OpenSea Bug Destroys 43 NFTs Including First ENS Name

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In Brief
  • A bug on the OpenSea platform has cause the loss of some 40+ NFTs forever.

  • One of the losses included the very first ENS name ever registerd.

  • The bug was first reported by ENS's lead developer Nick Johnson.

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According to a tweet by the ENS lead developer, a bug on the OpenSea non-fungible token marketplace has destroyed more than $100,000 of NFTs

A number of pieces of history were lost today when a bug in the OpenSea marketplace cause the deletion of 42 non-fungible tokens (NFT) along with the very first Ethereum Name Service (ENS) name ever registered.

 Historic NFT unrecoverable

The news was shared via Twitter by Nick Johnson, lead developer of ENS. The ENS burned was ‘rilxxlir.eth,’ which was held in an ENS account despite being registered and paid for by Johnson. The issue arose when Johnson attempted to transfer an ENS name, which is in NFT form, and it went directly to a burn address. Meaning the ENS is lost forever, no longer able to be moved or even accessed.

“Today I accidentally burned the first ENS name ever registered,” Johnson tweeted, starting a chain of tweets that uncovered more of the problem. “I’m the owner of rilxxlir.eth, the first ENS name registered, and the longest continuously registered ENS name. The name itself was ‘mined’ – picked because its hash is very low and therefore it was one of the first names available for auction back in 2017,” Johnson added. 

Johnson adds that while he is still the controller of rilxxlir.eth, and can set ENS records, he can never recover it. Despite this, Johnson seemed relieved that, although historic, the NFT has no practical importance. “It revealed a bug that could have resulted in burning some irreplaceable NFTs and got it patched before it could affect anyone else,” Johnson adds. 

How did this happen? 

Johnson goes on to detail just what happened to cause the deletion and the bug involved.

After going on to OpenSea to transfer the ENS back to a persona account, he sent the NFT to his personal ETH account but instead, the NFT went to a burn address. After contacting OpenSea, Johnson was told that a bug was introduced to its transfer page that affected all ERC-721 transfers to ENS names. Johnson was also told that he was the only victim of the bug so far and that ownership of rilxxlir.eth is now “permanently. Burned.” 

Despite the comment from OpenSea, Johnson later revealed that he was not in fact the only victim of this bug and that more than 30 transactions from 21 separate accounts were affected. 42 NFTs were lost in those 30 or so transactions with most on the ERC-721 standard. After taking the time to tally up the loss, Johnson estimates that around $100,000 in NFTs was burned and can never be recovered. 

OpenSea has yet to comment on the issue but according to Johnson, the bug has been patched.


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Matthew De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in sports, gambling, and statistics. Before joining BeInCrypto, his work was featured on Fansided, Forbes, and OutKick. With a background in statistical analysis and a love of writing, he takes an outside-the-box approach to reporting news.

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