With just a few clicks, a Web3 fortune can be gone in seconds.
Friday, a non-fungible token collector permanently lost a CryptoPunka top notch NFT, as he followed a how-to guide to prepare the collectible as loan collateral.
“I was so focused on following instructions exactly,” Brandon Riley wrote on Twitter, “that I slipped, destroying a third of my net worth in a single trade.”
Riley’s error illustrates how the often opaque and complex world of digital assets can cause laypersons to lose nest egg by typing in the wrong address or misplacing a password. His problem is one that even early Bitcoin users struggled with, most famously James Howellswho threw away a hard drive containing the keys to a Bitcoin wallet worth around $200 million (at today’s prices).
Today I accidentally burned a @cryptopunksnfts trying to pack the punk 685.
I was so focused on following instructions exactly that I slipped, destroying a third of my net worth in a single trade. @yugalabs thank you for selling it to me @v1punks 685 as a consolation. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/jHoTGvlc7j
—Brandon Riley (@vitalitygrowth) March 25, 2023
In 2017, a two-person team created the CryptoPunks collection, which now has a market capitalization of over $1 billion. (Yuga Labs, one of the first NFT outfits and maker of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, now owns the collection.) This was before the recent popularization of a now standard protocol to issue NFTs on Ethereum, the go-to blockchain for minting or creating non-fungible tokens.
In mid-March, Riley bought Punk #685, one of 10,000 CryptoPunks in circulation, for around $129,000, according to Etherscan. Shortly after buying the collectible – a pixelated man with a mohawk and sunglasses – he planned to “borrow some cash from it”.
Riley needed to “wrap” his CryptoPunk in what is now the standard protocol in order to publish it on NFTfi.com, a decentralized lending marketplace, according to Decrypt.
Admittedly not a Web3 developer, Riley was following a guide on how to prepare his CryptoPunk for the lending platform when he accidentally sent it to the wrong digital wallet, which turned out to be a “engrave addressor a wallet where tokens like NFTs can be sent but never withdrawn.
“This is truly a devastating mistake for me,” he said on Twitter. “But I did it myself, and it’s no one’s fault but my own.”
Riley said he asked Yuga Labs, who declined to comment for this story, to release an earlier version of CryptoPunk #685 to him, but the company Web3 has yet to come to his aid. But another crypto enthusiast did, gifting him a version of CryptoPunk #685 which now resides on the Bitcoin blockchain.
A big thank you to @olliesblog for being so kind and selfless in resurrecting Punk 685 for me. He now lives on the Bitcoin blockchain as an ordinal, inscribed on a satoshi from over ten years ago! 😎🙏🏼 https://t.co/5i1n14HIwe pic.twitter.com/4hVPxxcb4Y
—Brandon Riley (@vitalitygrowth) March 27, 2023
“Hard to feel excited after burning a punk. Haha,” Riley then joked in a direct message on Twitter.
Yet, he writes, he did not sour on the whole experience.
“I’ve been doing this for almost two years. I’ve been on a roller coaster the whole time from 5 figures to 7 and weathered this bear market,” he said. Fortune. “No, it won’t change the way I collect, only that I’m more careful and get help in the form of expert eyes when I try to do something risky (like I do). have done in the past).”