NFT Trader Accidentally Burns $135,000 CryptoPunk

NFT Trader Accidentally Burns $135,000 CryptoPunk

1 year ago

"I was so focused on following the instructions exactly, that I slipped up, destroying a third of my net worth in a single transaction," Brandon Riley says.

NFT Trader Accidentally Burns $135,000 CryptoPunk

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It's the stuff of nightmares — a fat-fingered mistake that causes a substantial chunk of your net worth to vanish.

And that's what happened to Brandon Riley, an NFT trader who was the proud owner of CryptoPunk #685.

He had paid the princely sum of 77 ETH for the rare collectible just two weeks ago — a sum that's worth $135,000 at the time of writing.

But Riley accidentally sent the coveted piece of digital art to a burn address, meaning that it is now impossible to recover it.

On Twitter, he explained that he was trying to wrap the CryptoPunk so he could take out a loan against it — and earn 7% interest as a result. He wrote:

"I was so focused on following the instructions exactly, that I slipped up, destroying a third of my net worth in a single transaction."

He admitted that, because he isn't a developer, he was very unfamiliar with how the contract worked — and should have known something was wrong.

"The reality is, that because I’m so unfamiliar I should have had another set of eyes.  In hindsight it’s very easy to see all of the mistakes I made."

Riley went on to urge his followers to take extra care so they don't end up in the same position.

"This is truly a devastating mistake for me.💔 But I did this myself, and it is no one’s fault but my own. Both the beauty and the curse of self-custody."

And this is an issue that's worth reflecting on.

Whether it's cryptocurrencies or NFTs, enthusiasts have always been urged to keep their assets off exchanges. "Not your keys, not your Bitcoin" is the mantra.

This motto has gained added significance following the shocking bankruptcies of FTX, Voyager and Celsius that began with withdrawals being frozen — and now, millions of people remain locked out of their funds.

But while there have been advancements in hardware wallets, meaning that they're now more intuitive to use, safeguarding savings can be technical, risky and acutely stressful.

If you lose access to a private key or seed phrase, there's no customer service number that you can ring in order to be reunited with your digital assets.

And that's something that many everyday consumers desire and expect — a safety net that few would be willing to abandon.

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