Jury starts deliberation on OpenSea NFT insider trading case
- The jury has started deliberating on whether a former OpenSea product manager is guilty of purported insider trading.
- Nathaniel Chastain was charged in Manhattan in June last year when he was allegedly making $50,000 in illegal gains.
The jury has begun deliberating on whether a former OpenSea product manager, Nathaniel Chastain, is guilty of purported insider trading, as per a recent Reuters news story.
The case, which commenced on 1 May, has the potential of having a big impact not only on the reputation of the famous NFT marketplace but also the global industry.
Chastain got into legal trouble in June last year when he was charged in Manhattan with allegedly making $50,000 in illegal gains. According to U.S. prosecutors, he purchased several NFTs and immediately featured them on OpenSea’s website before selling them when their value increased.
The prosecutors claim that the accused allegedly made profits of 2-5 times the original purchase amount; he utilized anonymous digital currency wallets and OpenSea accounts.
Chastain’s lawyer contended that the case was not about whether his client’s trades were improper, but about whether he had a devious strategy to defraud OpenSea. Those trades, according to the lawyer, did not violate any of the company’s guidelines.
According to an OpenSea spokeswoman, he was asked to leave in September 2021 because his transactions were in “direct conflict” with their “core values and principles.”
Accused used anonymous accounts, claim prosecutors
According to the prosecutors, Chastain was aware that he was supposed to display NFTs on the internet in order to benefit the company rather than himself. However, he tried to make illicit money by trading NFTs with anonymous accounts, implying that he was aware of his conduct being questionable.
The accused could have easily utilized his regular accounts if he believed his acts were legal. Instead, he tried to mislead people; the prosecution argued in court.
However, some OpenSea employees have come to Chastain’s aid. According to recent court records, CEO Devin Finzer told prosecutors that the prosecution against Chastain is “unfair” and is damaging the former employee’s mental health.