Within the NFT sector, there are few establishments more important than asset marketplaces. This is because they are the places where both buyers and sellers of NFTs come together to make trades. But even with their importance, they are not without controversy.
Take OpenSea, one of the biggest NFT marketplaces in the world, which has recently become the subject of a lawsuit. This suit is coming from a former user Robbie Acres who claims that he was locked out of his account and also suffered a phishing attack while using the platform.
OpenSea in Legal Trouble?
Speaking with Coinbase, Acres described his predicament and what had transpired between him and OpenSea. As he puts it, he lost some of his assets in a phishing scheme and immediately notified OpenSea.
Usually, a marketplace would offer support to the user in need but that was not the case with Acres.
“They took over 48 hours to respond, by which time the stolen assets had been sold as the buyer significantly undervalued them in prioritizing pace over value,” he explains.
To make matters worse, the marketplace reportedly locked his account in what they referred to as a bid to stop any more theft from taking place. But Acres has said that this was not the solution he wanted. To gain access to his account, Acres said that OpenSea required him to essentially perjure himself and he has not received any more help since then.
He is now seeking legal action because, as he puts it, this incident cost him about $500,000 and OpenSea needs to be held accountable for it. Interestingly, his legal representation says that it has spoken to others who use OpenSea and noted that Acres’ experience is not uncommon.
“I have spoken with and represent several people who had their NFTs stolen or accounts compromised on the OpenSea marketplace. In some instances, OpenSea acknowledges its failures and makes the account owner whole. In others, OpenSea simply ignores the issue,” Enrico Schaefer, the head of Acres’ legal team says, adding that OpenSea has been more focused on its growth than the needs of its customers.
This is a sticky situation because the responsibility for the loss of assets is an ongoing debate in the industry. Some argue that the responsibility lies solely on the asset owners while some believe that the marketplaces have some sort of duty of protection to their users.
OpenSea itself was contacted about the issue and denied any wrongdoing. According to a representative, the theft took place outside of the platform and OpenSea was only notified after the assets had been sold. And after OpenSea had been notified, it disabled the account in a bid to stop any more activity. The statement also noted that the prevention of theft and resale was one of the most complex issues in the industry because of the many platforms involved.
Now, both parties will likely have to plead their case in front of a judge.