More Than Two-Thirds of NFTs Minted on OpenSea Are Fake – How Can You Verify Yours? 

If you’ve followed the latest NFT trends, you know that OpenSea is a massive name in the industry.

Three NFT Fake Monkeys surprised

As non-fungible tokens (NFTs) take the world by storm, a raft of bad actors follow closely behind, looking to pounce on inexperienced investors and new users. The problem has become so bad that plagiarized works, fake collections, and spam makes up about 80% of all NFTs minted on OpenSea. 

With all emerging technologies come bad actors and a need from leading platforms to innovate while at the same time not leaving themselves open to abuse. If you’ve followed the latest NFT trends, you know that OpenSea is a massive name in the industry. 

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OpenSea is one of the biggest and most important NFT marketplaces. It was launched at the tail end of 2017 as the first open marketplace for NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. It also supports NFTs on the Polygon, Solana, and Klaytn blockchains. As a result, digital assets and NFTs started achieving mainstream attention.

Hungry investors lined up to grab the hottest NFTs on the blockchain while, at the same time, greedy scammers minted fake and lookalike collections to catch people out and capture millions of dollars.

A World of Discovery

Anyone can access the OpenSea marketplace if they have a Web3 wallet and some crypto. Unfortunately, while the majority use it for the trading and discovery of NFTs, others use it as a hunting ground to launch fake collections that trick users into parting with their money, worst of all, with no way for the affected to try and get it back. 

Moreover, it’s becoming more dangerous to purchase NFTs without conducting high-level research to discover their origins, which is arguably not in sight for most NFT admirers. The downside is that original collections and the broader NFT industry can become devalued if a lack of confidence about the authenticity of various NFT collections stays. 

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Ultimately, understanding how to track and verify NFTs is just as important as knowing how to buy them. Luckily, brilliant minds are working on these problems and trying to deliver solutions that make users’ trading activity safer and more reliable. At the same time, there are a few simple steps to stay safe when participating in the world of NFT trading.

Stay Vigilant

There are numerous ways to stay safe while trading NFTs, and while some require knowledge of the blockchain and its inner workings, others are simpler. The first thing to do when researching an NFT is to use a search engine like Google and type in the name of the NFT collection. 

If the project founders are named, search for them online and see if anything pops up about their history. If you see something that looks like a scam, it’s worth researching. On the other hand, if you see news articles, blog posts, videos, or anything similar, that say the collection is fraudulent, maybe it’s best to stay away.

The second straightforward way to conduct some research is to utilize social media. Search for a collection’s Twitter page. If they don’t have one, it’s probably fraudulent. If they have a newly created one, it could be a scam. It can also be a bad sign if an NFT collection appears successful but doesn’t have many Twitter followers. Additionally, the collection could be a scam if they don’t have a Discord channel. 

Reddit is where the people of the internet discuss things and Web3 platforms and assets are hot topics across many threads on the forum. So if you want to find out about an NFT collection before you dive in, check what people on Reddit are saying.

Finally, a more complex but solid route to unearth the authenticity of an NFT is by using block explorers, like Etherescan. Anyone can use these websites to find real-time and past information about the activity happening on-chain. They show data related to confirmed blocks, transactions, wallet addresses, and current holdings. 

However, you have to know what to look for. Users like @OkHotshot offer on-chain analysis and carve a niche into Web3 detectives, searching the blockchain for dishonest swindlers. Follow these social feeds to stay up-to-date and consider what other Twitter users say about a collection.

Any Easier Options? 

While block explorers and the above present ways for users to manually protect themselves, they can also be used incorrectly or not. Block explorers are certainly not a place for new users and take time to navigate successfully. However, these issues can be solved by platforms laboring to deliver new ways of working to provide users with tools to make NFT research more accessible. 

One company looking to solve the problem is Wakweli, a Web3 protocol based on a new and decentralized consensus algorithm called Proof of Democracy (PoD), which aims to certify the authenticity of any tokenized asset. Moreover, all the PoD community, i.e., the requester, certifier, and challenger involved, will receive incentives in the platform’s native token WAKU for acting reasonably, with the end goal being to develop a standard of trust in the tokenized asset ecosystem.

The idea is for Wakweli certificates to ensure the digital representation of an asset, whether off or on-chain. Ultimately guaranteeing whether an asset is unique and genuine and that multiple tokens on numerous platforms don’t represent different things. 

In addition, once the certificate is issued, the newly certified NFT or cryptocurrency asset will display a tick mark as a symbol of trust and value among the Web3 community. Like a Twitter blue tick, it lets users know things are genuine and safe to interact with.

Wakweli tick mark example

By becoming the decentralized certification authority, companies like Wakweli want to promote public confidence in tokenization to drive mass adoption and, as a result, strengthen opportunities, investments, and innovation across the industry. 

The goal of any company taking on the task will be to become a reference of trust in the decentralized ecosystem—a significant role to take on, considering the job ahead. 

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

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Alex Costa

Alex Costa is a crypto writer and investor specializing in researching, analyzing and reporting on promising small-cap projects that are gaining traction in the industry. He has been in crypto since 2018, when he began looking for hidden gems in crypto. Today, he is dedicated to finding the next top performing NFTs and tokens.