A record-breaking 4,600 NFTs were stolen in July — and the blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic says greater action is needed.
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Non-fungible tokens worth more than $100 million have been stolen in the past year, according to a new report.
Elliptic claims that cybercriminals netted an average of $300,000 per scam — and in July alone, a record-breaking 4,600 NFTs were stolen.
May broke records in terms of the cash value of the crypto collectibles swiped from unsuspecting victims.
Over this single month, $24 million worth of NFTs was taken, and the blockchain intelligence firm believes the true figure could be far higher as many crimes go unreported.
Many of these incidents relate to when social networks such as Twitter or Discord are compromised — often enticing victims to mint non-existent NFTs. Overall, nearly 5,000 NFTs were lost following one of these exploits. Elliptic's report warns:
"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. Sanctions screening solutions are also becoming increasingly essential for NFT-based platforms."
The report also delves into specific incidents — telling us that the most valuable NFT to be stolen was CryptoPunk #4323, which was sold by scammers for a whopping $490,000. What's worse, a single victim lost 16 blue-chip NFTs worth $2.1 million in a single day. It adds:
"Prominent collections such as Bored Apes, Mutant Apes, Azuki, Otherside and CloneX constitute the bulk of value lost to scams. Together, these five collections constitute over two-thirds of the stolen NFT value since July 2021. However, scams of lower-priced NFTs are more likely to go unreported."
Big Brands Cash In
All of this comes as new analysis reveals how much some of the world's biggest brands have made from selling NFTs.
Nike tops the list with revenues of $185 million. About half of this comes from when the crypto collectibles were initially sold, with the other half coming from royalties when they were resold on secondary marketplaces.
The sportswear brand has made a big splash by launching Nikeland in Roblox — and it went on to acquire RTFKT so it could release digital versions of its sneakers.
Adidas, Time magazine, Budweiser, Bud Light, the Australian Open and Lacoste make up the top 10.
And it now seems Mars — the maker of M&Ms — is getting in on the action too, with a new partnership that'll mean Bored Apes imagery is printed onto exclusive candies.