Bored Ape Sale Error Shines Light on NFT Market Tactics

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  • An accidental sale of a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT has made headlines
  • BAYC 3547 accidentally sold for $3,000 instead of $300,000
  • There are two elements to the story however that are a concern for the NFT market

The story that an unfortunate Bored Ape Yacht Club owner accidentally sold BAYC 3547 for $3,000 instead of $300,000 has made headlines this week, and for obvious reasons. However, beneath the headline were a couple of interesting side plots that shine a light on how difficult it is for regular users to get their hands on sought after NFTs and also the costs involved in attempting to do so.

Fat Finger Led to Expensive Listing Error

When OpenSea listed the sale of BAYC 3547 for 0.75 over the weekend, visitors to the site might have been forgiven for thinking that it was a mistake or a forgery. It was, in fact, the former, with owner maxnaut admitting to CNet on Sunday that he ‘fat-fingered’ the sale, accidentally listing it for 0.75 ETH ($3,000) instead of 75 ETH ($300,000).

Maxnaut was stoic in his error, which has seen the NFT immediately relisted for 59.99 ETH – much closer to the typical valuation. However, there are two elements that went almost without mention in the mainstream media pieces but that bear comment.

Bot Purchase Bodes Ill for NFT Space

Firstly, the purchase was made not by a person but by a sniping bot, which was programmed to be on the lookout for specific NFTs listed under a certain price. It was set up to bid the advertised price the moment it was listed, showing just how hard it is for actual humans to get their hands on exclusive and desirable NFTs when they reach attractive prices, never mind accidental bargains.

There is nothing illegal about this of course, but it flies somewhat against the ethos of inclusivity for the masses when it comes to owning desirable and potentially valuable NFTs – they may as well not bother to enter the market at all.

$32,485 Gas Fee Raises Separate Issue

The second interesting thing is how much gas the bot paid to secure the bid – 8.51 ETH, worth $32,485. This staggering sum was paid out so that the buyer could be sure of an instantaneous transaction, a fee that is more valuable than many people’s entire portfolios. Of course, when you’re looking to recoup close to ten times that it’s worth a gamble, but the fact that such ludicrous fees are required to secure a bargain it’s time to question the sanity of the entire enterprise.