There are plenty of anonymous figures in the world of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, but what if one of those shadowy figures one day suddenly revealed themselves to be, oh, I don't know, Snoop Dogg?
This exact series of events took place this week when an anonymous NFT influencer going by "Cozomo de' Medici" online teased that they would be doxing themselves. "Shortly, as promised, I will dox from my personal account," Cozomo tweeted on Monday. "As my fame is considerable, the tweet will no doubt be discovered. Those who are curious to my identity will soon know it." He added that whoever discovered the tweet would be sent 1 ETH, worth about $3,000.
Shortly after, Snoop Dogg tweeted from his account: "I am @CozomoMedici," and Cozomo sent 1 ETH to a poster who flagged Snoop's tweet. This set off a firestorm, with observers noting a few things: Snoop Dogg is into NFTs himself, Cozomo once helped Jason Derulo (who has also collaborated with Snoop) buy an NFT, and Snoop Dogg's current Twitter avatar is an NFT owned by Cozomo.
So, it all seems pretty sewed up, except for one thing: Snoop Dogg is obviously, painfully, not Cozomo de' Medici. We are being CryptoPunk'd by masters of the form. And yet, many news outlets published relatively uncritical articles taking Snoop's tweet at face value, or at least not pointing out the obvious inconsistencies between Snoop's social media accounts and the @CozomoMedici account.
The clues that show this is the case are right in the open, if you dig a little bit. The most damning piece of evidence is that Cozomo tweeted a photo of himself with Derulo at Lake Como in Italy on September 10. (Jena Frumes, Derulo's girlfriend, posted a photo of the pair at Lake Como on instagram around the same time.) Both of their faces are obscured by their unique NFT avatars, but it is clear that Cozomo is not Snoop Dogg. He appears to be a white man. In addition, he is shorter than Jason Derulo, who is 5'10" according to the internet, while Snoop Dogg is over 6 feet tall.
In addition to this, Cozomo and Snoop Dogg have a habit of being on different continents at the same time.
On September 5, Cozomo tweeted that he was in Italy, including a photo. On September 4 and 6, Snoop Dogg was in and around Los Angeles according to Instagram posts. On September 3, Cozomo tweeted a picture of this pizza that is also in the Italian countryside. On September 3, Snoop Dogg was performing at NBA star Dame Lillard's wedding.
On Monday, Cozomo also seemed to imply he was currently in Italy: "I cannot do noon ET however as that's 6pm here & Nonna is making Lampredotto," he replied to another user. Based on Instagram posts, Snoop was in LA on that day working in the studio, and Instagram posts show him working with DJ Whoo Kid in the city on Tuesday.
It's possible that Cozomo is pulling a long con about being in Italy. It is also possible that Snoop Dogg has completely changed the way he types (making liberal use of "frens," "ser," and tweeting dweebish things like "In my humble opinion, there is no greater NFT meme than Pepe + Mona Lisa") and has faked images, but that seems much less likely than the idea that this is simply a well-executed stunt or troll. Motherboard ran the images Cozomo tweeted through a reverse image search and all but one of the images did not appear elsewhere on the internet, suggesting that they were taken by the person who tweeted them, or at least were taken for the purpose of tweeting them from the Cozomo account. One image of a Ferrari supercar in the mountains tweeted by Cozomo was stolen from DeviantArt.
So, there you have it. Snoop Dogg is almost certainly not Cozomo de' Medici, who didn't respond to a request for comment sent over Twitter, but one must respect the effort and apparent success of the gag.