Immutability is one of the key features of blockchain technology. Put simply, immutability means that any data on the blockchain cannot be altered or deleted. This means anyone, including a corporation or the government, cannot manipulate the transaction history on a blockchain. This brings a layer of integrity and trust to the data on the ledger and is one of the major reasons why an increasing number of organisations are using the technology.
Blockchain immutability also means that in the event of an issue with an NFT, it’ll be impossible to delete it. This is what recently happened with the NFT project, “Cipher Punks”. Developed by “ItsBlockchain,” the collection features portraits of 46 infosec pioneers. However, soon after, members of the infosec community criticised the collection.
For one, some of the images misspelt the names of the icons, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) speech activist Jillian York. Additionally, at least one portrait was based on a photograph protected by copyrights, reported The Verge.
York also tweeted, “I don’t approve of this whatsoever and would like it removed.”
Unfortunately, due to blockchain immutability, ItsBlockchain cannot delete the NFTs. They can, instead, “burn” the NFTs, where they send the NFTs to an inaccessible address to remove them from circulation. But, this is not possible for NFTs that are already sold. As a result, ItsBlockchain is relying on OpenSea to take the collection down.
The team apologised on Twitter for not taking permission beforehand and said that they are waiting for OpenSea to remove the collection. They have also burnt all the NFTs they owned and has started the refund process.
There has been an increase in the number of unauthorised NFTs. Recently, Hermès, the creators of Birkin bags, accused MetaBirkin NFT collection’s artist of ripping them off.