Cent, the NFT marketplace that helped Jack Dorsey flog his “genesis tweet,” is pumping the brakes until it can stop hucksters selling content they don’t own, reports Reuters.
The Ethereum-powered social network sold an NFT tied to the first-ever tweet for $2.9 million worth of Ether last March via its dedicated NFT shop window, Valuables.
While the tweet-focused Valuables is still operational, Cent co-founder and chief exec Cameron Hejazi says the company is halting NFT sales on its main portal for three main reasons:
- users hawking unauthorized copies of existing NFTs,
- people creating NFTs based on material they don’t own the rights to,
- and the selling of tokens resembling securities.
Hejazi called these issues “rampant” and claimed that users were “minting and minting and minting counterfeit digital assets” (via Reuters).
“It kept happening,” he 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.”
Cent may centralize to combat NFT plagiarizers
Like it or not, NFTs are now a $25-billion industry. And like many other lucrative ecosystems, the NFT sector attracts its fair share of scams, plagiarism, and manipulation.
To Reuters, Hejazi rightfully pointed out that Cent — with its 150,000 users — is a small fish when it comes to NFT skullduggery.
Last month, leading NFT marketplace OpenSea issued an apology to its community as it revealed the vast majority of NFTs minted using its free tool were fakes or rip-offs.
“I think this is a pretty fundamental problem with web3,” Hejazi told Reuters.
He added that to protect content creators, Cent may have to resort to “centralized controls” to get the platform running again. Decentralization would have to come at a later date.
Generally, marketplaces like OpenSea end up delisting NFT copycats, who often simply flip images tied to popular collections — part hustle, part absurdist performance art.
Still, NFT proponents often dismiss antagonists who claim they can simply “right-click save” their expensive JPEGs — thereby negating any value proposition.
But in Cent’s case, the ‘right-clickers’ have clearly won.
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