NFT marketplace halts transactions due to 'rampant' counterfeiting

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(Image credit: Getty, Westend61)
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Cent is an American NFT marketplace best-known for hosting the auction of an NFT of former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's first tweet—one of the earliest NFTs to sell for over a million dollars' worth of cryptocurrency. Cent has now had to halt most of the transactions taking place there, with its CEO Cameron Hejazi telling Reuters (opens in new tab) that users trying to sell counterfeit digital assets were "rampant".

"It kept happening", Hejazi said. "We would ban offending accounts but it was like we're playing a game of whack-a-mole... Every time we would ban one, another one would come up, or three more would come up."

Users of Cent were selling NFTs based on images they did not own the rights to and even selling copies of other NFTs, as well as selling NFTs that had been made to resemble other tradable assets. 

While Cent has 150,000 users, the same problem has been noted at bigger NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea, which is currently the largest NFT marketplace in the world. OpenSea recently put in place a 50-item limit on its tool for free minting of NFTs since, as was explained on Twitter (opens in new tab), "Over 80% of the items created with this tool were plagiarized works, fake collections, and spam." OpenSea removed the limit again after complaints from users.

As Hejazi said, summing up the current state of NFTs, "We realized that a lot of it is just money chasing money." Or in the catchier phrasing of indie game marketplace itch.io: NFTs are a scam.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.