Of all the challenges that the NFT space faces, stolen assets are perhaps one of the biggest ones. From everyday people tricked into phishing schemes to owners of choice assets targeted for them, many NFT holders have had their precious items stolen.
But after these NFTs are taken, they often end up back on marketplaces, with the thieves trying to make a profit reselling them. This has often led to marketplaces freezing them once they are informed or taking some other action. Now, OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace in the world, has been forced to make a revision to its new policy on stolen NFTs.
The initial policy outlined by OpenSea was that if any NFT asset listed on its platform was reported as stolen, it was immediately ‘frozen’ by the site.
“When we are notified of potentially stolen items, we disable the ability to buy, sell, or transfer the items using OpenSea to make sure we’re complying with legal requirements and protecting users,” its website currently states.
This has already happened in the past but OpenSea has since received pushback on the policy. The reason for this is that some believe it unfairly punishes those who have unknowingly bought stolen NFTs.
While freezing assets reported as stolen means that the thieves can’t profit from them, it also means that an innocent person who unknowingly bought them might also be affected. After taking all this feedback into account, OpenSea has announced that it will make some changes to this previous policy.
The first change is that when an asset is reported as stolen and frozen, the person making the claim has to submit a police report within seven days confirming that the asset has been indeed stolen. If they can, further action can then be taken. If the police report is not provided within that timeframe, the hold on the NFT will be lifted. This will be applied to all new stolen NFT claims.
This change is to help deter any false reports and not hold NFTs hostage after a claim is made. The process of rescinding a stolen NFT claim has also been made easier by OpenSea. Whether after the NFT has been recovered or the filer simply wants to discontinue the claim, it will be much easier now.
This is yet another step being taken by the site to address the ever-present issue of stolen assets.
Dealing With Stolen NFTs
This policy change and its subsequent adjustment, spell good things for the NFT sector. They mean that rather than simply accepting theft as a part of the industry, platforms are putting systems in place to protect both those affected by the theft and anyone who unknowingly purchased these assets.
Given how influential OpenSea is, we are likely to see similar policies pop up on other NFT marketplaces. And as this system becomes even more efficient, stolen NFTs will be easier to flag and hopefully recover by their original owners.