As the decline continues, hackers are attacking collectors using all their tricks. What will happen now?
Magnificence and decadence… I might even have mentioned this Tarpeian Rock, located in ancient Rome near the Capitol, if the subject wasn’t so futuristic. What am I talking to you about? But NFTs, which were the obsessive subject of a conscious cultural press last year! After a flamboyant record in public sales, some journalists had decreed that these tokens formed the future of collectors. According to them, there would soon have been nothing more material, or almost. I told you before that NFTs started their dive in 2022. Seventy-five (or seventy-five if you prefer) percent down in six months. And here I am now learning from the (albeit virtual) pen of Roxana Azimi at the “Le Monde” website that these precious NFTs were being stolen daily despite the precautions taken…
I will summarize it for you. It all comes from a report published by Elliptic, a blockchain research firm. According to her, more than a hundred million dollars worth of NFTs have been stolen in one year. Last July alone, 4,600 would have disappeared. “A figure that is probably underestimated because minor thefts are rarely publicized.” The OpenSea market has even suggested its community (you get the impression of hearing about a cult) disable Discord direct messages (aptly named) due to an “abundance of scammers”. As you can imagine, the most popular NFTs get choked first. I am especially thinking of “Bed Apes” and “Mutant Apes”. Lies in every sense of the word. Ditto for “Azuki”, according to Roxana Azimi. There, I flatly admit to you that I do not see what it is about. We don’t all live in the same age.
“The hacking figure is probably still underestimated, as smaller thefts are rarely publicized.”
Blockchain was said to be inviolable and tamper proof. A challenge cheerfully taken up by pirates. According to collector Brian Beccafico, however, it is less the system than its users that is to blame. Some use the same password for different websites for fear of not being able to enjoy their property. Others connect to unsecured networks, making them Internet adventurers. A few keep a virtual copy of their wallet key on their computer for fear of losing it. There are those who succumb to different and varied phishing. Finally, there are hackers who pretend to be repairmen, such as fake plumbers or fake policemen who pass through certain buildings.
The journalist from Le Monde ends with an even more banal case of fraud. Nothing to do with NFTs. Or rather if. Villains launch projects in this area with powerful fundraising. Gullible investors follow them. So, as you have already understood, these cybercriminals disappear overnight. Even as we change what appears to be a behavioral era, certain practices die hard. People basically stay the same.
Now what happens when cryptocurrencies also flutter? Impossible to know. However, it seems to me personally that it is all connected to a bygone moment of stock market euphoria and easy money. Now that we have to rely more, we like to sit on something more solid. Tangible. That said, it’s unclear how the most classic art market will fare this fall. Some predict a rapid decline in contemporary art, overpriced compared to stars and otherwise too abundant. Time will tell!
Born in 1948, Etienne Dumont undertook studies at Geneva, which were of little use to him. Latin, Greek, right. As a failed lawyer, he branched out into journalism. Most often in the cultural departments, he worked from March 1974 to May 2013 at the “Tribune de Genève”, starting with talking about cinema. Then came the art and the books. Other than that, as you can see, there is nothing to report.More information
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