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Banksy NFT On Artist’s Official Website Sold For $340,000—But It’s Fake
By Alexa Heah, 01 Sep 2021
Image via OpenSea
A non-fungible token (NFT) weirdly popped up for sale on anonymous street artist Banksy’s website earlier this week, and upon discovering it, a buyer snagged the digital piece for US$340,000.
However, in an incredible turn of events, it turns out that the image he procured was a fake.
According to VICE, a new page that popped up on Banksy’s official site featured a lone image reminiscent of the popular CryptoPunk NFT collection making the rounds now. The graphic was labeled as an NFT.
Plus, in usual Banksy fashion, the piece seemed to be social commentary, with the page describing the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency as the “Great Redistribution of the Climate Change Disaster.”
Adding to the mystique, the page had been linked to a reputable NFT platform, OpenSea, and was listed by a user name “gaakmann,” referencing Banksy’s known pseudonym Brayn S. Gaakman. This was enough for Pranksy, the buyer, to fork out over 100 ETH (about US$340,000) for the image.
In no time, other fans online saw that the NFT page had swiftly disappeared from the artist’s site, though it could still be accessed via the Wayback Machine. In an interview with the BBC, Banksy’s team confirmed the NFT release was a fake.
“Any Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form,” a spokesperson said.
Pranksy, the buyer,
In another surprising twist, Pranksy later revealed that the hacker, who went by “gaackmann,” returned all 100 ETH he spent via blockchain. Could this work have been a stunt from the real Banksy? Or did someone manage to get pass the site’s security and disguise themselves as the elusive artist?
[via VICE, cover image via OpenSea]
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