CoinDesk revealed that Ian Macalinao, an American developer in just over twenty years, chief architect of Saber, a stable coin exchange service on the Solana blockchain, is the true identity behind 11 pseudonyms used to launch as many projects linked to Saber and Solana, who have created a network aimed at self-feeding the credibility and therefore the value of the Saber ecosystem and, consequently, of the native Solana token. At the peak of the success of the Chinese box scheme, Macalinao would have managed to inflate the capitalization of the Solana token to 10.5 billion dollars, of which 7.5 billion dollars attributable to Saber and Sunny Aggregatorthe latter one of the DeFi services launched under a false name by Macalinao.
The twenty-year-old Texan developer himself wanted to reveal the secret, in a blog post written – never published and obtained by CoinDesk – last March after a hacker attack on Cashio, another of the projects created under a false identity by Macalinao, which led to the theft of $ 52 million. “I devised a scheme to maximize the value of Solana’s TVLs: develop protocols that nestle on top of each other so that the same dollar is counted over and over again.“, Macalinao explained the functioning of the complex network of services, which through the Saber protocol have attracted capital and inflated the value of the ecosystem itself.
The purpose of the 11 pseudonyms was to demonstrate the credibility and interest of the developer community for the Saber protocol and related projects, increasing its popularity on the Solana blockchain. The various fictitious identities exchanged certificates of esteem for each other publicly, with the help of Ian’s brother, Dylan who lent himself to the scheme, in order to divert the climate of suspicion towards the various projects launched by names not known in the environment. “If an ecosystem is built by a few people, it doesn’t look authentic“wrote Macalinao.”I wanted to make it look like a lot of people were developing on our protocol, instead of running 20+ unrelated programs as one person.“.