OpenSea reveals that over 80% of its free NFT mints were plagiarized, spam or fake

OpenSea, the world’s largest non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea revealed late last week in a Twitter thread that more than 80% of the NFTs minted using its free minting feature were plagiarized, spam or fake.

OpenSea originally released the free NFT minting feature, called "lazy minting," in December of 2020 to allow artists to release NFTs without paying upfront gas costs. But to combat misuse of free minting, on January 27 OpenSea introduced a new rule that limited free minting only to five collections of up to 50 NFTs each.

Within the same day, users responded stating that they couldn't finish their collections. So OpenSea has now reversed its decision to impose the limit and is “working through a number of solutions to ensure we support our creators while deterring bad actors,” the company wrote on Twitter.

“To all the creators in our community impacted by the 50 item limit we added to our free minting tool, we hear you and we're sorry.” 

In addition to facing community backlash for the limit and for failing to prevent fraudulent transactions, OpenSea is also reeling from user interface issues that can cause some NFTs to be listed thousands of dollars below market price — and the poachers taking advantage of the situation.

While OpenSea started off 2022 with strong NFT sales, users have started looking to other platforms such as LooksRare. The upstart has accrued more than $2 billion in sales since its January 10 launch but has faced issues with wash trading.