• A bug in OpenSea destroys $100,000 in NFTs, including a historical ENS name

  • A bug in the NFT marketplace OpenSea has resulted in the accidental destruction of at least 42 NFTs worth at least $100,000.

    The problem was first raised by Nick Johnson, the lead developer of the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), who noticed that when he transferred an ENS name — which comes in the form of NFTs — it went to a burn address. This means it was sent inadvertently to an address that no one controls and can no longer be moved.

    The ENS is a service that connects blockchain addresses to domain names. It is intended to make it simpler to send transactions to human-readable names rather than complex blockchain addresses.

    Johnson stated that the ENS name that was burned was the first ENS name ever registered. The name was rilxxlir.eth, a palindrome, and it was held by an ENS account, which Johnson registered with personal funds. He went to OpenSea to transfer the ENS name so that it was under his own account. This is when it was sent to the burn address by mistake.

    “After a frantic call to OpenSea, I discovered that I was the first and apparently only victim of a bug introduced to their transfer page in the previous 24 hours, which affected all ERC721 transfers to ENS names. “Rilxxlir.eth ownership is now permanently burned,” he tweeted.

    Because Johnson retains control of the ENS name, he can still change it — in terms of the blockchain addresses to which the ENS name is linked. He’s just unable to change the name.

    Johnson then received additional reports from others who had been similarly affected, compiling a list of 32 affected transactions involving 42 NFTs. The majority of NFTs were ERC-721 compliant, but a few were ERC-1155 compliant. He added up the floor prices of each of the NFTs (the lowest price available on the market) to arrive at $100,000.

    According to Johnson, OpenSea has now fixed the bug.

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