OpenSea, a marketplace for non-fungible tokens, has frozen $2.2 million worth of Bored Ape NFTs after the owner reported them stolen.
NFTs are a receipt for something you buy and own digitally on the blockchain, “like if you were to buy a gif instead of just downloading it,” The Gamer reported.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a collection of 10,000 ape avatars that individually act as tickets to an online social club, has become one of the most prominent brands in the NFT space. Bored Ape NFTs have generated more than $1 billion in total sales and other brands have tried to imitate their success.
Todd Kramer, the owner of the stolen NFTs, tweeted on Dec. 30 that he had been robbed of 15 apes and mutants in what he called “arguably the worst night of his life.”
“I been hacked. All my apes gone,” Kramer wrote in a now-iconic, since-deleted tweet that has become a meme.
Kramer owns New York’s Ross + Kramer Gallery, according to ARTNews.
After his “All My Apes Gone” tweet became a catchphrase and a joke, Twitter users — many, unsympathetic to Kramer’s plight — posted GIFs and tweets mocking him.
A growing fad, NFTs have resulted in people losing millions of dollars. This is the first time NFTs from a major collection have been stolen in recent times, raising concerns about security.
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“NFTs are digital and managed by third parties so it was only inevitable that hackers would break in and stage an online heist,” The Gamer reported.
Kramer said that he clicked on a link that he believed to be an NFT dapp — a decentralized application. However, he found he had been the victim of a phishing attack when the NFTs were stolen from his collection.
Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are owned by celebrities including basketball icon Steph Curry, music artist Post Malone, and TV host Jimmy Fallon. Rapper Eminem bought one for an estimated $462,000 on Dec. 31, Business Insider reported.
Critics have described the BAYC project as cynical, accusing it of being more about showcasing wealth than art. The current minimum cost for a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT is about 70 ether, or around $266,000.
OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, froze the stolen NFTs after the hackers put them back up for sale, raising even more questions from the crypto community about how a decentralized platform can freeze assets in the first place.
Some argue that OpenSea’s handling of the theft was pretty “anti-crypto,” and that the theft was due to poor security on OpenSea’s part.
OpenSea is the market’s most popular NFT platform and has attracted hundreds of thousands of users and heavy trading volume.
The OpenSea platform has banned PHAYC and Phunky Ape Yacht Club (or PAYC) collections, both of which are based on the same gimmick: selling NFTs with mirrored but otherwise identical versions of high-priced Bored Ape Yacht Club.
READ MORE: A Warning To Black America On NFT Bubble Ponzi Schemes: 5 Things To Know
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Photo: pinguino k, Sept. 30, 2021, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinguino/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
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