Former OpenSea Staff Charged with Insider Trading Offenses


Nathaniel Chastain, a former Head of Product at OpenSea, the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the world, has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for alleged insider trading. 

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Chastain has been promptly charged to court by Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Per the Department of Justice (DoJ) ’s announcement, Chastain was indicted for trading Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that were scheduled to be featured on the platform’s homepage. The deal described was such that Chastain used his position at OpenSea. He had access to insider information about what projects will be featured on the homepage to acquire the particular NFTs prior to the listing.

He allegedly used anonymous accounts to purchase dozens of the unique NFTs that he typically resells at almost 3X gains after the listing. The charges brought against Chastain show the commitment of the FBI to stamp out insider trading offences, with these ranked as the first of their kind in the digital currency ecosystem.

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“NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, “As alleged, Nathaniel Chastain betrayed OpenSea by using its confidential business information to make money for himself. Today’s charges demonstrate the commitment of this Office to stamping out insider trading – whether it occurs on the stock market or the blockchain.”

There have been a lot of charges levied against criminals in the digital currency ecosystem by the Department of Justice in the past few years. In the course of its activities, the legal entity has released a framework for enforcing crypto-related regulations, and amongst its various enforcement actions is the cracking down of the Netwalker Ransomware Group.

Image source: Shutterstock


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