OpenSea's new measures hope to crack down on fake NFTs

The largest NFT marketplace has been bombarded with counterfeits.

Florence Lo / reuters

OpenSea is putting in place a new system to spot NFT fakes and verify accounts, in an effort to cut down on the industry’s growing fraud problem. In a couple of blog posts, the NFT marketplace detailed what changes users can expect, including opening up verification to more users, automated and human-assisted removal of so-called “copymints” or fake copies of authentic NFTs and changes to how collection badges — which identify NFT collections with high sales volume or interest — are doled out on the marketplace.

First off, OpenSea will use a two-part system to detect fakes that combine both image recognition tech and human reviewers. The company says its new system will continuously scan all NFT collections (including newly minted assets) to spot any potential fakes. Human reviewers will vet any removal recommendations.

“Our new copymint prevention system leverages computer-vision tech to scan all NFTs on OpenSea (including new mints). The system then matches these scans against a set of authentic collections, starting with some of the most copy-minted collections — we’ll look for flips, rotations & other permutations,” wrote OpenSea’s Anne Fauvre-Willis in the post. The company says it has already spotted some fakes with its copymint detection system and plans to scale up the technology in the weeks to follow.

The company has also made some updates to its verification and badging system. OpenSea will open up account verification to any creator who holds at least 100 ETH of collection volume, which currently is equivalent to roughly $205,000 USD. This essentially means sellers will have to already own a significant collection of NFTs to be verified by OpenSea. The marketplace stated that it plans to broaden the eligibility criteria for verification as it continues to learn more. NFT collections will also get a collection badge if they’ve generated more than 100 ETH in trading volume. OpenSea will also require a profile name, username, verified email address and a connected Twitter account for account verification.

All these changes will likely create a number of obstacles for NFT scam artists. Scammers have grown increasingly sophisticated in their tactics — some going as far as to create fake Discord servers and websites or pose as actual employees of NFT companies. Verifying the real-life identity of sellers is a long-standing problem in the world of NFTs, where anonymity is a key part of the culture. NFT artists normally go by aliases instead of their real names, and the same goes for NFT buyers. Unfortunately, it's a culture that has allowed NFT thieves and copycat artists to thrive.