When it comes to NFTs, OpenSea is on top of the world. It is arguably the biggest NFT marketplace in the world and is home to prized collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. But with all this success naturally comes some challenges.
One of the biggest of these is that OpenSea and those who buy from it are targeted by scammers and thieves. In the last month alone, the Bored Ape Yacht Club saw its discord server attacked and one of its NFTs stolen.
Now, just after OpenSea confirmed its Solana integration, it is the target of at least three lawsuits. All these suits are being brought forward by owners of Bored Ape Club NFTs bought from OpenSea.
The Case of the Stolen Ape
The three lawsuits that OpenSea is facing have one accusation in common-that OpenSea does not do enough to protect its customers. The latest suit, brought forward by a man named Michael Vasile, claims that OpenSea has several vulnerabilities that allow hackers to steal users’ assets.
Vasile is suing OpenSea for $1 million and his claim is similar to that of a Texas man who sued the company earlier this year. Both claim that code issues, which OpenSea are aware of, have led to their NFT apes being stolen. The damages from these thefts have run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to them.
A third plaintiff, who filed in Nevada, said that OpenSea puts the full responsibility of protecting their NFTs on the owners, with little to no internal support. An example cited in court documents was one incident where a hacker was able to buy an NFT that wasn’t listed for sale for the very low price of 0.1 ETH. The same NFT was then listed for 99 ETH.
“Essentially, OpenSea’s vulnerabilities allowed others to enter through its code and force the sale of an NFT. This is through no fault of the owner,” one of the suits says.
As the plaintiff explains, OpenSea offered limited support even after the fact. He claims that he sent messages to the OpenSea team and reached out via the Discord server and did not receive any response.
What Will This Mean Going Forward?
Those who operate in the blockchain field are familiar with the lack of centralized support that often comes with this. If your crypto is stolen from your wallet or your NFTs are compromised, there’s little anyone, even the platform you use, can do for you.
But if these lawsuits are successful, they could set a new precedent. More specifically, they could create a new landscape where NFT marketplaces or blockchain service providers, in general, are legally responsible for protecting their users’ assets.
This is particularly true in the event of false sales going up on the platform without the consent of the asset owners. Regardless of the outcome of these lawsuits, it is clear that the legal intricacies of NFTs will be further developed over the next few years.