- CrypToadz NFT bought for 1,055 ETH ($1.6 million), originally valued at <$1,000.
- Suspicion of money laundering due to the huge price spike.
- Previously sold for 0.95 ETH ($1,600) just two weeks before.
A CrypToadz NFT worth under $1,000 was shockingly purchased for 1,055 ETH ($1.6 million) on OpenSea last week. The sale sparked money-laundering speculation, given the massive price spike.
Just two weeks prior, the same NFT from the popular collection sold for only 0.95 ETH ($1,600). The new buyer instantly flipped it for over 1000x the purchase price.
Moreover, the purchase was funded from a wallet tied to the controversial Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash. The service obscures transaction sources, enabling potential illicit activity.
Some suggest the NFT sale to be wash trading
While possibly just a mistake, some suspect the inflated sale was a form of wash trading to launder money. Similar sales may aim to obfuscate the money trail through a chain of exchanges.
Tornado Cash remains popular with criminals, despite US sanctions in August 2022. But its continued use for potential money laundering highlights the challenges of tracing crypto.
The exorbitant sale price far exceeding the NFT’s estimated value raises red flags. But proving manipulation is difficult without transparent wallet ownership.
Regardless of intent, the incident exemplifies lingering issues around cryptocurrency facilitation of illegal activity. As technology evolves, so too must safeguards to prevent abuse while preserving innovation.