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A Pseudonymous NFT Game Developer was Defrauded of $1 Million in NFTs

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The average price of CryptoPunks NFT has increased by 53% in just one week due to its quick growth in popularity. As a result, its value has risen dramatically from $87,000 (34 ETH) on July 24 to a massive $135,000 (52 ETH) yesterday.

As a result of the passionate interest in the NFT space, scammers got hungry. According to sources, an NFT videogame founder has already been a victim of bot fraud in the CryptoPunks Discord channel.

Stazie, the Creator of the Game, was Taken Advantage Of

Scammers stole 16 CryptoPunk NFTs, including some ETH, from Hedgie creator and developer Stazie (pseudonym) on August 1. The total worth of stolen assets is believed to be in the millions.

In a series of tweets published yesterday, Stazie revealed the lie. He stated how his life had been very routine before the heist and how it had significantly changed subsequently. He wrote, unable to comprehend the incident, “The whole thing happened like a dreadful dream.” He described his horrible ordeal:

“Last night, I was laying in bed, my thoughts cloudy, lazily browsing.” I came upon this bot in Discord and followed the link. The site had a Cryptopunks-style popup and a Metamask-style popup….”

As the project approaches its fourth anniversary, a scammer identified as “cryptopunksbot” advertised a chance to win 10 highly distinctive NFT avatars on the CryptoPunk Discord server.

Stazie clicked onto a phony website and entered his twelve-word seed phrase after receiving a fraudulent notification about his Metamask wallet’s security being broken in the hopes of winning the unique avatars. After texting the word, the fraudster grabbed Stazie’s wallet in a matter of seconds.

The scammer’s wallet, which now contains 10 CryptoPunks, is available on Larva Labs.

The scammer sold five CryptoPunks NFTs for 149 ETH ($385,000) yesterday.

Yesterday night, they also transferred one CryptoPunk to another wallet, which Stazie still uses as his Twitter profile picture.

Stazie has been working in cryptocurrencies since 2017 and considers himself knowledgeable about the techniques used to scam investors of their assets and NFTs. However, he blames his current lapse in judgment on “being burned out, exhausted, and frustrated.”

NFT Thieves Have Become a Market Standard

The NFT market has soared to unprecedented heights in the last week, with markets seeing record-breaking transfers. As a result, over the weekend, these digital artifacts witnessed a lot of activity.

OpenSea, one of the largest markets, recorded the highest day transaction volumes ever on Saturday and Sunday, with $35 million and $49 million, respectively.

NFTs, like cryptocurrencies, include ownership information to facilitate token identification and transfer between holders. Each digital asset can be tracked with ease. Owners and artists can even sign their digital signatures in the metadata of their digital artworks.

However, as with other analog media, there is a lot of duplication and theft. However, because NFTs are designed to be recorded on the blockchain, they cannot be readily removed. This makes them easily verifiable even after purchase on a stolen NFT has been completed. The public record that the blockchain provides still safeguards artists, allowing them to have their works removed after they are stolen.

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NFTmania to Decrease? Volumes of NFT Trades have Begun to Decrease

Although the volumes of NFT trading achieved tremendous heights in August, they decreased dramatically in September.

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Investors appear to have drastically lessened their demand for non-fungible tokens, reaching all-time highs in August. Indeed, the NFT-based trade volumes at Ethereum did not exceed $100 million in the last three days, while in August, they exceeded $500 million for one day.

The Volumes of NFT Trade to the South

According to Alex Thorn, head of firmwide research at Galaxy Digital, a recent study has shown that daily volumes of non-food tokens have been falling steadily every day since the start of September.

For example, the NFT marketplace was about 300 million dollars on September 1 and 2; however, the marketplace was less than 100 million dollars after September 10. On the contrary, the trade volumes recorded successive all-time highs, exceeding $500 million daily on 29 August.

Talking of the amazing peak last month, OpenSea – a significant peer-to-peer marketplace that is not fungible – was an enormous milestone as its trading volume reached the 1 billion dollar mark.

