Chris Chapman used to own one of the most valuable commodities in the crypto world: a unique digital image of a spiky-haired ape dressed in a spacesuit.
Chapman bought the non-fungible token last year, as a widely hyped series of digital collectibles called the Bored Ape Yacht Club became a phenomenon. In December, he listed his Bored Ape for sale on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, setting the price at about $1 million. Two months later, as he got ready to take his daughters to the zoo, OpenSea sent him a notification: The ape had been sold for roughly $300,000.
A crypto scammer exploited a flaw in OpenSea’s system to buy the ape for significantly less than its worth, said Chapman, who runs a construction business in Texas. Last month, OpenSea offered him about $30,000 in compensation, he said, which he turned down in hopes of negotiating a larger payout.
The company has made “a lot of stupid, dumb mistakes,” Chapman, 35, said. “They don’t really know what they’re doing.”
Chapman is one of many crypto enthusiasts who have raised questions about OpenSea, an eBay-like site where people can browse millions of NFTs, buy the images and put their own up for sale. In the last 18 months, OpenSea has become the dominant NFT marketplace and one of the highest-profile crypto startups. The company has raised more than $400 million from investors, valuing it at a staggering $13.3 billion, and recruited executives from tech giants like Meta and Lyft.
But as OpenSea has grown, it has struggled to prevent theft and fraud. The glitch that cost Chapman his ape has led to months of recriminations, forcing the startup to make more than $6 million in payouts to NFT traders.
Click here to see Forbes India’s comprehensive coverage on the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and the economy
Check out our anniversary discounts on subscriptions, upto 50% off the website price, free digital access with print. Use coupon code : ANN2022P for print and ANN2022D for digital. Click here for details.
©2019 New York Times News Service
For hassle free instant subscription, just give your number and email id and our customer care agent will get in touch with you
click here to Subscribe Online
CBDC can kill crypto: RBI deputy governor tells IMF
Military aid for Ukraine: Who has sent what?
Thefts, fraud and lawsuits at the world's biggest NFT marketplace
Bermuda positions itself to become a crypto hub
Work, Force, Energy & PhysicsWallah: Meet 'Robinhood' Pandey, and his freshly minted edtech unicorn
Why is esports becoming a significant part of sports marketing in India?
BAYC and OtherSide witness phishing attack; lose 145 ETH
To get closer to their idols, music fans are ready to fork out
US FTC blames social media for crypto scams
Dissecting India's gaming pie
When TV shows send yesterday's hits racing back up the charts
Photo of the day: 22 and counting
Bangladesh port depot fire kills 49, injures 300
Climate change: The window is closing to take action
From deflation to war: How the European Central Bank responded to crises, and what's next