Can OpenSea protect NFT owners? — Anyone could become an indirect victim of a malicious NFT hack

2 min readApr 12, 2022

The non-fungible token (NFT) market has been booming since the summer of 2021. As NFT prices sky-rocketing, the number of hacks targeting NFTs is also increasing.

In the 2022 Crypto Crime Report published by Chainalysis, it is highlighted that the value sent to NFT marketplaces by illicit addresses jumped significantly in 2021, topping out at just under $1.4 million. There is also a clear increase in stolen funds sent to NFT marketplaces .

Total illicit value flowing to NFT platforms. Source: Chainalysis Crypto Crim Report 2022

The most recent high-profile NFT hack was when approximately 600 ETH worth of NFTs were stolen from the founder of DeFiance Capital Arthur0x and sold off on OpenSea.

My recent article on Cointelegraph here specifically looks into the Arthur0x hack and found that the average time these stolen NFTs stayed in the hackers wallet before they were sold is 43 minutes. The security measures from OpenSea are in no way responsive and quick enough to inform the victim and stop the hacker; neither can they inform the buyers promptly enough to stop them from buying the stolen NFTs and becoming the indirect victim.

Stolen Azuki NFTs from Aurther0x. Source:

To understand how blocking stolen NFTs not only hurts the buyers but also artificially increases the collection’s floor price, see more details in my article “Here’s how OpenSea NFT hacks hurt owners, buyers and even entire collections” on Cointelegraph.


Specialise in NFT & DeFi analytics & modeling. Crypto and decentralisation enthusiast. You can DM me for questions or discussions on Twitter @elenahoolu