“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” — Plato

The above quote has withstood the test of time. Across industries, markets, communities and ideas, people ultimately will find a way to either do good or at worse, wrong. Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and crypto are certainly no exception to the rule. The industry is exploding — overflowing even — with endless drops, jaw-dropping floor prices and adoption across ever-expanding corners of culture.

NFTs are moving forward at breakneck speed, and the money is there. According to data from market tracker DappRadar, NFT sales skyrocketed to $10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up more than 8x from the previous quarter. That’s a lot of Apes and Penguins.

Creators, brands, institutions — everyone is diving headfirst into this world right now. It’s time to take a look around. At the end of the last year, we saw an alarming headline for the NFT space: The U.S. government made it illegal to buy a handful of NFTs after putting 57 cryptocurrency addresses and one exchange on the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list. According to OFAC, the addresses identified were facilitating ransomware and money laundering. Reports for blockchain data company Elliptic reported that the total amount of crypto in the sanctioned wallet addresses surpassed $300 million.

Darknet markets and nefarious transactions

The Treasury Department named a Latvia-based exchange Chatex as responsible for facilitating these nefarious…


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