The Most Expensive NFT Thefts of All Time [2023]

NFT theft is nothing new. Literally, from the very beginning of non-fungible tokens, scammers have laid eyes on this sector. A shocking new study has revealed the extent of NFT theft from large collections.

What Has Happened in the NFT Market?

Bored Ape Yacht Club, also known as BAYC, is one of the most popular and expensive NFT collections. It presents images of apes whose owners acquire copyright for their use.

As of 2022, NFT BAYC’s sales amounted to more than one billion US dollars. In truth, these non-fungible tokens have been purchased by various celebrities. In particular, these include Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Madonna, and others.

Moreover, there is a similar collection of Mutant Apes, which also is also in demand among buyers. This collection is known as MAYC.

Mutant Ape Yacht Club

As it turned out, 130 BAYC NFTs were previously marked on the OpenSea platform as ‘stolen’ or ‘suspicious.’ The MAYC collection has surpassed this result — a total of 268 Mutant Ape NFTs were stolen.

As for other collections, 202 stolen NFTs from the CloneX collection fall into this category.

There is another popular collection called Azuki. By the way, it was released a few months ago and already has 153 stolen NFTs.

To make matters worse, 70 NFTs from the Moonbirds collection are already frozen. As it turned out, the collection existed for only 10 weeks.

Moonbirds NFTs

Unfortunately, one of the popular collections, called Doodles, was also scammed. 83 non-fungible tokens were reportedly stolen from this collection.

NFT Theft: Financial Losses

For greater clarity and understanding of the scale of thefts, let’s look at the situation from a financial point of view.

The current value of the stolen NFTs from all six collections amounts to 24,000 ETH. At the current exchange rate, this equals about $45 million. 

Just a few months ago, their value was in the hundreds of millions when the exchange rates were significantly higher.

Stolen or suspicious Bored Apes are currently valued at 11,960 ETH with a minimum price of 92 ETH per NFT. The stolen Mutant Apes are in second place with a total value of 4,824 ETH.

The researchers indicate that the number of stolen NFTs is likely to increase. This is because many stolen assets are either returned to their owners or frozen permanently. This fact provokes scammers to new thefts and a quick sale of NFTs.

And although OpenSea guarantees that stolen NFTs cannot be sold on their platform, no one prevents attackers from selling them on another platform.

How to Avoid NFT Scams?

The NFT market is growing rapidly — and the number of scammers will also increase. Still, fortunately, you can protect yourself from most scam schemes by following the basic rules of crypto security.

Just read out recent blog article to find out how to avoid the top 7 most common NFT scam schemes!

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