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UK tax authorities seize NFTs for the first time

The UK’s tax department, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), says it’s the first authority in the country to seize an NFT, BBC News reports. Three people were arrested in connection with a PS1.4million (roughly $1.9million) fraud case. The authority seized PS5,000 worth of crypto assets (around $6,762) alongside three NFT artworks which have yet to be valued.

As cryptocurrencies have increased in value, authorities are increasingly taking high-profile seizures. Just this month the USA’s Department of Justice seized $3.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency linked to the 2016 Bitfinex hack. This is the first major seizure of NFTs, digital assets used to prove ownership of media such as images and songs.

According to HMRC’s deputy director of economic crime, Nick Sharp, the authority “constantly adapt[s] to new technology to ensure we keep pace with how criminals and evaders look to conceal their assets.” He told BBC News the seizure “serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can use crypto assets to hide money from HMRC.”

The suspected fraud is alleged to have involved 250 fake companies, and the three suspects apparently used everything from fake addresses, pre-paid phones, VPNs, and stolen identities to hide their activities from HMRC. Sky News reports that HMRC has not taken control of the NFTs, but that it is using a court order to prevent them from being sold.

This is not likely to be the last time that authorities seize NFTs. Recently an IRS special agent noted that the agency is increasingly focusing on crypto-assets because of the “mountains” of fraud it’s seeing in the area, Bloomberg Quint reported. With individual NFTs being sold for millions as part of an industry valued at around $16 billion, it’s inevitable that authorities will start becoming more involved.

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South Korean Regulator Excludes Certain NFTs From Crypto Regulations

South Korea’s top financial regulator has issued guidelines clarifying when non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are considered virtual assets. This distinction aims to minimize the risk of widespread user harm. The guidelines will be part of the Virtual Asset User Protection Act, effective July 19, 2024. FSC Issues New NFT Classification Guidelines On Monday…
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Dapper Labs Secures Favorable Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit Involving NBA Top Shot NFTs

Dapper Labs, a blockchain technology and digital collectibles company, has reached a favorable settlement in the legal case Friel vs. Dapper Labs, establishing that NBA Top Shot Moments are not securities. The company emphasizes that this significant ruling clarifies the legal status of digital collectibles and ensures the continued decentralization of the Flow blockchain…
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The First Web3 RPG From Saudi Arabia Astra Nova Launches a SocialFi Platform on Immutable zkEVM

PRESS RELEASE. Astra Nova, the pioneering Web3 RPG from Saudi Arabia, is excited to announce the launch of its SocialFi platform, The Black Pass. This innovative platform is accessible through a free soulbound NFT and offers a competitive edge by tracking players’ in-game activity. On The Black Pass…
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