If you sign a message with intent to list an NFT/token for sale - how does that work if you transfer the item later?

For example on an NFT marketplace - you list your NFT for sale by signing a message. I'm assuming that signed message is a signed transaction to transfer the NFT to a contract that acts as a medium of exchange between buyer and seller.

But what if I sign that message - then transfer my NFT?

  1. List NFT for sale
  2. Site asks for Approval of NFT to be confirmed - tx sent
  3. Site asks for signature with listing details (price, etc)

I now exit site and send the NFT to my friend.
4. Someone fills that listing for the NFT - but my NFT is gone - how is the order filled?

Specifically I'm looking at a site like rarible - where that is the flow - they only get approval and thats it.

But I don't get how it works if you transfer that NFT?

1 Answer 1


The Ethereum transactions have a parameter called "nonce" representing the number of transactions sent from the address. You must increment this nonce each time you send a new transaction with the same address. So if you sign a transaction without broadcasting it, then send a new transaction to the network (with the same address and same nonce), the first raw transaction will automatically be rejected by the miners.

To answer (partially) your question that's not a transaction you sign but message data when you list your NFT for sale. Then you can see on their demo that after approving their contract, the user has to send a second transaction to mint the NFT. Are you sure the newly NFT is not sent on the marketplace contract ?

  • Right - its signing a message. So whats the purpose of this? Why sign a message? There isn't an NFT minted yet just the contract. edit: after a token is minted - they do ask you to sign another sell order message. So with that signed message - how does it get transferred to their marketplace?
    – Zach
    Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 12:23
  • how does it get transferred to a buyer when sold? Its listed for sale - while still in my wallet, and to buy it I send ETH to their contract - but its in my possession still - so how does that work?
    – Zach
    Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 12:34

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