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OpenSea ex-employee charged in first NFT insider trading case

US prosecutors in Manhattan on Wednesday charged a former product supervisor at OpenSea, the biggest on-line market for non-fungible tokens, with insider trading, the first such case involving digital belongings.

Nathaniel Chastain, 31, of Manhattan, was accused of secretly shopping for 45 NFTs on 11 separate events based mostly on confidential info that the tokens, or others by the identical creator, would quickly be featured on OpenSea’s house web page.

Prosecutors stated Chastain bought his NFTs at a revenue shortly after they have been featured, usually two to 5 instances what he paid.

They stated that in one occasion, Chastain greater than quadrupled his money by buying the NFT “Spectrum of a Ramenfication Theory” on Sept. 14, 2021, and promoting it early the following morning shortly after it was featured.

Prosecutors stated the scheme ran from June to September 2021, when Chastain was answerable for choosing which NFTs can be featured, and that he transacted by means of nameless digital forex wallets and accounts at OpenSea.

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Prosecutors stated the scheme ran from June to September 2021, when Chastain was answerable for choosing which NFTs can be featured.
NurPhoto through Getty Images

“NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not,” US Attorney Damian Williams in Manhattan stated in a press release. “Today’s charges demonstrate the commitment of this office to stamping out insider trading — whether it occurs on the stock market or the blockchain.”

Chastain was charged with wire fraud and money laundering, every carrying a most 20-year jail time period. A lawyer for Chastain couldn’t instantly be recognized.

“When we learned of Nate’s behavior, we initiated an investigation and ultimately asked him to leave the company,” OpenSea stated in a press release. “His behavior was in violation of our employee policies and in direct conflict with our core values and principles.”

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