NFT platform that sold Dorsey's first tweet shuts down due to 'rampant' fakes

WION Web Team
California, United States Updated: Feb 12, 2022, 12:57 PM(IST)

Visitors are pictured in front of an immersive art installation titled "Machine Hallucinations-Space: Metaverse" by media artist Refik Anadol, which will be converted into NFT and auctioned online at Sotheby's, at the Digital Art Fair, in Hong Kong, China  Photograph:( Reuters )

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Investors and wealthy collectors have clamored in recent months to get involved in the latest digital craze, which relies on the same blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies and cannot be forged or otherwise manipulated

Non-fungible token marketplace Cent has shut down citing 'rampant' fakes and plagiarism problems.

"There's a spectrum of activity that is happening that basically shouldn't be happening - like, legally," said Cameron Hejazi, CEO and co-founder of the NFT marketplace Cent.

"It kept happening. We would ban offending accounts but it was like we're playing a game of whack-a-mole... Every time we would ban one, another one would come up, or three more would come up."

The US-based firm had executed one of the first known million-dollar NFT sales when it sold the former Twitter CEO's tweet as an NFT.

The unique digital objects that confer ownership, are appealing due to the decentralised nature of blockchain technology. They allow users to create and trade digital assets without a central authority controlling the activity.

The biggest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, valued at $13.3 billion after its latest round of venture funding, said last month more than 80 per cent of the NFTs minted for free on its platform were "plagiarised works, fake collections and spam."

Also read | Beijing Olympics 2022: Alibaba launches NFT in traditional Chinese ink painting style

Athletics giant Nike filed a lawsuit in New York on Thursday against shopping platform StockX for creating and marketing NFTs -- the tamper-proof digital property certificates -- based on the brand's products without permission.

The company's lawyers accused US-based StockX of "minting" NFTs using Nike trademarks and trading on the brand's "goodwill" to market them.

Such problems may come into greater focus as major brands join the rush towards the so-called "metaverse", or Web3. Coca-Cola and luxury brand Gucci are among companies to have sold NFTs, while YouTube said it will explore NFT features.

Investors and wealthy collectors have clamored in recent months to get involved in the latest digital craze, which relies on the same blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies and cannot be forged or otherwise manipulated. 

Recent auctions have seen eye-watering sums paid for NFTs, including a staggering $69.3 million for a digital work by artist Beeple at a sale at Christie's.

Sales of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, soared to around $25 billion in 2021, leaving many baffled as to why so much money is being spent on items that do not physically exist and which anyone can view online for free.

(With inputs from agencies)

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