OpenSea has just frozen $2.2million worth of assets. As a result of this action, many are now questioning whether OpenSea has ditched decentralisation in favour of centralisation.
Why did OpenSea decide to freeze these assets?
Yesterday, the gallery owner of New York’s Ross+Kramer Art Gallery, Todd Kramer, tweeted that he’s a victim of NFT theft. This is because 16 NFTs were stolen from his hot wallet. These comprised 7 Mutant Ape Yacht Club, 8 Bored Ape Yacht Club and 1 Clonex NFT. Collectively, these NFTs are currently valued at around $2.28 million or 615 ETH.
The NFT community was largely unsympathetic towards Kramer. However, OpenSea swiftly reacted by freezing trading on the stolen items. This action led to many in the NFT community questioning OpenSea’s decentralisation.
OpenSea: Centralisation vs Decentralisation
Blockchain-based platforms such as OpenSea and decentralisation go hand in hand. Decentralisation means that the company do not have the same control over their platform in the same way as a platform such as eBay does.
OpenSea has a hands-off policy. While it retains the right to remove problematic sellers and listings due to copyright issues, it usually employs a very loose governance policy.
In the past, OpenSea sellers and users criticised OpenSea for not keeping an eye on the issues on its platform. Therefore, Kramer’s high-profile public appeal might have instigated the OpenSea team to ditch their loose governance policy and intervene.
A centralised future?
Other users, such as @blockchainberg, have come forward, stating that similar things have happened to them. So far, OpenSea hasn’t frozen their stolen assets.
Various NFT enthusiasts expressed their anger at OpenSea more than once this same week. Three days ago, the platform delisted the NFT series of the late photographer – Chi Modu -without providing any relevant reason. In a span of a few days, OpenSea has shown that it may be moving towards a more centralised future.