One of the most prestigious NFT collections in the world is the Bored Ape Yacht Club. You would snicker at the phrases “prestigious” and “NFT” being used so near together, yet Jimmy Fallon, Steph Curry, and Post Malone are among its star-studded members. The current entrance price — that is, the lowest price for a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT — is 52 ether, or $210,000.
That’s why it’s so upsetting to discover that someone unintentionally sold their Bored Ape NFT for $3,066 on Saturday.
Unusual deals are frequently indicative of shady company, as in the example of the guy who spent $530 million to purchase an NFT from themself. The cause in Saturday’s case was a simple, fatal “fat-finger error.” That is when people make an internet deal for the wrong item or for the wrong amount. The owner, real name Max or username maxnaut, wanted to market his Bored Ape for 75 ether, or roughly $300,000 but instead listed it for 0.75, or one-hundredth of the intended price.
It was purchased in an instant. The buyer paid an extra $34,000 to expedite the transaction, assuring that no one else could buy it before them. The Bored Ape was quickly listed for $248,000. The transaction appears to have been carried out by a bot, which can be programmed to acquire NFTs listed below a given price on behalf of its owners in order to capitalise on these specific scenarios.
“How’d it happen? A lapse of concentration I guess,” Max told me. “I list a lot of items every day and just wasn’t paying attention properly. I instantly saw the error as my finger clicked the mouse but a bot sent a transaction with over 8 eth [$34,000] of gas fees so it instantly sniped before I could click cancel, and just like that, $250k was gone.”
Traditional finance occasionally sees fat finger deals, such as the Japanese trader who almost acquired 57 percent of Toyota’s stock in 2014, but most financial institutions will halt them if they are warned quickly enough. Because bitcoin and NFTs are supposed to be decentralised, you must rely on the buyer’s goodwill to reverse a transaction.
Over the last few years, fat finger mistakes in bitcoin trades have made a lot of news. When the corporation behind Tether, a cryptocurrency tethered to the US dollar, inadvertently generated $5 billion worth of new coins in 2019, it nearly doubled its own coin supply. BlockFi intended to distribute 700 Gemini Dollars to a group of consumers in March, worth around $1 each, but instead sent out millions of dollars worth of bitcoin. A business paid a $24 million fee on a $100,000 transaction in error last month.
Similar instances are becoming more common in NFTs given that many collections have grown in market value over the last year. Someone tried to sell a CryptoPunk NFT for $19 million last month but unintentionally listed it for $19,000 instead. Back in August, someone made the mistake of listing their Bored Ape for $26,000, which was quickly exploited by someone else. The original owner offered the buyer $50,000 to return the Bored Ape, but the opportunistic buyer sold it for the then-market price of $150,000 instead.