Opensea’s Gifting Feature Raises Controversy

Given that it is the biggest NFT exchange by volume, whatever Opensea does is bound to make waves in the industry. This is especially true when it comes to the new features it unveils, as these set the standard for other marketplaces in the NFT space. 

But its most recent feature, which allows users to buy NFTs as gifts for others, quickly caused controversy online. Soon after it was rolled out, many pointed out how it could easily lead to confusion among third-party trackers and even be leveraged to run NFT scams. As such, Opensea was forced to clarify its statements. 

Details About the Gifting Feature 

Opensea’s gifting feature does exactly what it sounds like- users can now buy NFTs and have them sent to a different wallet address than the one connected to their Opensea account. Want to buy an NFT for a friend or loved one? It’s now much easier and saves them the trouble of paying gas or transaction fees. 

It seems simple enough but soon after it was unveiled, Twitter users pointed out some blind spots. As MetaverseHQ founder @JakeandBake explained, third-party trackers (bots that track activity of the wallets of public figures) would be reporting these transactions as having been initiated by the recipient account. This could, in turn, lead to people buying NFTs from similar collections due to FOMO. 

“Opensea implemented a new feature and it’s being exploited. You can buy an item on behalf of a different wallet address. People are buying on behalf of @garyvee, @pranksy, and other influencers. Wallet trackers show it as them buying the NFT themselves. Then people fomo in,” he said.

Opensea's Gifting Feature Raises Controversy

Simply put, if a tracker reports that a public figure bought an NFT from X collection, others might go and buy from that collection. But in reality, the public figure received it as a gift from another person and may know nothing about it. This could be easily exploited by people looking to pump up the price of their NFT collections. 

Opensea, on its part, acknowledged the oversight on Twitter and explained how transaction receipts should show the difference between regular purchases and gifting.

“We could have done a better job giving 3rd party apps & developers a heads up, as this requires a tweak to the way they display transaction data. We’re doing this work now,” the official account said, thanking people like @JakeandBake for pointing it out.

You’ve Got a Gift 

So how will this feature (once the current issue is fixed) change how we buy and use NFTs? Well, we are likely to see a rise in NFT-related gifting over time. Many of us already see these assets as status symbols or collectables that hold sentimental value. 

Now, we can share these with those we care about. Want to buy a valuable NFT for your child as an investment? Want to gift your best friend an NFT from their favourite artist? Once other marketplaces put this feature in place, we’ll see more NFTs being given as gifts for all sorts of reasons.


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