Crypto enthusiasts who have been involved in the industry for an extended period of time can attest to the anguish that comes with losing tokens by sending them to the wrong address or network. Nevertheless, losing a rare and highly valuable CryptoPunk due to a botched transaction is an entirely different level of pain, as one investor, Brandon Riley, has come to know. Riley lost his $129,000 NFT permanently while trying to “wrap” it.
Riley purchased the piece, CryptoPunk #685, for 77 ETH less than two weeks ago with the intention of holding onto it for the next ten years. However, on March 19, he decided to utilize the asset as collateral to raise some liquidity. In order to interact with most contemporary NFT platforms, Riley had to upgrade the antiquated CryptoPunk to the ERC-721 Standard in a process called “wrapping.” This would allow the old token to be compatible with the wider Web3 ecosystem by effectively wrapping it in an ERC-721 NFT.
Today I accidentally burned a @cryptopunksnfts trying to wrap punk 685.
I was so focused on following the instructions exactly, that I slipped up, destroying a third of of my net worth in a single transaction. @yugalabs please sell me the @v1punks 685 as a consolation. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/jHoTGvlc7j
— Brandon Riley (@vitalitygrowth) March 25, 2023
Riley followed instructions posted online to guide him through the wrapping process. However, he misinterpreted the guide, mistook the burn address for the proxy address, and lost his beloved asset in the digital void. In a series of tweets, Riley expressed his regret, noting that he followed the directions precisely, only to realize too late that he sent the NFT to a burn address. He lamented his loss and acknowledged that he should not have attempted to wrap the asset without assistance.
Many crypto enthusiasts sympathized with Riley, citing confusing interfaces and complex instructions as the root cause of his loss. Many agreed that crypto-related user interfaces must be improved to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.