Amidst the booming NFT sales, the hacks and thefts of NFT art are also on the rise. The latest victim to such an incident is Marco Grassi, a landscape photographer and NFT artist, who took to Twitter to share his “horror story.”
Grassi bought an Alien Frens NFT on the popular NFT marketplace OpenSea for 1.5 ETH and listed it for sale at 2.9 ETH. However, that NFT was “previously stolen and sold to me by the thief,” noted Grassi.
Alien Frens is a collection of 10,000 randomly generated NFTs which grant its holders access to events, exclusive merch, comic books, and the FRENS token. At the time of the launch, these profile picture (PFP) NFTs were sold for 0.02 ETH.
The artist reached out to OpenSea, which replied that they banned the wallet address that stole the NFT and frozen the items so they could not be bought, sold, or transferred using the platform.
“Because the sale of stolen items is against our Terms of Service, we cannot reenable transactions for this item,” OpenSea added. While the NFT remains in Grassi’s wallet, he can’t use the OpenSea platform to sell or transfer the item.
OpenSea’s policies around existing exploit or hacked items have been drawing criticism recently from Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike who argued that reliance on centralized third parties undermines the new technology’s decentralization claims.
The most popular NFT marketplace told Grassi that they will refund the 2.5% transaction fee charged by them. However, the full refund of the items won’t be processed as “blockchain transactions are irreversible, and the transfer/sale of this item was directly between you and the seller,” OpenSea added.
While Grassi didn’t receive much help from OpenSea, he received 1 ETH from the team of Alien Frens NFT project.
Another good news came from NFT collector @dingalingts, who offered to buy the blocked piece from Grassi, but not on OpenSea rather LooksRare.
This newly-released NFT marketplace launched a vampire attack on OpenSea this week by allowing OpenSea users who traded more than 2 ETH on the platform between June 16 and December 16 to claim LOOKS tokens. Besides attracting OpenSea’s existing user base, the platform will also reward its own users with LOOKS tokens.
LookRare charges a 2% fee on all trades, which will all be paid out to those who stake LOOKS tokens, unlike OpenSea, whose fees go to the team.
“LooksRareNFT stands for decentralization. Not only I was able to sell the piece, but the creators of @alienfrens still got their deserved royalties. And as an artist, I think that this is amazing,” Grassi said.