It can be noted that American regulators have revived again and are ready to take control. In particular, the senators proposed to consider a large bill, where it is proposed not only to transfer the spot cryptocurrency market to the CFTC (recognizing most cryptocurrencies as commodities), but also to settle many points from accounting for client coins on exchanges to defining the most important terms. In this regard, it will not be superfluous to discuss possible changes regarding the status of the NFT, which may occur in the near future. So far, there are no specifics – only rumors and statements of individual people associated with the SEC.
First, it is worth telling about a rather loud event, which became the root cause for speculation. An employee of OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, was caught in insider trading: for several months he acquired NFT, having information that they would be promoted on the main page of the platform. A very important detail is that he was charged not just by representatives of the company or the industry as a whole, but by a real prosecutor from Manhattan. This is the first time when the term “insider trading” is used by representatives of law enforcement agencies not only in relation to NFT, but also cryptocurrencies in general. Previously, such words could be found only in the address of people working with securities.
Alma Angotti, a former representative of the SEC’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Department, said that NFTs easily fall under the criteria of the “Howey Test”, which was created to determine whether a transaction is an action aimed at making a profit and therefore falls under the category of securities transactions. NFT buyers expect to make money on the growth of the asset price, which means they are not so much different from, say, stocks. Moreover, the actions of a particular employee fall under “money laundering”, since he committed not only “misappropriation of confidential employer information”, but also spent the income received through the US monetary system.
In general, the NFT market provides unprecedented freedom in terms of money laundering.
Anyone can rivet a pixel image in the editor in a couple of minutes and put it up for sale for any amount, then buy it from another wallet, and then bring the allegedly received income to the real world. Such operations can be carried out indefinitely. For example, you can buy a picture from yourself, put it up for auction for 50% of the cost and if there is at least one person willing to buy it in the expectation that he will be able to sell it for more, then also earn. Most likely, in the very near future we will see attempts by the SEC to take this segment under control and tighten the screws.