It’s difficult to encapsulate the current NFT milieu in a single sentence, but you could do far worse than the following: “Someone accidentally sold their subjectively prestigious, official Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT (that is to say, an ugly, digital drawing of a Gorillaz-esque monkey) for $3,066, or one-hundredth its intended price of about $330,000.”
Malicious hack? Ingenious digital art heist? Sentient Bored Ape run amok? Nope. “In Saturday's case, the cause was a simple, devastating ‘fat-finger error,’” explained CNET yesterday. That’s right. A person accidentally mistyped the intended selling price, and reportedly lost approximately $250,000 in the process. The new owner probably wasn’t even an eagle-eyed human, but someone’s bot programmed to locate those kinds of market pricing errors. It is now available, “properly” priced, for about $248,000 over on OpenSea.
In other news, I am approximately four-hundredths of a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT in credit card debt.
Bugs on the blockchain — Although billed as a far more secure, decentralized means of making financial transactions, cryptocurrency exchanges via the blockchain are not without their fair share of risks. When accidents like the above “fat-finger” NFT scenario occur, it is entirely up to the discretion of the buyer whether or not to essentially approve a refund/cancel the purchase once it goes into effect. While this often happens thanks to people operating with good faith, you can easily run into situations like a bot taking advantage of errors or bugs in the system. Or, y’know, the buyer could also just be a total jerk.
Case in point: Compound — One of the best recent examples comes courtesy of the Compound staking system. Back in October, a bug within what should have been a routine back-end upgrade accidentally sent out millions of dollars in native tokens to users... and there really wasn’t a damn thing Compound could do about it. While dramatic, it’s still far less predatory than, say, bank loans with absurd interest rates, which affect millions more people than any one cryptocurrency hiccup.
It’s pretty simple, at the end of the day: Do your due diligence, stay on top of your crypto wallets, and double-check all your transactional information before clicking “send.”