Hackers Steal $1.7 Million in NFTs from OpenSea Users

    Image copyright: Getty Images [via Vice News]

    The Facts

    • Hackers stole an estimated $1.7 million in NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, from users on the crypto-trading platform OpenSea on Feb. 19.

    • They did so by exploiting the Wyvern Protocol, the open-source standard underlying most NFT smart contracts. OpenSea victims authorized partial contracts which could later be altered, allowing the hackers to transfer NFT ownership without payment.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    While this theft is small compared with recent high-profile hacks, a report from Chainalysis found that criminals stole an estimated $14 billion in cryptocurrencies in 2021 – an 80% rise from the previous year. If the security issues in this market persists, it could stifle mainstream adoption of this technology.

    Narrative B

    The popularity of NFTs has skyrocketed in the last several years, growing in market size from $106 million in 2020 to $44.2 billion in 2021. It's only natural that a rise in crime proceeds. This doesn't mean the DeFi space shouldn't be used, though; platforms simply need to take a more stringent approach to security.

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