NFT marketplace Cent recently had to put a halt to the buying and selling of NFTs amid what it cited as rampant counterfeiting. A series of circumstances resembling a plot for a Hollywood movie has led CEO and co-founder Cameron Hejazi to make the decision. The marketplace is well known for selling an NFT minted from a tweet by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for over a million dollars in cryptocurrency. Now it seems that individuals have figured out how to market NFT fakes or sell NFT copies that they are not authorized to.
“There’s a spectrum of activity that is happening that basically shouldn’t be happening – like, legally,” Cameron said.
Cent tried to rein in the suspicious activities by banning accounts. This didn’t help, as for every account banned, more would just appear.
“It kept happening. 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.”
Evidently, plagiarism is a problem for the industry and not just Cent. The largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, has been hard at work in trying to mitigate these issues as well. A recent post on social media claimed that more than 80% of the minted NFTs on its platform were either plagiarized, fake, or spam.
To all the creators in our community impacted by the 50 item limit we added to our free minting tool, we hear you and we’re sorry.— OpenSea (@opensea) January 27, 2022
We have reversed the decision.
But we also want to offer an explanation ↯ pic.twitter.com/Y3igaE1RM2
However, we’ve recently seen misuse of this feature increase exponentially.— OpenSea (@opensea) January 27, 2022
Over 80% of the items created with this tool were plagiarized works, fake collections, and spam.
Hejazi has gone on to say that his company is exploring options to protect content creators, but there are challenges in trying to prevent the illicit activities they became aware of. It paused sales on its beta.cent.com platform, which focuses on artwork-based NFTs, but has kept the one designed for tweet-based NFTs active for the time being. “We realized that a lot of it is just money chasing money,” he added.