In a fresh announcement, NFT marketplace OpenSea said that it is updating its stolen digital asset policy. This comes as non-fungible-token (NFT) scams remain one of the biggest challenges in the crypto space as cybercriminals look for new ways to empty users’ digital assets, which can be worth millions.
OpenSea penalises any user who buys stolen NFTs, as it is against the US laws. However, the marketplace in a Twitter post admitted that buyers who unknowingly bought stolen items were penalised even though they were not at fault. This is one of the most difficult issues the marketplace faces regularly.
Hackers usually take charge of stolen NFTs and list them on different marketplaces, where any user can buy these NFTs. According to Decrypt, as of early July, over $25.40 million worth of NFTs were marked suspicious, however, many of the digital assets were not stolen but reported as ‘suspicious’ by malicious users.
It should be noted that as soon as an NFT is declared stolen it is banned from the marketplace until the user who files the claim reports said it was returned.
For all reports going forward, OpenSea said it will wait for a police report within 7 days, meaning that any user who is the victim of the theft will have to register a formal complaint with the police, and only after that, the NFTs will be disabled for buying. If the marketplace does not receive the complaint it will re-enable buying and selling for the reported item.
“This change will help prevent false reports. We think this is a good step and we’re grateful for the community’s suggestions,” OpenSea said in a Twitter thread.
Users who have reported the theft can also report re-enabling the NFTs when they recover. “We’re finalizing details on a simplified process that doesn’t require a notary.”
When buying it is important to investigate the history of an NFT. This can be done after checking its OpenSea page to see if it has the “reported for suspicious activity” banner. The only way to prevent buying a stolen NFT from a potential theft is through healthy scepticism and on-chain safety practices.