Nathaniel Chastain, former product head of OpenSea, the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, has been arrested by the FBI on insider trading charges.
New York Southern District Attorney Damian Williams and Michael Driscoll, Deputy Director of the FBI’s New York Field Office, appeared in court urgently.
According to the announcement by the Ministry of Justice (DoJ), Chastain has been charged with a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) transaction that will be displayed on the platform’s homepage. The transaction described is equivalent to Chastain using his position on OpenSea. He had access to insider information about the project to be featured on the homepage of the designated NFT prior to listing.
He used an anonymous account to purchase dozens of unique NFTs and typically resell them for about three times his post-IPO earnings. The charges against Chastain show the FBI’s commitment to being the first named insider trading crime in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
“NFTs may be new, but these kinds of criminal schemes are not,” US Attorney Damien Williams said. NFTs, insider trading – whether it happens on the stock market or on the blockchain.”
In the past few years, the Ministry of Justice has raised many charges against criminals in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In the course of its activities, the legal entity has published a framework for enforcing regulations related to cryptocurrencies and is cracking down on the Netwalker Ransomware Group among various enforcement actions.