Previously, the platform had a total transaction volume of about $100 million in 48 hours. Moreover, this figure was four times higher than that registered by the Open Sea during 2020.

However, the NFT industry has increased its popularity this year despite the fall in trading volume in September. Athletes, singers, entertainers, musicians, and other notable people who started their different digital arts became highly attractive.

Who Was Part of the NFT Craze

Some are particularly concerned with the mania that is not fungible among these renowned persons. For example, the famous quarterback Tom Brady is like this.

In April, the 43-year old, probably America’s most successful football player, said that his own NFT platform, Autograph, would be released. By doing that, Brady planned to bring together important names from diverse industries, such as sports, fashion, pop culture, and entertainment. They might produce individual digital pieces of art.

Since Naomi Osaka, Tiger Woods, and Tony Hawk joined the platform, his plan appears to have been tremendously successful.

Eminem, a hip-hop giant, also stepped onto the NFT bandwagon. After working with the digital art auction platform, Nifty Gateway, the 15-time Grammy winner, unveiled a collection of his own, dubbed Shady Con.

One of the latest examples of this is the American comic book powerhouse Marvel Entertainment. Firstly, in early August, the organization joined together to release Spider-Man NFTs with the blockchain digital collectibles market – VeVe. Shortly thereafter, new digital collections, including Captain America, Barnes’ Bocky, and Red Skull, were added to expand their not-fungible token universe.

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China’s Official Media Slams the NFT Craze

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Securities Times, a sister publication of the People’s Daily, issued an editorial piece criticizing non-fungible tokens as the hype and arguing that digital assets should serve the real economy by tokenizing actual assets.

The essay also stated that NFTs should benefit the real economy by tokenizing real-world assets such as real estate and automobiles.

Meanwhile, Chinese tech behemoths are capitalizing on the NFT market’s strong success. Last week, Alibaba’s online mall launched an NFT moon cake — a dessert to commemorate the Chinese traditional celebration Mid-Autumn Festival — and it sold out in one day. In addition, Alipay sold two batches of NFT artworks in June and August, totaling 160,000 pieces on the day of issue. Tencent’s NFT platform “Huanhe” was also introduced in August.

Despite this, Chinese technological behemoths have been the subject of antitrust investigations for nearly a year. Alibaba was fined 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.812 billion) in April after being accused of monopoly. In July, the Market Supervision and Administration agency issued 22 antitrust fines to technology companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, and Meituan. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s anti-corruption watchdog, published an article on its website on Saturday headlined “Set Traffic Lights for Capital Expansion,” demonstrating the government’s antitrust determination.

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Fees for Ethereum have Risen Dramatically

Yesterday, Ethereum’s average network fees increased by 300 percent, owing to the market’s fall and a hyped project’s minting event.

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Fees on the Ethereum network have risen yet more. This time, it appears to have been triggered by two different factors: the market’s fall and the impending release of a new NFT collection.

Since May, Ethereum fees have been at an all-time high

The costs on Ethereum’s network have soared yet again, with a 300 percent spike in a single day. According to YCharts, they were at their highest position since late May yesterday.

On September 7th, the average costs for Ethereum were $21.29.

The entire community took notice, with many claiming that there are cheaper choices available from competing businesses.

What Caused the ETH Fees to Increase?

Two factors could be at the root of the exorbitant ETH expenses. The marketwide collapse that we saw yesterday seems to be the most obvious explanation right off the bat.

Over $2.5 billion in long and short positions were wiped out in just a few hours. This occurred as Bitcoin fell below $43,000 and Ethereum fell below $3,000.

Such events trigger panic sellers. People are flocking to exchanges, especially decentralized ones like Uniswap, to liquidate their holdings and avoid more losses. As a result, the number of requests for transactions rises, pushing up the ETH fees. It occurs whenever there is a sudden movement in any direction.

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