It’s hard being the owner of a Bored Ape NFT. On the one hand, you have enough money to purchase some of the most expensive digital assets in the world and can, in turn, monetise the NFTs in a plethora of ways. On the other hand, your assets are constantly targeted by thieves who want to steal and possibly resell them.
This, unfortunately, seems to be the case with OpenSea as Bored Ape users have reported their stolen assets being listed on the marketplace. Interestingly, this comes after OpenSea had already put measures in place to stop stolen assets from being resold.
The Case of the Stolen NFTs
This whole saga was exposed by an anonymous user named Franklin who is the sixth largest holder of Bored Apes in the world. As he explained, his stolen NFTs had been listed on OpenSea and sold to him despite OpenSea’s existing measures.
Currently, OpenSea has a mechanism in place for users to report any listed assets as being stolen. When this is done, the asset cannot be sold on OpenSea while the report is under investigation by the moderation team. But Franklin has explained that scammers have found a loophole around it.
“It happened again – second time in a week someone has exploited OpenSea’s stolen ape policy to sell to my collection offer after it was already marked as “under review for suspicious activity” (yellow mark). They used a “Match Advanced Order” function to “Mint” and sell to me,” he said.
It is interesting to note that this is the second time in a single week that this sort of thing is happening. Franklin had previously tweeted on January 20, 2023, that one of his NFTs that had already been reported as stolen was listed on OpenSea. He then paid 65 WETH (with OpenSea taking 1.625 WETH in fees) for the asset but due to it being flagged, he found himself unable to resell it.
He went on to criticize OpenSea for its stolen assets reporting policy, saying that it had failed.
“Hey @opensea can you PLEASE fix your stolen ape policy? This ape with a yellow caution mark sold to my OpenSea WETH offer for 65 WETH. You collected 1.625 WETH in fees, and I cannot resell this ape. It was already marked before the sale happened. You have failed with this policy,” he said at the time.
When this feature was first rolled out last year, many heralded it as a way to curb the theft and sale of stolen assets on the marketplace. Sadly, it seems that this feature still needs to be tweaked as some loopholes have been found and exploited by scammers.
This incident shows that as long as valuable NFTs still exist, scammers will go after them and try to steal. But if the marketplaces where NFTs are listed can continue to improve on their flagging and reporting techniques, these issues could, one day, become a thing of the past.