Former OpenSea Product Manager Arrested, Charged With Insider Trading

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Jun 02, 2022

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On Wednesday, prosecutors charged Nathaniel Chastain, 31, with insider trading.

Inside Dealing

United States prosecutors have charged a former executive at OpenSea with insider trading. Law enforcement officials arrested 31-year-old Nathaniel Chastain in New York on Wednesday. 

He left the company last year under a cloud after his actions were discovered.

Chastain’s role at OpenSea involved deciding the NFT collections that would make it to the OpenSea home page. Typically, achieving this results in the collection rising in value. 

Leveraging on this inside knowledge, he purchased tokens that he knew would make the front page. In total, he made 45 token purchases. He did this from about June 2021 until September. He covered up his actions using anonymous wallets and OpenSea accounts.

Some NFT buyers soon discovered the racket after snooping through his transactions on the blockchain. OpenSea fired the product manager in September after concluding an investigation. This, however, is the first time the company is filing charges.

Prosecutors say that Chastain sold the tokens for “between two and five times his purchase price”. As a case in point, he sold the "Spectrum of a Ramenfication Theory" for four times his purchase value the day after buying it.

“NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not,” said Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “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 will have to forfeit all monies in his possession associated with his crime as part of the indictment.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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