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In a Tax Fraud Case, UK Tax Authorities Seized NFTs Worth $1.9 Million

The NFT market is rife with shady dealings. British authorities seized three NFTs as part of a tax fraud investigation.

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#nft #nfthours #hmrc #fraud #taxevasion

The suspects allegedly used 250 fraudulent organizations, fictitious names, prepaid phones, VPNs, and other methods to conceal themselves to cheat the UK tax department of £1.4 million ($1.9 million).

NFTs are seized by UK tax authorities

The UK tax department, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have seized three non-fungible tokens as part of an investigation into a potential VAT fraud involving 250 fictitious firms.

Three persons have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to cheat the government of $1.9 million by HMRC, which claims to be the first UK agency to seize an NFT.

The accused allegedly attempted to claim back more VAT than they were owed by using a mix of stolen identities, unregistered phones, and false invoices to conceal their identities. According to HMRC, the scheme involved 250 ostensibly fictitious companies.

Nick Sharp, HMRC’s deputy director of economic crime, stated in a statement Monday:

“Our first seizure of a Non-Fungible Token should serve as a caution to anyone who believes they can hide money from HMRC using cryptoassets.”

“We’re always adapting to new technology to make sure we’re keeping up with how criminals and tax evaders try to hide their assets,” Sharp added.

After a court order, the unvalued NFTs and crypto-assets worth roughly £5,000 ($6,760) were seized by HMRC. According to the authorities, this is the first time that NFTs have been taken by UK law enforcement.

Cryptocurrency seizures are on the rise

The investigation has not yet concluded. However, according to deputy director of economic crime Nick Sharp, the seizures will “act as a signal” to other would-be crypto scammers.

As the value of cryptocurrencies has risen, high-profile seizures by police have grown more common.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has seized Bitcoin worth more than $3.6 billion in connection with the 2016 Bitfinex hack. Netflix is already creating a documentary series about the world’s largest crypto crime.

However, the most recent example in the United Kingdom is one of the first high-profile seizures of NFTs, which are digital assets designed to act as proof of ownership for items like art or images stored on the blockchain.

It’s worth mentioning that the amount of money invested in NFT enterprises increased by 130x between 2020 and 2021, reaching $4.8 billion. However, despite its rapid expansion, the new profession has been dogged by controversy, particularly in the areas of money laundering and fraud.

A significant number of frauds are targeting big digital assets. After a woman he messaged on a dating app scammed him a few weeks ago, an unnamed UK resident lost $200,000. She persuaded him to invest BTC in a dubious program that promised to make him wealthy.

ART & COLLECTABLES

Ford is getting ready to enter the Metaverse with digital cars and NFTs

A month after the company announced significant personnel reductions, it has filed a trademark application covering its future initiatives in the Metaverse and NFT space.

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Ford Motor Company, an American automaker, has filed 19 trademark applications across its key automobile brands as it prepares to enter the realm of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse.

Mike Kondoudis, a trademark attorney licensed by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), disclosed in a tweet on Wednesday that the business had submitted a total of 19 trademark applications covering its car brands, including Mustang, Bronco, Lincoln, Explorer, and F-150 Lightning, among others.

The trademark applications include a projected online marketplace for NFTs and virtual versions of its businesses’ automobiles, trucks, vans, SUVs, and clothes.

Ford intends to produce digital images of its vehicles, SUVs, trucks, and vans that will be verified by NFTs, according to USPTO filings submitted by the automaker on September 2.

The business also disclosed plans for “downloadable virtual commodities,” or “computer programs,” that would include apparel, accessories, and parts for vehicles for usage in “online virtual environments,” such as virtual and augmented reality trade exhibitions.

Additionally, there are plans to develop an online marketplace for “others’ digital artwork” as well as “online retail shop services featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles.”

Less than a month after Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley announced significant personnel reductions from its global workforce to decrease corporate expenses; Ford has decided to enter the Web3 area.

