A fake Banksy NFT has sold for £244,000 to a British collector as the result of a hack. 

The crypto artwork, ‘Great Redistribution of the Climate Change Disaster’ (pictured), appeared on a new page of Banksy’s official website, entitled ‘NFT’. The buyer placed a bid through the URL, which is believed to have been created by a hacker. In the wake of the deal being exposed as a scam, all money has been returned, aside from a transaction fee of around £5,000. 

“It does seem to be some hack of the site. I confirmed the URL on PC and mobile before bidding. I only made the bid because it was hosted on his site. When the bid was accepted I immediately thought it was probably fake,” the unnamed buyer, who is in his 30s, told BBC News. “The refund was totally unexpected, I think the press coverage of the hack plus the fact that I had found the hacker and followed him on Twitter may have pushed him into a refund.” 

According to reports, the buyer offered 90% more than the nearest rival at auction, and was first alerted to the sale on Monday morning, 30th August, via a post on the social network Discord. A statement from Banksy’s team to the BBC has since confirmed the artist is not currently selling NFTs: “Any Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form”.

It’s the latest controversy to hit the NFT market, which has grown exponentially this year. Short for non-fungible tokens, the digital assets are tokenised certificates of ownership that cannot be reproduced or tampered with after they have been created. Many believe this blockchain-based technology could revolutionise the music industry, as is proven by DJ Mag’s long read on the subject from spring this year. Last month, RCRDSHP launched as a new marketplace for NFT-based music collectibles, with work from Mark Knight, Mobilee Records, and Sharam Jey in the first drop.