NFT Opportunists Are Making a Mint Through an OpenSea Bug

A listing bug on the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, is allowing snipers to buy blue chip assets for a fraction of their current market value.

NFT Opportunists Are Making a Mint Through an OpenSea Bug
Photo: Bored Ape Yacht Club/Yuga Labs

Key Takeaways

  • An OpenSea listing bug is allowing opportunists to snipe high-value NFTs at low prices then flip them for huge profits.
  • One sniper has made around $740,000 through the exploit in the last few hours.
  • OpenSea has not commented on the issue despite ongoing complaints.

Share this article

Collectors of high-value NFT collections are inadvertently selling their assets at huge discounts due to an OpenSea listing bug. 

Blue Chip NFTs Lost Due to OpenSea Bug

A bug on OpenSea is causing a nightmare for blue chip NFT holders. 

Multiple collectors revealed today on Twitter that their high-value NFTs have sold for prices they were allegedly no longer listed for on OpenSea. 

One collector going by the pseudonym TBALLER.eth tweeted that their Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT had sold for 0.77 ETH even though it was allegedly not listed for sale on the marketplace. The current floor price of a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT is 86 ETH, around $195,000. 

The issue is supposedly linked to the way OpenSea’s listing mechanism works. To list an NFT for sale on OpenSea, users must sign an order that allows them to list the item for free. Anyone that wants to purchase that NFT can then use that signature to fulfill the listing at the set price on-chain at any moment in time. 

The correct way to cancel a listing on OpenSea is to sign a separate transaction registering the order as invalid on-chain. However, many collectors simply transfer the NFT out of their wallet to save on transaction fees, effectively making the order impossible to fulfill. In that scenario, OpenSea removes the NFT listing from the website’s frontend, but the order remains active if it wasn’t canceled on-chain.

Because of this, when a collector moves their NFTs back to their original wallet, the listing becomes visible or listed for sale on Rarible—another NFT marketplace that aggregates listing orders from OpenSea. This effectively allows anyone to snipe the NFT at the original listing price even if the owner did not intend to list the item for sale. 

According to renowned smart contract auditing firm Peckshield, one address that exploited the bug was able to gain roughly 332 ETH worth around $740,000 at current prices. Their OpenSea transaction history shows that they have bought multiple sought-after NFTs from collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Cool Cats for below their current market value and later flipped them for huge profits in the last few hours. They bought TBALLER’s NFT for 0.77 ETH earlier this morning and sold it for 84.2 ETH minutes later. 

The full scope of the damages to NFT collectors related to this exploit remains unknown, but multiple similar incidents have occurred in recent weeks. OpenSea is yet to comment on the issue despite frequent complaints from its users.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature held ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

Share this article