NFT fans, it's tough luck
The worlds of blockchain and art have been rocked by non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs. They've also sparked endless debates about everything, from money laundering and fraud to the true meaning of "owning" a digital asset.
The drama is getting worse, as the US government's Office of Foreign Assets Control declared this week that many NFTs and even an entire exchange are now prohibited.
The first to be spotted by Elliptic, a blockchain startup, and then highlighted by Vice's Motherboard by Vice, includes Chatex, a Latvian NFT platform, as well as many other works of digital art, including some assets that are listed on an exchange based in the USA.
The fracas, in other words, is a collision between art world drama, Federal Government drama and international sanctions drama. It's a spicy meatball full of legal, technical, and financial shenanigans and could shed light on some of the most explosive aspects NFT culture that we will see going forward.
It sounds to me like Chatex was using digital assets sales to launder ransomware and darknet money.
However, the most fascinating part of this story is that the NFTs outlawed included those listed on OpenSea, a US-based exchange. Motherboard did however contact the exchange to remove the listings.
OpenSea spokesperson said that addresses on the U.S. sanction list are automatically blocked from buying, selling or transferring on OpenSea. After the addresses were added on to the sanctions list, no one was able transact with these NFTs. The items and accounts have been removed from OpenSea as an additional measure.
More NFTs: A 12-year-old earns $400,000 selling NFTs to idiots
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