OpenSea CEO Says Insider Trading Claims “Misframing” the Offense

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  • OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer has said that the hubbub around Nate Chastain’s ‘insider trading’ has been misframed
  • Chastain was found buying NFTs before they were promoted on the site and selling them at a profit
  • Finzer said OpenSea wants employees to participate in the NFT market but in accordance with new guidelines

Nate Chastain did not conduct insider trading according to OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer, who says that the debate around the issue has been “misframing” the offense. Finzer was speaking to Decrypt at the Messari Mainnet conference when the subject came up, with the OpenSea CEO saying that while Chastain was guilty of using his influence to enrich himself, it couldn’t be termed as insider trading. Whatever Chastain was formally accused of by OpenSea, it was enough to make him quit his job last week after he was caught selling NFTs he had bought just before they were advertised on the site.

Offense Was Not Insider Trading, Says Finzer

Finzer was asked about the incident with Chastain, to which he responded by explaining how the incident had been, in his opinion, misconstrued:

I do think there was a misframing of it as insider trading. We don’t view NFTs as financial assets, so that does not apply. That’s a very specific term for a very specific thing.

Finzer went on to say that the incident was an opportunity for the company to redefine what employees should treat as confidential information and how they can and can’t handle that. He added that it was a “relatively small thing that was done by an employee” before adding that OpenSea “took action to…um…that employee then resigned”, reinforcing the notion that Chastain not so much chose to jump as he was pushed to the edge of a gangplank and told how warm the water was. He then acknowledged the need to balance fairness in the market with his employees’ desires to be part of it.

OpenSea Drawing Up Employee Guidelines

Finzer also noted the right for employees to take part in the NFT market, and said that new guidelines being drawn up would help them do it in the right way:

The people who work at OpenSea want to participate in the NFT market, but we need to do it in a way that we build really strong trust with our community.

That trust may have been damaged by Chastain’s actions, but if the NFT market recovers its former glories there is every chance that it will be quickly forgotten.