“I was hacked. All my monkeys are gone. This just sold out, please help me, ”wrote gallery owner Todd Kramer, of the Ross + Kramer Gallery in New York City, in a since-deleted tweet on Dec. 30.
A phishing scam had emptied his Ethereum wallet of 15 NFTs worth a total of $ 2.2 million, including four monkeys from the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” collection. The thief appeared to have sold many pieces from Kramer’s collection, and Twitter users scoffed at Kramer’s bad luck, pointing out that he had bet on an unregulated decentralized system that would not be able to help him. .
“Man, if only there had been some sort of regulatory authority in place that could like insuring your investments against theft and fraud,” wrote a user with the handle @anarchy_shark.
But in the end, an authority imposed itself. With the help of buyers and the NFT OpenSea platform, Kramer was able to recover several of its NFTs. Five hours after his original post, he wrote, in a tweet which has also since been deleted, “Update .. All the monkeys are frozen,. While waiting for the opensea team to enter, the lessons learned. Use a rigid wallet… ”
OpenSea’s involvement sparked major controversy, with some arguing that NFTs couldn’t really be decentralized if they had “frozen” some of them, making them unsaleable on the platform. Others pointed out that OpenSea only froze the user’s ability to interact with the NFT through that one site – they could still be bought and sold elsewhere.
Neither OpenSea nor Kramer responded to requests for comment.
Phishing scams have become more common as NFTs have increased in value. However, most savvy users can protect themselves by using a hard wallet, also known as a cold wallet, which is physical and only connects to the internet when plugged in and engaged. Kramer used a wallet called a hot wallet, which is permanently connected to the Internet and therefore more vulnerable.
However, theft of another type is more common than phishing scams. Some people have started to create art NFTs that they did not create, a problem for which no easy solution has yet been developed.