Remember NFTs? 2021 really was a mood, wasn’t it?
The non fungible token was inescapable last year, from Saturday Night Live parodies to that awkward moment where Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton bonded over their shared love of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
While techno futurist types were quick to tout NFTs as the future of art, the popularity of NFTs was met with nearly as much skepticism, with detractors calling them at best a plaything for the ultra wealthy and at worst a scam.
Now interest in NFTs have plunged dramatically this year, leading The Street to wonder if they were the Beanie Babies of the digital age.
But while the popularity of NFT collectibles may be on the wane, to some people, they’re still valuable enough to steal … especially when a NFT might end up becoming a television star.
Seth Green Was Going To Make A Television Show About A NFT
The actor and producer Seth Green has long had an out-of-the-box approach to animation, as proven by his long-running stop motion show “Robot Chicken,” which animates toys into bizarre comedy sketches.
So if anyone was going to make a show featuring an NFT character, it makes sense that it would be him.
On Saturday, Green teased a trailer for a show called “White Horse Tavern” at the NFT conference VeeCon, as reported by BuzzFeed.
The show starred the Bored Ape character Fred Simian as a genial bartender who interacts with human guests.
Perhaps the show could have been a big hit, as well as a turning point with regards to public opinions on NFTs.
But unfortunately for Green, his NFT collection was stolen in early May as part of a fishing scam. And now he can’t move forward with his show.
Green Has Lost The Copyright To His Ape
The thing with NFTs is that they are, for all intents and purposes, JPEGs.
They might be cool, stylish looking JPEGs (and often they are not) but there’s nothing to stop a person from making a copy of an NFT and claiming it's theirs.
But NFTs come with a unique code that can be used to prove ownership. But it turns out, that can be stolen, as Green has found out the hard way.
Because as a result of the theft, he’s lost the copyright to Fred Simian, and can no longer legally go forward with the show.
“I bought that ape in July 2021, and have spent the last several months developing and exploiting the IP to make it into the star of this show,” Green said in an interview with crypto entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.
“Then days before — his name is Fred by the way — days before he’s set to make his world debut, he’s literally kidnapped.”
Green’s NFTs were transferred to a digital wallet and then flipped, Motherboard reported, with his Bored Ape being sold by the scammer to a collector known as “DarkWing84,” who purchased it for more than $200,000.
The NFT marketplace OpenSea said it has frozen the tokens, and marked all four of Green’s stolen NFTs with “suspicious activity” warnings.”
"We do not have the power to freeze or delist NFTs that exist on decentralized blockchains; however, we do disable the ability to use OpenSea to buy or sell stolen items," Allie Mack, an OpenSea spokesperson, told BuzzFeed.
Green has begun tweeting at DarkWing84, asking for them to “work it out between us.”