Former OpenSea manager declared guilty in NFT insider trading case


  • Chastain bought and sold NFTs he had decided to feature on OpenSea’s website.
  • He made illegal profits worth more than $50,000 and hid his activities.
  • Chastain’s lawyer David Miller has disagreed with the jury’s decision.

OpenSea’s former product manager Nathaniel Chastain was charged on the grounds of fraud and money laundering on Wednesday. Reportedly, the accused used internal knowledge regarding assets that would be featured on the home page of the marketplace for the purpose of trading. 

Chastain bought NFTs which he had planned to feature on OpenSea’s website. Shortly after, he sold them to make unlawful gains worth more than $50,000. The federal prosecutors in Manhattan have called the matter the very first insider trading case in terms of digital assets. 

Prosecutor Thomas Burnett said that the ex-product manager misused his status for his own benefits as well as lied to hide his activities. 

The charges against him were announced in June 2022 and were the first as far as high-profile cases are concerned.  

According to legal experts, the case may have broader conclusions regarding assets that don’t adjust in the current regulations; thus, forbidding investment advisers, brokers as well as others from trading on material nonpublic information. 

Lawyers of Chastain argued that at the time when Chastain was a part of the company, OpenSea didn’t consider knowledge of which non-fungible tokens would be presented on the home page as something strictly confidential. 

His lawyer David Miller said that they will evaluate their options, as they are not content with the decision even though they respect the jury. 

Daniel Filor, Chaistain’s lawyer, argued that the accused can’t be held to a standard that wasn’t there. He added that Nate wasn’t told about not using or sharing that particular information. 

As per prosecutor Allison Nichols, Chastain conducted the unlawful trades by using anonymous OpenSea accounts, which shows that he was aware of doing something wrong. 

Nichols told the jury that Chastain hid his doings and knew about violating the confidentiality agreement of the company. 

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman led the trial and scheduled Chastain’s sentencing date for August 22. 

Meanwhile, his motion to dissolve the fraud case was rejected by the judge last October.