OpenSea Executive Quits Following Insider Trading Allegations

Following the allegations of insider trading against an executive at OpenSea, the employee is no longer part of the company.

Accused OpenSea Employee Leaves Company

OpenSea’s former Head of Product, Nate Chastain, has left the company after it was revealed that the executive took advantage of confidential information to make profits on NFT trading. Although the employee has not made a statement refuting or admitting the allegations, Chastain’s Twitter bio reads “Past: @opensea”.

The firm, in an updated blog post on September 16, stated that one of its employees resigned, without mentioning the name of the executive.

“The behavior of one of our employees violated that obligation and, yesterday, we requested and accepted his resignation.”

The OpenSea scandal started on Wednesday (September 15, 2021) when Chastain was accused of insider trading. Chastain’s activities were made public by a Twitter user ZuwuTV, who discovered that the OpenSea employee was using secret wallets to purchase NFT drops before they appeared on the company’s front page.

According to data by BlockBeats as tweeted by Chinese news publication 8BTC News, Chastain’s profit was close to 19 ETH worth nearly $65,000 at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, OpenSea confirmed the allegations in a blog post, stating that it was taking the matter seriously. The firm added that it would investigate the incident and employ a third-party review of the situation, to guide the company on the next course of action.

The marketplace also implemented new policies for its employees as a result of the incident. According to the new rules, workers are banned from using confidential information to buy and sell NFTs from OpenSea or any other platform. Also, employees are prohibited from purchasing NFTs from creators or collections, while they are public on the company’s homepage.

NFTs Continue to Gain Widespread Adoption

While OpenSea is working towards resolving the incident, the company wrote in its latest update, stating:

“We are incredibly thankful for the support of our community and will continue to invest in practices and policies that keep our platform open and transparent. We’ll continue to proactively provide updates as we evolve our policies and increase transparency in all that we do.”

OpenSea has recorded impressive figures in recent times. In July, the company’s valuation rose to $1.5 billion, after leading a Series B funding round, led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. In August, the marketplace recorded over $3 billion in transaction volume on Ethereum, according to data from Dune Analytics, compared to July’s figure.

The increase in trading volume is a testament to the growing popularity of the NFT sector. The nascent industry has seen adoption from celebrities to companies.

Professional basketballer, Stephen Curry, who is also a two-time MVP and a seven-time NBA All-Star, bought a rare bored ape NFT form 55 ETH ($191,000), one of the NFTs in the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. Also, major financial services giant, Visa, bought a CryptoPunk NFT for 49.5 ETH (~$165,000).

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