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Banksy Fan Loses Rs 2.5 Crore in Bid to Buy Artist's 'First NFT', Gets it All Back

The anonymous hacker only kept the transaction fee out of the total amount and returned the rest to the buyer 'Pranksy'. (Image: Pranksy/Twitter)

The anonymous hacker only kept the transaction fee out of the total amount and returned the rest to the buyer 'Pranksy'. (Image: Pranksy/Twitter)

The man, who goes by the name Pranksy, is a popular NFT collector and he spotted a link on the official website of Banksy for an auction of what he believed the first-ever NFT made by the artist.

A man in his 30s was duped of 100 Ethereum (ETH), which is worth roughly $353,270 or Rs 2.5 crore, when he won the bid to an auction for a fake Non-Fungible Token (NFT) by the very popular and anonymous graffiti artist, Banksy.

The man, who goes by the name Pranksy, is a popular NFT collector and a big fan of the England-based graffiti artist. He spotted a link on the official website of Banksy for an auction of what he believed the first-ever NFT made by the artist titled ‘Great Redistribution of the Climate Change.’ However, as soon as he bid 100 ETH for the artwork, almost 90% more than other bidders, the auction abruptly closed.

Pranksy took to Twitter and shared the incident with his followers. Sharing the link to the popular auction site ‘OpenSea,’ he wrote, “My Bid of 100ETH was accepted. The link was removed from Banksy’s website, so it could be a very elaborate hoax. It’s all very confusing. Some could say, very Banksy.”

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“When the bid was accepted so smoothly, I immediately thought it was probably fake. It does seem that Banksy’s official website was hacked,” Pranksy told BBC.

Pest Control, the authorized legal guardian of Banksy, also confirmed that the NFT was not made by the artist and was a fake. However, they gave no comment regarding the hack that led to this incident, BBC reports.

However, in a surprising turn of events, the hacker who duped Pranksy of 100ETH returned almost 98% of the total loot several hours later. The anonymous hacker only kept the transaction fee out of the total amount. Pranksy was not expecting something like that to happen. He suspects that the media coverage about the incident might’ve scared the hacker.

NFT is a very novel and emerging technology born in the Blockchain era. “OpenSea is the eBay of NFTs. Once the bid is placed and the seller accepts the offer, the transfer of cryptocurrency is irreversible,” said Tom Robinson, a cryptocurrency analyst.

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first published:September 01, 2021, 18:44 IST