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🚨 Ex-OpenSea manager guilty of NFT fraud

In the first insider-trading case involving NFTs

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Hey Waivly Crew! 🌊 OpenSea’s former head of product has been convicted of wire fraud and money laundering. Bhutan plans to raise $500 million for green crypto mining in the Himalayas.

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Ex-OpenSea manager convicted in NFT insider trading case

OpenSea Fraud Trial Moves to Closing Arguments

Nate Chastain, the former head of product at NFT platform OpenSea, was convicted by a jury of wire fraud and money laundering on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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According to prosecutors, Chastain was in charge of choosing which NFTs would be featured on OpenSea’s homepage.

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After making the decisions, Chastain purchased these NFTs and then sold them after they had been featured to make more than $50,000 in illegal profit, prosecutors said.

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"Nathanial Chastain exploited his advanced knowledge of which NFTs would be featured on OpenSea's website to make profitable trades for himself," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. "Although this case involved novel trades in crypto assets, there was nothing particularly innovative about his conduct – it was fraud."

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Prosecutors in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York (SDNY)Β filed the wire fraud and money laundering chargesΒ against Chastain on June 1st.

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According to SDNY, the case against Chastain wasΒ the first insider trading caseΒ involving digital assets.

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After attempting and failing to get the chargesΒ dismissed, Chastain went to trial in Manhattan on April 24th. The jury found Chastain guilty on both counts after three days of deliberation.

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Chastain faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.

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Crypto Special

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Bitdeer, a Nasdaq-listed crypto mining firm, has announced a strategic partnership with Druk Holding & Investments (DHI), the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan.

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The scope of the partnership is to launch crypto mining operations that will deploy "100% carbon-free" hydroelectric power in a new mining center in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

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According to a Wednesday announcement, Bitdeer and DHI will establish a $500 million fund to raise money for the venture from international investors.

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The fundraiser is expected to begin by the end of the month.

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"The partnership with Bitdeer to launch a carbon-free digital asset mining datacenter represents an investment in a more connected and sustainable domestic economy, helping ensure we are at the forefront of global innovation," Ujjwal Deep Dahal, CEO of DHI, said in the announcement.

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Bitdeer currently operates data centers in Northern Europe and North America. The Singapore-based firmΒ went publicΒ last month on the Nasdaq through a reverse merger with a SPAC.

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The company plans to set up a 100-megawatt mining operation in Bhutan, with construction expected to begin in the second quarter of the year and conclude between July and September, according to aΒ regulatory filing.Β 

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Bankrupt crypto exchange FTXΒ wants to clawΒ back nearly $4 billion in fundsΒ from similarly bankrupt Genesis Global Capital.

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In a May 3 court filing,Β lawyers for FTXΒ sought $1.8 billion in loans and a $273 million collateral pledge allegedly given to Genesis from FTX’s sister trading firm, Alameda Research.

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FTX is also seeking to claw back $1.6 billion in withdrawals allegedly made by Genesis and a further $213 million withdrawn by its affiliate company, Genesis Global Capital International, from the exchange before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 11.Β 

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The filing claims Genesis was β€œlargely repaid” its nearly $8 billion in loans made to Alameda Research, β€œunlike other FTX creditors and customers.”

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FTX alleged the bankrupt lender was β€œone of the main feeder funds for FTX and instrumental to its fraudulent business model.”

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The exchange's lawyers are seeking the clawback under bankruptcy laws that allow it to recoup "avoidable transfers" that occur within 90 days of a company declaring bankruptcy.Β 

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