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OpenSea employee used insider knowledge to buy notable NFTs

September 15, 2021, 6:00 PM UTC

An OpenSea employee purchased items scheduled to appear on the company’s website before they were made available publicly, the NFT marketplace said Wednesday.

The employee’s actions, which the company said it learned about on Tuesday have sparked an investigation by OpenSea into the incident, according to a company blog post.

“This is incredibly disappointing,” the company said in the post. “We want to be clear that this behavior does not represent our values as a team.”

OpenSea implemented two new policies to try to prevent a similar move by other employees.

Workers are now banned from the following, according to the blog post:

  • Buying and selling from collections or creators while OpenSea is featuring them or promoting them, including on the front page of the website
  • Using confidential information to purchase or sell any NFTs, whether available on OpenSea or not

The blog post did not mention whether the employee who committed the offense was punished in any way, or what the consequences are for breaking the new rules.

Because of lack of regulation for NFTs, insider trading for the digital collectibles isn’t technically illegal as it would be in other financial markets. Still, it’s not a good look for the company, especially with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler eyeing more regulations for the crypto markets.

OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace and processed more than $3 billion in transactions last month alone, including Fortune’s first-ever NFT sale, which raised about $1.3 million. OpenSea was valued at $1.5 billion after a $100 million funding round in July.

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