The most notorious gangsters in the history of the world might be long gone, swimming with the fishes or buried in an unmarked grave in the middle of nowhere.
However, the tools of their trade and highlights of their sinister careers are here to stay for educational purposes. That’s thanks to blockchain technology, historians and NFT artists, who are brave enough to immortalize the criminal memorabilia in the shape of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
1) Al Capone’s Letter Straight From Alcatraz
Alphonse Gabriel Capone, popularly known as Al Capone, was one of the most vicious American gangsters of the last century. However, Capone stood out from the usual criminal crowd as being media-friendly, philanthropic and charismatic. Despite receiving applause in public for a while, Capone’s reputation went down badly right after the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, where seven gangsters were fiercely gunned down.
Al Capone quickly became Public Enemy #1 after taking out his foes in broad daylight. The notorious gangster later penned a heart-felt letter to his son in Alcatraz, one of the most notorious prisons in the world. The infamous gangster described his everyday life in the prison and even bragged to his son about joining a Rock Band called “The Rock Islanders.” However, the group was disbanded as Capone couldn’t quit his violent ways and smashed his Mandola into another inmate’s head.
The physical letter was sold in an auction in Sacramento, California along with his several other personal belongings. The minted version of the letter, The Al Capone Mob Experience NFT, is still available on OpenSea’s secondary market.
A letter full of longing, written by Al Capone from inside the Alcatraz prison, shows the human side of the notorious gangster. The letter is among 174 items belonging to the Capone family that goes up for auction in Sacramento, California https://t.co/gyLVHNQKvx pic.twitter.com/FKr6iDq4Ij— Reuters (@Reuters) October 8, 2021
2) John McAfee’s Obsession With The Mexican Cartels
A prominent crypto figure, John McAfee rose to fame with his signature antivirus software McAfee Antivirus. The so-called “Bitcoin Evangelist” spoke for crypto enthusiasts all around the world, but cryptocurrency wasn’t all he was obsessed with. The IT specialist led a crazy life, as perfectly pictured in the Netflix series “Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee.” McAfee developed connections with The Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most vicious in Mexico.
Massive amounts of alcohol, drug abuse and a questionable mental state led to his belief that he was being constantly chased by the cartels. McAfee resultingly recorded a video message for the Sinaloa Cartel while being “on the run.” It’s difficult to determine whether or not the cartel was actually chasing him during this period. McAfee also believed that the Belize soccer team was playing a friendly football match against the US simply because the constantly plotting Sicarios were trying to assassinate him.
Thus, the bizarre message directed towards the cartel has been immortalized on the blockchain and even includes exclusive unlockable content. At the minute, the awkward historical NFT is available on OpenSea for 0.35 Ethereum (ETH).
3) The Missing Crypto Queen Ruja Ignatova
The Bulgarian fraudulent entrepreneur Ruja Ignatova managed to become the FBI’s pain in the neck even without much physical violence. The Missing Crypto Queen had entered the FBI’s most wanted list in July 2022, after many years of failed attempts by authorities to find out her whereabouts.
While the most prominent figures of the dark side of the crypto world all have a great talent at hiding, as seen in the cases of Terra Luna’s Do Kwon or the founders of Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Ruja Ignatova stands out as the author of OneCoin, “one of the biggest scams in history”, as labeled by The Times.
Oxford alumni Ignatova was a well-educated Bulgarian who moved to Germany in her childhood years. Later, she married a German lawyer and had a baby prior to her disappearance. Even though her brother Konstantin Ignatov pleaded guilty to money laundering and fraud charges a few years ago, there’s still no trace of his sister.
However, when asked about the reasons why she took interest in NFTs, she didn’t think twice: “I’m in it for the art,” – said the mysterious Crypto Queen, who went from HODL to AWOL not long after she said this famous phrase.
CryptoStella NFT made an NFT to commemorate the quote and its author. The satirical, Pop Art style NFT is available on OpenSea. Thus, NFT enthusiasts can take a look and make an offer, as the last time the Ruja Ignatova OneCoin NFT sold for just 0.08 Ethereum (ETH).
In 2014, a woman named Ruja Ignatova launched a fake cryptocurrency named "OneCoin". Despite the currency never existing, she convinced people all over the world to invest. In 2017, after raking in $4 billion, she boarded a plane to Greece and hasn't been seen since ✌🏾 pic.twitter.com/gECj71U0bt— SAY CHEESE! 👄🧀 (@SaycheeseDGTL) July 11, 2022
On the Flipside
- Contrary to the usual terms of intellectual property, the purchase of most of these NFTs does not give any rights to either digital or physical items.
Why You Should Care
Blockchain technology provides the possibility to store groundbreaking moments in the history of the world forever. The technology can bring more objectivity to historical events.
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