Targeting Thieves, OpenSea Puts Three-Hour Hold on Some NFT Sales

Targeting Thieves, OpenSea Puts Three-Hour Hold on Some NFT Sales

1 year ago

Saying fast resales can be a sign of theft, the leading NFT marketplace’s new tool can give time to detect thefts and prevent the purchase of stolen property.

Targeting Thieves, OpenSea Puts Three-Hour Hold on Some NFT Sales

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Last March, NFT collector @dino_dealer launched a plaintive tweet, explaining that he'd accidentally listed a very rare Ether Rock for WEI instead of ETH, selling a $1 million-plus NFT for $0.0012.

A bot immediately sniped it and promptly relisted it for about $600,000.

"In one click my entire net worth of ~$1 million dollars, gone," he wrote.

Which is something that could have been prevented with a new feature top NFT marketplace OpenSea has announced: the three-hour hold.

That said, OpenSea isn't really going after mistakes but thieves.

"To mitigate theft-related risk, sellers will be prevented from accepting offers on certain items for 3 hours after some transfers and sales," OpenSea tweeted on Feb. 6. It said:

"Why 3 hours? Speedy transfers and resales through offer acceptances can indicate suspicious activity. This timeframe helps OpenSea, our community, and theft victims detect stolen items while also lessening the chance that buyers end up with an item that's later reported stolen."

A Growing Problem

NFT theft is a big and growing problem, with blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic revealing last August that more than $100 million worth of NFTs had been stolen in the 12 months prior. Almost one quarter of that was in May alone. It said:
"Although crime represents a small proportion of overall NFT trading, it has a disproportionate impact on the industry's reputation and undermines the quality of experience of legitimate users. NFT marketplaces must be proactive in risk management to mitigate these repetitional risks and issues."

One of the highest-profile NFT thefts to date was of Bored Ape Yacht Club #8398 from comedian and actor Seth Green, who was planning to use it as a character in a TV show he was producing.

Green lost it in May to a phishing scam and retrieved it in June — by paying $260,000.

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