Ford isn’t the first automaker to enter the Metaverse market.

While premium automakers like Bentley and Lamborghini have already launched NFT collections, automakers including Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai have indicated ambitions to enter the fast-expanding Metaverse market.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Crypto-Vultures Profit from the Death of Queen Elizabeth

Only a few hours after the Queen’s passing, more than 40 meme tokens bearing her name have been released.

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Yesterday, according to Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away. Although her loss triggered a global outpouring of sympathy and grief, it has also been exploited as a money-grab.

Elizabeth II, monarch
Grift endures eternally, but the Queen is gone.

There are over 40 meme coins on Ethereum and the Binance Smart Chain thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s passing (and at least one exploitative NFT collection).

While the news of the British monarch’s demise saddened people worldwide, cryptocurrency scammers took advantage of the occasion to launch dozens of meme coins with Queen themes on Ethereum and Binance’s BNB Chain.

Among the new crypto coins that were introduced are “Queen Elizabeth Inu,” “Queen Doge,” “God Save The Queen,” “London Bridge Is Down,” “Queen Grow,” “Rip Queen Elizabeth,” “Elizabeth II,” and “Queen Inu II.” Other tokens with the name of the next king, King Charles III, have also appeared. According to DexScreener, at least 40 separate meme coins appear to have been produced in the previous six hours.

The most liquid tokens, Save The Queen and Queen Elizabeth Inu, have already processed trade volumes of around $700,000 and $200,000 since their debut. At the time of writing, the price of Queen Elizabeth Inu is up 1,517%, while it has increased by 23,271% on Binance Smart Chain and 3,708% on Uniswap. Prices are incredibly unstable and exceedingly unlikely to persist.

The “Queen Elizabeth 69 Years NFT” NFT set has reportedly been produced. One image is said to represent each year of the Queen’s reign in the collection. The project’s aims should be questioned because Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years, not 69.

The crypto community, typically known for its gallows humor, mainly reacted negatively to the initiatives. When told about the NFT collection, NFT aficionado ThreadGuy said, “You’re going to hell.” Trader Byzantine General declared, “We’ve got to stop this crypto stuff.”

In 1926, Queen Elizabeth was born. She was the longest-reigning British monarch in history and passed away in Balmoral Castle at 96.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

One crypto sector, according to billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya, is experiencing a classic bubble cycle

One crypto sector may be going through a typical hype cycle, according to billionaire investor and software entrepreneur Chamath Palihapitiya.

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In a new episode of the All-In podcast, the CEO of Social Capital discusses the sharp decline in trading volume in the non-fungible token (NFT) market.

Palihapitiya offers Coachella and Burning Man as examples of major music festivals that strive to be distinctive but may wind up being mostly the same.

The billionaire contrasts NFTs and the overall art market with the two music events.

“I do believe that there is something going on; the simplest way to explain this is with the Burning Man/Coachella scenario. Many of these things are similar, but when some people approach anything new, they are too insecure to accept that it is similar to another item, so they spend a lot of time attempting to convince you that it is different. When someone says that a time is different, it’s probably not that different, as stated in the Warren Buffett quote, is an example. Or consider the other famous historical adage, “Things don’t always repeat in history, but they rhyme.”

All of this is meant to imply that, aside from major advances in science, not much new has been discovered recently. We keep repeating the same patterns, and one of them is the social capital that comes from making certain decisions and then having those decisions validated by others in order to feel valuable. And this occurred in NFTs, as well as, I’m sure, in the initial stages of several artistic movements. These events are more comparable than dissimilar because they have presumably occurred in a number of other markets as well.

Burning man and Coachella are same. The art market and NFTs are both the same. It doesn’t need to be unusual; you can simply appreciate it because you think it’s cool. I would just take it with a grain of salt and tell anyone who comes to you asking why it’s so different.

DappRadar reports that earlier last week, trading volume on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea reached a one-year low.

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