run the Uniswap tradebot channel t.me/tosatrades) to see what they come up with, and to hopefully document it all here one day. They are still very active and trying get traction.

Please keep in mind that the Koji project has no affiliation with Tosa (other than the airdrop to the original holders)

This article is a re-post and was orginialy published on Nodezy’s medium

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