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Bored Ape NFT sells for $3,000 instead of $300,000 due to typo

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·3-min read
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Bored Ape NFTs. Photo: Bored Ape Yacht Club
Bored Ape NFTs now sell for at least 50 ETH ($200,000). Photo: Bored Ape Yacht Club

A non-fungible token (NFT) was accidentally sold for just over £3,000 ($3,961) instead of $300,000 due to a typing error.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a highly sought-after collection of a limited run of 10,000 pieces of digital art that are all slightly different. Owners of the pieces include celebrities such as chat show host Jimmy Fallon, rapper Post Malone and basketball player Steph Curry.

When listing the NFT for sale online, the owner of Bored Ape number 3,547 made a "fat fingered" typo — a keyboard input error or mouse misclick that means someone makes a trade online for the wrong thing, or for the wrong amount.

The user, maxnaut, told Cnet that he meant to list his Bored Ape for 75 ethereum (ETH-USD), or around $300,000, but accidentally listed it for 0.75 — one hundredth of its market price.

The item was bought immediately and re-listed for sale for $248,000.

It was bought by an automated account, which can be coded to instantaneously buy NFTs listed below a certain price on behalf of their owners in order to take advantage of these situations such as this.

The buyer also paid an extra $34,000 in "gas fees" to speed up the transaction, in order to make sure no one else could buy the NFT before them. These are payments made by users to compensate for the computing energy required to process and validate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.

Read more: Crypto awareness in UK is second highest in Europe

"How'd it happen? A lapse of concentration I guess," said maxnaut. 

"I list a lot of items every day and just wasn't paying attention properly. I instantly saw the error as my finger clicked the mouse but a bot sent a transaction with over 8 eth [$34,000] of gas fees so it was instantly sniped before I could click cancel, and just like that, $250k was gone."

"Fat finger" trades do happen occasionally in traditional finance but most financial institutions will halt and reverse those transactions if alerted quickly.

However, due to the decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies, these kind of sales are final.

In August, a user accidentally listed their Bored Ape for $26,000. The item was snapped up immediately at the unusually low price. The original owner offered $50,000 to the buyer to return the NFT but the buyer capitalised on the mistake, selling it for the then-market price of $150,000.

Each Bored Ape NFT is "programmatically generated" to be unique, differing in traits such as expression, colour, headwear and clothing.

Initially sold for 0.08 ETH each, or $320 at today's prices, they now sell for at least 50 ETH ($200,000).

An NFT is a one-of-a-kind crypto asset which enables collectors to authenticate, own and trade original authenticated versions of special digital goods using blockchain technology.

Read more: Non-fungible tokens: What are NFTs and why are they creating such a stir?

They can be anything digital from drawings and paintings to music, but they can also be applied to a physical item.

When an NFT is bought, the person purchasing receives a certificate secured in blockchain technology, which makes them the owner of that specific digital asset. Specifically, NFTs are typically held on the Ethereum blockchain, but other blockchains support them too.

This cannot be replicated or substituted, and it can only have one official owner at any given time.

Critics of the NFT market have questioned what buyers are actually getting for their money when they buy non-physical art.

Some critics also say the industry is bad for the environment as transactions are verified by high-powered computing using a large amount of energy.

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?

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