The Great NFT Heist: Are NFTs Even Stored on the Blockchain? – Crypto Mode

The Great NFT Heist: Are NFTs Even Stored on the Blockchain? – Crypto Mode

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An Australian dad that lives in a van working remotely has shaken the crypto world up with his recent hacktivism “art piece” known as NFT Bay. 

Geoffrey Huntley who is a software developer and self-described activist managed to perform the great NFT heist back in November. He would download every single NFT on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains and host the nearly 20 terabyte file online for download on The NFT Bay.

This website lends its theme from the iconic Pirate Bay torrent database and works just in the same fashion with links to every single mainstream NFT including the likes of Crypto Punks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Some of which have been selling for more than $20,000,000 in recent times.

There is a note attached to the downloadable files featured on the NFT Bay that reads as follows:

“Did you know that a NFT is just a hyperlink to an image that’s usually hosted on Google Drive or another web2.0 webhost? People are dropping millions on instructions on how to download images. That’s why you can right click save-as because they are standard images. The image is not stored in the blockchain contract.

Huntley has released this educational art project to teach everyone exactly what NFTs are and aren’t, with the hopes that fewer people will see such huge value in what he thinks is just a huge scam.

Geoffrey would also take to the “Coffezilla” a popular YouTube tech podcast, to explain a little more into the story behind the NFT Bay and his reasons for doing it. There he explained that the cost of actually hosting NFTs on the blockchain is just too great. Stating that in 2016 alone it was calculated to cost $76,000 per GB to store data on the blockchain. Whilst some very primitive NFTs that are essentially pixel art are hosted legitimately on the blockchain, nearly every other kind of NFT isn’t. He explained in layman’s terms that you are simply buying the “treasure map to the treasure” not the treasure itself.

This unique idea from the Aussie has made quite the news story that’s been featured everywhere online from Vice to the BBC, but where did Huntley get his inspiration for outing what he calls the cryptocurrency fraud? He says his main inspiration came from a parody of right-wing Australian politician Pauline Hanson by satirist Simon Hunt. Geoffrey said, “Sometimes the wrong things get airtime and the only way to cut right through to the core is with art”.

These days you can buy a car with crypto, send vast sums of money around the globe with minimal fees, or even bet online with sportsbooks or online casinos that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a valid deposit method.  Gambling online with bitcoin is legal in many countries, and in fact most online casinos offer no deposit casino offers which enable players to test games before playing for real funds.

As cryptocurrencies become more and more utilized with real use cases, Huntley says whilst he sees a future for NFTs he doesn’t understand why they need the blockchain to operate successfully.

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