Morning Minute | Man Charged for Theft After Spoofing OpenSea

Morning Minute | Man Charged for Theft After Spoofing OpenSea


Take a minute to catch up on the latest in the Web3 space with today's NFT market analysis, top movers, and upcoming mints.

TylerD's Market Summary

Web3 criminals are being brought to justice, and Ether changes its mint plans. Read on to find all the details plus today's top news.

๐Ÿšฉ OpenSea Spoofing Leads to Charges

Scams and hacks have sadly become a significant part of the crypto and NFT experience as of late.

But there's some good news - criminals are starting to be held accountable.

On Monday, the U.S. Attorney's Office indicted Soufiane Oulahyane for crypto and NFT theft.

His crime? 

Spoofing OpenSea.

What Happened?

Spoofing is a classic cybercrime technique where a fake version of a marketplace is created and SEO/paid ads are used to place the fake site above the genuine one in search results.

In this particular case, then leading NFT marketplace OpenSea was the site that was spoofed.

Here are the primary details (noting that these are alleged crimes for now):

  • When: September 2021
  • Amount stolen: ~$450,000
  • Perpetrator: Soufiane Oulahyane, currently in custody in Morocco
  • Crime: Creating a fake version of OpenSea to steal crypto and NFTs
  • Charges: wire fraud, use of an unauthorized device, aggravated identity theft, and affecting transactions with an access device
  • Major victim: A Manhattan-based individual, who lost a Bored Ape, a Meebit and a total of 39 NFTs

Basically, the victim went to the spoofed OpenSea by mistake, they then entered their seedphrase to connect to the fake site, where Soufiane immediately took the seedphrase information and eventually stole the victim's crypto and NFTs.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said of the case:

“As alleged, Soufiane Oulahyane used a common cybercrime technique to steal victim cryptocurrency and NFTs.  ‘Spoofing’ is one of the oldest tricks in the criminal playbook.  Oulahyane adapted this old tool for use in a new and developing arena – the crypto space.  The charges unsealed today should serve as a reminder that digital assets, such as cryptocurrency and NFTs, are not immune from cyber fraudsters and that my Office is committed to prosecuting these fraudsters both here and abroad.” 

Why It Matters

This event took place in September of 2021, almost two full years ago. 

While it's almost two years later, justice is (potentially) about to be served.

Hopefully, as more of these charges are filed and criminals taken into custody, those perpetrating these scams and hacks begin to think twice.

And for victims, hopefully there is some solace that these criminals will be held accountable, even if its 2-5 years down the line.

๐Ÿค” Ether Changes Course

One of the most hyped NFT mints of the year in Ether failed to mint out in its public sale over the weekend.

In reaction, the team paused the mint to figure out a course correction.

This morning they released their new plan - will it be enough to save the project?

What's Happening?

Overnight, the Ether team shared its go-forward plan for the remainder of its NFT mint.

  • An airdrop for every holder of 1 Free Ether Capsule per 1 Ether Capsule held (snapshot taken prior to announcement)
  • Reveal coming at 11 am ET on July 12
  • Fair Dutch auction for the remaining supply, held at 1 pm ET on July 12
  • Royalties bumped up to 7.5%

This was a fairly drastic move from a team that originally set out to sell 10k NFTs at a 1 ETH mint price, then slashed price and then supply, and was still unable to mint out.

The floor (expectedly) dumped on the news, dropping 41% to 0.37 ETH.

Will this move work?

In short, yes.

With 2,075 NFT out, the airdrop doubles it to 4,150. Thus there will only be ~1,400 NFTs available for the Dutch auction sale.

Interestingly, they are now doing the reveal ahead of the public mint - a vote of confidence in the quality of their art.

If that reveal is bad, the Dutch auction is going to go very low (unless there is a huge rare lotto, which feels doubtful in this market).

The team is betting that the reveal is good, which will drive up their Dutch auction.

I like that bet a lot, from a team that has made some mistakes that showed lack of confidence.

Cutting price and supply close to the mint date for a project in planning for months and months is a mistake. It shows lack of planning, and lack of confidence in the quality of the product.

