NFT Sale Goes Awry: 'Just Like That, $250K Was Gone'

'Fat-finger' error led seller of Bored Ape item to mistakenly dump it for $3K
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2021 11:55 AM CST
He Tried to Sell an NFT for $300K. It Didn't End Well
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Ignatiev)

(Newser) – The Verge blames it on a misplaced decimal point. CNBC similarly lays the blame on a "fat-finger" error. However the asking price for a recently sold NFT came to be, it wasn't the seller's intention, and now he's out hundreds of thousands of dollars because of it. CNET was the first to report on the "devastating" mistake, which came about when a member of the Bored Ape Yacht Club site—an elite portal where the cheapest nonfungible token usually goes for more than $200,000—attempted to list his own entry for 75 ether in cryptocurrency, or about $300,000.

The problem for seller "Max"—who describes himself as a "solo-traveller, bored ape, marketing agency owner & NFT investor," per the Verge—is that he listed the NFT for sale at 0.75 ether, or about $3,000. And it was quickly snatched up, likely by one of the bots that CNET says lurk online waiting to exploit just such a situation. NFTs from the Bored Ape collection are especially coveted, with celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Steph Curry owning samples.

Max blames his blunder on a "lapse of concentration," noting that he lists many items daily and "just wasn't paying attention properly." He also says he noticed what he'd done the instant said fat finger touched the mouse—but "just like that, $250K was gone." CNET notes mistakes like this that are made using traditional payment methods are often reversed by financial institutions if you notify them immediately, but with cryptocurrency, the transactions aren't going through any centralized location, meaning it's up to the buyer if they want to be nice and cancel the deal.

Max seems resigned to his fate and is ready to move on. "Sometimes you f--- up, make a bad buy, out of gas fail, send Eth to the wrong wallet or fat finger a listing," he tweeted over the weekend. "It's going to happen. But, letting it occupy your mind for even one second after you can no longer affect the outcome is purely hurting yourself twice." (Read more NFT stories.)

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