News & Analyses

Vitalik Buterin warns about ZKasino’s gambling project

  • Vitalik Buterin condemned ZKasino’s use of the Zero-Knowledge or ZK in its name. 
  • Buterin warned that ZK is a mainstream buzzword adopted by scammers.
  • The project has been criticized heavily on X, related firms have allegedly distanced themselves from the controversy.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin took to Warpcaster, a new type of social network, to condemn ZKasino, a decentralized gambling platform based on Layer 2 Ethereum protocol zkSync. Buterin has warned market participants against scammers adopting buzzwords like Zero Knowledge (ZK) in its names. 

Controversial gambling project on Buterin’s radar

ZKasino is being criticized on X for moving investor and user funds to the staking protocol Lido. In a blog post dated April 20, the blockchain gambling project announced that ZKasino mainnet is live and over 10,000 users bridged nearly 10,500 Ether. 

The project changed its initial plan to return Ether and staked it on Lido instead, citing a “seamless transition” for users since the chain doesn’t use Ether. Users shared concerns about the change of policy on X, alleging “rug pull” and “scam.”

Buterin chimed in, through a Warpcast post, expressing his concerns regarding the use of ZK as a buzzword, rather than the technology that powers a project. The Ethereum boss warned users against scammers.


Buterin’s Warpcast post

X user @arndxt_xo said in a tweet: “We might have just witnessed the biggest rug in 2024. Investing early in Zkasino cost us over $33M. Official Telegram’s gone, they dumped a massive amount of ETH on Lido, and the founders vanished.” 

Co-founder of Rollbit, another crypto casino slammed ZKasino:

ZKasino  parent firm ZigZag Labs and investor MEXC exchange didn’t immediately respond to FXStreet’s request for comment about the scam allegations. According to a Cointelegraph report, Big Brain Holdings, an investor of ZigZag Exchange has distanced itself from the controversy. 


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