And those two factors were leading contributors to the Ether mint failing to sell much of its supply.

But it seems the team has learned from its mistakes, and trying to rectify them going forward.

We will find out if it works here very soon.

๐Ÿšš What else is happening in NFTs?

Here is the list of other notable headlines from the weekend in NFTs:

  • Trading volume was steady below 12k ETH again on Tuesday, NFTs again saw a mix of red and green on the day with Punks, DeGods and HV-MTL leading the way in green
  • Parallel sold out its Avatars in about 20 minutes yesterday in its OpenSea sale at 0.11 ETH (raising over $1.3M), with current floor just over mint at 0.12
  • Bob Loukas' Station3 NYC NFT mint featuring art from Grant Yun minted out yesterday in its public sale at 0.8 ETH (floor now at 1 ETH)
  • Fatzuki revealed late Tuesday evening leading to a sweep on Fat Spirits with sales as high as 0.88 ETH (0.5 ETH floor) though the overall floor fell 40% to 0.04 ETH post-reveal
  • NFT data platform Mintify is launching a Leaderboard Season this summer along with its $token, inviting users to earn and trade rewards for those holding their Genesis Keys
  • Killabears announced the soft launch of their merch shop "KillaShop," debuting with men's and women's KillaWear bundles and a limited edition plush Dr. Fomo
  • DraftKings Reignmakers PGA TOUR debuted the second edition of its Crafting & Burning set on Tuesday

๐ŸŒŽ Around Crypto and Web3

A few other Crypto and Web3 headlines that caught my eye:

  • The crypto market was up slightly on the day ahead of today's CPI news; BTC +0.8% to $30,670; ETH +1% at $1,890
  • Starbucks' Odyssey loyalty program will launch an Aku-inspired NFT journey called "Aku Adventure" for members available through August 13, pledging a $100,000 donation to a children's food security charity
  • X2Y2 has partnered with NTT Digital, Japan's largest telecom company, to "onboard the next billion users to web3"

๐Ÿš€ NFT Total Volume

  • BAYC (2,258 ETH, 34.35 ETH Floor)
  • Azuki (1,259 ETH, 6.84 ETH)
  • MAYC (1,248 ETH, 6.61 ETH)
  • DeGods (1,063 ETH, 9.01 ETH)
  • Captainz (735 ETH, 5.07 ETH)

๐Ÿ“ˆ NFT Floor Price Increase

  • Ready Player Cat (76%, 0.22 ETH Floor)
  • Sproto Gremlins (41%, 0.27 ETH)
  • PRELUDES (37%, 0.08 ETH)
  • Mocaverse (24%, 0.56 ETH)
  • Keungz Genesis (21%, 14 ETH)

๐Ÿ—“ Upcoming NFT Mints and Reveals

Today is likely another slow day in the NFT market, but a few events stand out.

Every Bryan Brinkman mint is worth watching as the artist continues to push out quality work and has a strong collector base. His "Stored Memories" may very well be the drop of the day.

Art Blocks is back for the 2nd day in a row with "Net Net Net" after "Semblance" minted out its 185 supply yesterday (0.166 ETH floor).

And then adidas has a special event today with their Hair Riddle for those in the alts ecosystem.

If you want more, see the full list of today's drops from Swizzy's daily mint monitor

  • Unit London x Bryan Brinkman "Stored Memories" (11:00 a.m. ET)
  • alts by adidas - Hair Riddle (12:00 p.m. ET)
  • Art Blocks Presents "Net Net Net" (1:00 p.m. ET); Dutch auction
  • Wildxyz x Jonas Lund "Most Accidents Happen at Home" (1:00 p.m. ET)

Enjoy this write-up? Follow along with me on Twitter @tyler_did_it or reach out via email

For all volume and floor price data, see Lucky Trader's Project Rankings page.

For all upcoming mints, see Lucky Trader's NFT Calendar page.

Disclaimer: The author or members of the Lucky Trader staff may own NFTs discussed in this post. Furthermore, the information contained on this website or the Lucky Trader mobile application is not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as financial advice. AI may have assisted in the creation of this content.