Fake Banksy NFT bought for £244,000

NFT Labs
3 min readSep 2, 2021


In hindsight, this seems too good to be true-this is the first opportunity to buy Banksy to venture into the lucrative world of non-fungible tokens (NFT) at a price only a small part of the market price.

This is also known as a publicity stunt, but regardless of the motive, the incident revealed the weaknesses of the NFT transaction. This has been criticized by artists who say their work was sold without their knowledge or consent.

This picture shows a person smoking in front of some industrial chimneys which portrays the impact of digital currency and art on the climate. The picture is sold on the Open Sea platform “NFT’s eBay”.

Banksy’s official website later deleted a page called NFT, which contained a link to an auction site selling work of the same name.

It didn’t look like Banksy at all, but this fraudulent link persuaded Pranksy, known for his collection of NBA Top Shots NFT, to bid in cryptocurrency equivalent to £244,000. He said that when the offer was accepted immediately, he knew he had been cheated.

“The fact that it is hosted on banksy.co.uk was my reason for bidding,” Pranksy said. “I presumed it was a three-day auction and when my bid was accepted I pretty much knew then it must be fake.”

He said that the seller eventually refunded all the money, except for the transaction fee of approximately £5,000.

The incident undermined one of the reasons that make NFTs so attractive: the fact that they provide cryptographically secure authenticity. But the problem is that authenticity depends on the seller being what they say.

Other artists, including Damien Hirst, have accepted the NFT market, but some artists sold their work without permission, and Banksy’s team quickly distanced the artists from the fakes. “The artist Banksy did not create any NFT artwork,” his team said in a statement, but did not explain how their website was hacked.

The fact that some NFT services promoted the “tokenization” of other people’s content worries artists. For example, some allow users to turn any tweet into a tradable digital asset, and artwork has become a popular item for tokenization.

Pranksy said that despite his name, he will not engage in jokes that “could damage any future potential to chat with Banksy’s team or any other fine artists about NFTs”. Instead, he said that the scam and the rapid return of funds point to someone who might want to make a more important point: highlighting loopholes in NFT transactions.

Pranksy said: “I did not expect anything to be returned. It seems that the hacker has more intentions than money ”. When asked what these reasons are, he added: “to point out the vulnerabilities in the website and with validation within NFTs?”

Banksy’s work has been the subject of NFT controversy previously. Burned Banksy NFT was sold for approximately £300,000, accompanied by a picture of a Banksy print called Morons. Initially sold in 500 versions, the tokenized printed matter was publicly burned when the token was minted, and its creator believed that “moved the value of the physical piece on to the NFT”.

Pranksy said he was looking forward to hearing from the Banksy team about the security of his website and whether the website was hacked, but added that this incident did not affect his enthusiasm for NFT.

He said: “ I’ve not lost faith in NFTs after the incident. I’ll just get a little less excited when I see one linked via an artist’s website.”

Such incidents are clear indicators of how using a secure system is really important to avoid such scams. Luck favoured the parties in this case as the money was returned and the scammer had nobler intentions but it is sure that this cannot be ignored. ITSMYNE uses a secure server and provides great support for its users at all times.