The collector by the name of ‘Pranksy’ bought what was believed as a too good to be true NFT (Non-fungible token) fake Banksy piece titled ‘The Great Redistribution of the Climate Change Disaster’ later realising that it had been a hoax by a scammer.
The image which shows a figure smoking in front of some industrial chimneys in an apparent comment on the climate impact of digital currency and art – was put up for sale on the Open Sea platform. The platform allows anyone to sell digital art that they own, or have created themselves. Once a bid has been placed, the seller can accept and the cryptocurrency is irreversibly transferred.
Banksy’s official site had also included a link to the auction site which was later taken down.
The piece did not have any resemblance to Banksy’s work, but the fraudulent link convinced the collector to bid the equivalent of £244,000 in cryptocurrency. When it was immediately accepted, Pranksy realised it was a fake.
“The fact is was hosted on banksy.co.uk was my reason for bidding”
“I presumed it was a three-day auction and when my bid was accepted I pretty much knew it must be a fake.”
The seller eventually returned the original money except for the transaction fee of around £5,000.
Banksy’s team responded to the BBC saying
“The artist Banksy has not created any NFT artworks and that NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form”
Unlucky for Pranksy, he still has high hopes for bidding in the Open Sea market, wonder what his next bid will be?