Scam vs NFT – Can Code Still Be Law?

In theory, the cryptocurrency industry is based on the unchanging principle of “code is law. But since no one lives in these utopian countries, it is the sad reality that imposes on users. To build a universe where the operating principle is obvious is like a delirium of digital Care Bears.In fact, the real world is not ready to let this kind of scenario work properly.A matter of education, some would say.An anarchist model impossible to enforce, according to others.But in the end, there is only a real question who owns the rights to a stolen NFT …

The cryptocurrency industry is based on a freedom that has nothing to do with the absence of rules. And a strengthening of individuals that does not combine well with the spread of fraud and other problematic behaviors of any kind. Because this universe of libertarian aspirations requires the active and community participation of all its actors in order to protect its fundamentals. And cheaters and other greedy profiteers are more likely to end up killing the spiritwhich at the same time nourishes the oppressive tendencies of the regulatory bodies.

Because the inevitable flip side of the coin of this long-awaited adoption and the planned dilution of the basic principles of this digital economy. All this makes “Code of Law” the best ally for those who want to circumvent the rules to their advantagewithout worrying about destroying an entire ecosystem. Because an error in a protocol does not justify everything, simply because it is encoded by an error. And stealing an NFT after a phishing attack does not make the thief its new rightful owner. Unless…

Phishing – Actor Seth Green loses 4 NFTs

Freedom only has value if everyone respects it. Otherwise, it will simply be the playground for those who take advantage of the benefits it provides by repeatedly mocking it. With this perverse effect of then claiming that the victims are stupid and / or responsible harm they suffer. Especially since there is no way back on the blockchain, with permanent losses no matter what. Or not…

A painful experience recently led by actor Seth Green, victim of a phishing attack a few weeks ago. With the loss of 4 NFTs from prestigious collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), their mutant version (MAYC) and a Doodle. That’s an estimated damage of 182.5 ETH (about $ 365,000), if we are to believe the latest sales prices shown on the Opensea platform. Since then, the NFT from the BAYC collection has been sold efficiently – and very quickly.

And an unsolvable problem arises: Who owns the rights to this stolen NFT – and then acquired without knowing this status – of a certain Darkwing84? Because BAYC # 8398 actually changed portfolio on May 8, for a pittance of 106.50 ETH (about $ 210,000). And that before Seth Green published the information about his plane. However, this sale took place without his consent. And althoughhe had used the picture of this NFT as part of his next TV show entitled White Horse Tavern. And this is where it all gets complicated …

NFT – In search of lost rights

For in the first place, that License attached to each Bored Ape Yacht Club clearly states that “When you purchase this NFT, you completely own the underlying Bored Ape, its art.” » Which means for some, that even if it was stolen, the property rights once purchased, too. But is it that simple?

A legal option as, as Eric Goldman, professor of intellectual property and technology law at the University of Santa Clara, reminds us, buyers are protected. And this even in the case of acquisition of a stolen item if they are not aware of this fact. Which would mean that Seth Green has lost all his rights to this NFT because of its effective resale. And that if he uses the image, he could be prosecuted … and have to pay a fine to his new owner.

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A scenario refuted by Jake Chervinsky, head of security for the Blockchain Association. In fact, according to the latter, any court would rule in favor of Seth Green. And that of the simple fact that in this case, “the code is not the law,” as some would have you believe. Because it is the nature of justice that prevails, with its human dimension and adaptability from case to case. Especially since Seth Green has clear and irrefutable evidence of his effective ownership of this BAYC. And that even in the absence of information on the fraudulent nature of this sale, registration of the phishing operation remains immutable on the Ethereum blockchain. But can this make it possible to win against the absence of notice issued by Seth Green on the date of May 8th?

Seth Green – Trial Initiated?

No matter what, Seth Green threatens the new owner with lawsuits if he does not return this NFT as soon as possible. But if he was not aware, the latter is also a victim in this case. And there is no reason why he should be the only one suffering the loss of these 106.5 ETH. Because nothing mentions the thief behind this phishing attack, the only real responsible for this grotesque situation.


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While keeping in mind that it will still be necessary to identify this pseudonymous account. And when this is done, adapt the initiated procedure to the geographical area in which this DarkWing84 resides. While taking into account the fact that the latter has already transferred the famous BAYC # 8398 to another wallet registered as “GBE_Vault. Good luck, Seth Green!

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