Why Are Expensive NFTs Disappearing?

Why Are Expensive NFTs Vanishing?

NFTs have proven to be incredibly massive across the internet, and not just in cryptocurrency circles, but even amongst everyday people outside of the internet.

Due to their nature as a unique piece of art that only a specific person can claim ownership of at one time, trading NFTs has become incredibly big business, and this has led to some very expensive NFTs being developed. 

But many people who have invested massive amounts into their NFT portfolios have come across a very strange situation in which some of their most expensive NFTs have started vanishing! 

But why are expensive nfts vanishing? What does it mean? What’s leading to it, and is there a fix?

Perhaps you have some expensive NFTs that you are worried about the future of, or you are simply interested in the fates of other expensive NFTs, regardless, you will definitely want to read on down below, because we are going to find out exactly why expensive NFTs are vanishing!

Why Are Expensive NFTs Vanishing?

Unfortunately, much of the reason why so many expensive NFTs are disappearing is as a result of how they are stored. What makes NFTs unique is that ownership of an NFT is unique, and NFTs cannot be replicated.

To put it simply, unlike a JPEG or PNG file on the internet, you cannot simply right-click and click ‘copy’ on an NFT, because it cannot be replicated. This is why so many NFTs are so valuable, because of their exclusive nature. 

Whenever you buy an NFT, you are buying a code that gives you access to the asset that you have purchased, rather than the asset itself. It is this code that is unique and verifies your ownership.

However, the owner of an NFT that cost well over $5,000 and was hosted on OpenSea, a popular NFT trading platform, found that he could not access his expensive NFT via this code at all!

When the owner attempts to access his NFT, he is met with a 404 error, which claims that the NFT itself simply cannot be found on the internet.

How Are NFTs Shown?

NFT hosting websites take the individually minted codes that give owners access to the NFTs, and then use those codes to bring the owners to unique web pages that host the NFT assets.

However, those same hosting platforms reserve the right to forbid access whenever they wish. 

This is referred to as “closing the window” to an NFT and is often done as a punishment for stealing NFTs, copyright violation, violating the market terms, or any other illegitimate activity.

However, sometimes, those windows can simply just be closed for no reason whatsoever, automatically. This is most likely what has occurred in the case of our earlier example, who purchased a $5,000 NFT that he could not view. 

Who Can Remove NFT Images?

NFTS How They Work And How They Disappear?

One reason that these unique codes sometimes stop working is that the NFT image has been removed from the hosting platform.

The interesting thing about NFTs is that they cannot technically ever be removed from the blockchain, which explains why the codes still exist, but the visual representations of NFTs can be taken down, which explains why our previously mentioned victim still has his unique code, but cannot actually see his NFT!

However, cases of vanishing NFTs can actually be further complicated by the fact that the images that visually represent the NFTs can be removed at very different levels.

For example, in some cases, the visual representations of NFTs can be removed only by the marketplace or hosting platform it is being viewed on.

This means that some people who cannot see their NFTs may be able to see them if they were to look at them on another viewing platform!

However, in some cases, the visual representation of an NFT may actually be removed at the very source of the NFT on the blockchain, which simply leaves its identity behind, but without its visual representation.

In such cases, the NFT cannot be viewed anywhere, no matter the platform that is used!

NFTs that are purchased on certain platforms may also suddenly vanish if they, in some way, violate the terms of service of the platform they are hosted on. This is especially the case for stolen artwork.

Stolen artwork runs rampant in the NFT community, and as a result, platforms like OpenSea will actively close windows to NFTs of stolen artwork if they discover that the art has been stolen.

This explains why so many people’s NFTs seem to suddenly disappear without a trace all of a sudden. Because the NFTs are making use of stolen artwork.

This is why it is so important to check the validity of an NFT before purchasing it, as stolen artwork will not be tolerated, and you cannot receive a refund on it!

To Wrap Up

As you can see, expensive NFTs are not simply vanishing for no reason at all, the reason why so many NFTs have suddenly vanished is because the visual representations of those expensive NFTs have been removed, either by the originator of the NFT, or the hosting platform that displays the NFT.

The NFTs that most commonly tend to ‘vanish’ are those that contain artwork that has been stolen from elsewhere on the internet.

Such artworks are not only pulled from hosting platforms, but the images that represent them also are pulled from the source, making them totally inaccessible for good. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are NFTs Fading?

Though it is difficult to definitively claim that NFTs are fading, they have seen a massive decline in popularity in recent years since they exploded in 2021.

Is Nft A Good Long Term Investment?

Although the NFT market is very volatile, some NFTs could well see an increase in value, so it is difficult to claim that they are not a good long term investment.

Can You Just Screenshot An Nft?

Technically speaking, yes, you can easily screenshot an NFT, but you do not own the unique code that directs to that artwork. The best way to put it is to say that taking a photo of the Mona Lisa is not the same as owning the original Mona Lisa!