Former OpenSea employee hit with first insider trading charges related to NFTs

Nathaniel Chastain, a former product manager at OpenSea, was charged with one count of wire fraud

and one count of money laundering related to the purchase and sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

The charges stem from an apparent scheme to allegedly commit insider trading "by using confidential information about what NFTs were going to be featured

on OpenSea's homepage for his personal financial gain," the statement of US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said.

"NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not," said Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Chastain, 31, was responsible for selecting NFTs to be featured on OpenSea's homepage as part of his job, the prosecutors said

The price buyers were willing to pay for an NFT, or ones made by the same creator, typically increased substantially after they appeared on OpenSea's homepage

NFTs are digital artworks or collectibles that use blockchain technology to prove ownership and individuality.

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