OpenSea will pilot a system that freezes the trading of non-fungible tokens (NFT) involved in suspicious sales while it reviews the transaction to prevent theft and scams, the world’s largest NFT marketplace announced in a blog post on Wednesday. 

See related article: NFT sales decline for sixth straight month despite tailwinds

Fast facts

  • The platform’s new automated system will alert the seller when it detects a suspicious NFT sale, giving the user a week to dispute or confirm the transaction before the asset can be sold by the new owner. 
  • According to OpenSea, bad actors attempt to flip stolen NFTs after draining the victim’s assets via malicious links that claim to offer fake airdrops or free mints. 
  • Over US$100 million worth of NFTs were stolen between July 2021 and July 2022, according to crypto analysis firm Elliptic.
  • Saurabh Sharma, head of search products at OpenSea, called scams and theft one of the biggest barriers to broader NFT adoption. 
  • While OpenSea has the ability to block the resale of stolen NFTs, the company said, though it can’t ensure victims will reclaim their lost assets without cooperation from the perpetrators. 
  • OpenSea also announced on Wednesday that it’s launching an automated URL scanner to identify malicious links and prevent theft and scams.

See related article: Each NFT scam perpetrator gained average of $300,000 in past year: Elliptic report