NFTs Stolen, Owner Seeks Help From Authority

Published · Jan 09, 2022

Scammers stole 15 NFTs to the value of $2.2 million. Included in the batch were four of the much sought-after “Bored Apes.” Twitter ridiculed the owner over the incident.

Luckily, the owner managed to recover some of the NFTs and have the others frozen on the NFT marketplace OpenSea.

The victim of the theft was Todd Kramer, one half of “Ross + Kramer Gallery” based in New York. Neither Kramer, nor OpenSea released the full details of the incident.

It is known, however, that it was an act of phishing. Phishing steadily rises year on year, so it’s no surprise NFTs became the new target.

Kramer immediately asked for help when the incident occurred.

This drew a lot of criticism and jeering from other Twitter users. They pointed out that one of the core ideas in crypto-purism is decentralization, which would mean one is on their own in an event like this.

Recovery Raises Doubt

Kramer managed to regain possession of some of his NFTs with the help of the buyers and OpenSea. The marketplace “froze” the ones they couldn’t recover, which drew criticism and suspicion.

Many saw this as an overreach, saying if freezing NFTs was possible, they couldn’t be decentralized. The promise of decentralization is part of what has helped NFTs grow so quickly.

Others pointed out that OpenSea was merely limiting the potential to offload them on its site. The scammers could still sell them elsewhere. In a statement, OpenSea said it is dedicated to protecting its user base.

As NFTs and crypto go more mainstream, institutions will inevitably at least try and instill more order. Some payment gateways are already accepting crypto, and banks are beginning to look into it.

Kramer concluded by saying that he’d use a “cold wallet” from now on. Cold wallets store digital assets like crypto offline. In contrast, hot wallets are always online, making them more vulnerable to intrusion.

When news outlets approached Kramer for further comment, he did not respond.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.