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The NFT Ecosystem Is a Complete Disaster

IMAGE: Getty

Top marketplaces facilitate epic amounts of theft and wash trading, scams are rampant, and the cringe is unbearable. Can it last?

By Edward Ongweso Jr | 1 February 2022

MOTHERBOARD — For the past year, as NFTs have breached spectacular and speculative heights, we’ve seen a growing amount of skepticism. The most recent wave was touched off by a 138-minute video essay by Canadian media critic Dan Olson that condemned NFTs and other blockchain-based technologies as fundamentally broken and unworkable. In just over a week, it’s garnered more than 3 million views on YouTube. Regardless of your perspective on the video, it’s hard to deny that there’s a lot of bullshit percolating around NFTs. Even hardcore Bitcoiners agree. And despite what the loudest NFT boosters insist, the beatings have continued and morale has not improved.

Any way you cut it, the NFT ecosystem as it stands is a disaster.

Take OpenSea, the most popular marketplace for NFTs. Last week, OpenSea suddenly limited the number of times users could mint NFTs for free on its platform because over 80 percent that were created with the tool “were plagiarized works, fake collections, and spam.” It reversed that decision within 24 hours, however, after outcry from NFT project developers. In a recent Guardian piece diving into the platform’s struggles with fraud and theft, OpenSea tried to minimize the severity of the problem and claimed it took enforcement action against 3,500 NFT collections every week, or about 0.175 percent of its 2 million total collections. But when nearly all of the NFT collections created for free on the platform are spam or stolen works, one wonders if OpenSea is now caught in an art thievery quagmire of its own making. […]

Evolved Apes NFTs Disappear from Web, ‘Evil Ape’ Developer Vanishes with Nearly $3 Million in Ether

The game-type NFT project went live for sale on September 24 on OpenSea marketplace.

By Radhika Parashar | 7 October 2021

GADGETS 360 — A collection of 10,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called the Evolved Apes has reportedly been completely wiped off from the internet. The anonymous developer of Evolved Apes, known as Evil Ape, has also vanished, leaving investors high and dry. Traces left on the blockchain however, revealed that a total of 798 Ether had been channeled out of the project fund in several transfers. On Thursday, September 7, the value of 798 Ether was $2.8 million (roughly Rs. 21 crores).

The Evolved Apes project was released as a game-type NFT – that allowed buyers to purchase any of the 10,000 available ape NFT tokens and fight to survive in a lawless land. Currently hyped up in terms of craze, NFTs are digital assets representing objects like art, music, in-game items, and videos among other unique items that can be bought using cryptocurrencies.

“What has happened is that Evil Ape has washed his hands of the project taking away the wallet with all the Ether from minting that was to be used for everything, from paying the artist, paying out cash giveaways, paying for marketing, paying for rarity tools, developing the game, and everything else in between,” a report by quoted an investor as saying. […]

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