Latvian artist threatens prison for money laundering through NFTs – Bitcoin News

A Latvian artist is under investigation for allegedly selling NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, for money laundering, which could carry a sentence of up to 12 years in prison. The authorities banned his bank accounts and opened an investigation without notifying him.

An artist who sold over 3,500 NFT members has been sued for money laundering in Latvia

Latvian artist and developer Ilya Borisov is awaiting trial amid accusations of using digital holdings to launder 8.7 million euros ($8.8 million), investigators claim. He denies wrongdoing and is determined to seek justice in court.

Borisov launched a website called “Art – Crime”, which reveals how the Latvian government froze his accounts without any official notification. A criminal case was filed against the artist in February, but he discovered it only in May.

According to the site, the Latvian sold 3,557 cars NFTs to earn the respective amount. Quoting crypto news outlet, Borisov insisted that he was not trying to avoid taxes and even asked the Revenue Service to clarify the matter. In 2021 alone, he paid about 2.2 million euros in income tax.

However, Borisov is now on trial for widespread money laundering and could be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison. He says the allegations have severely affected him morally. The artist, who is of Russian origin, also fears that Moscow’s military invasion of Ukraine may affect the judges’ decision in his case.

Ilya Borisov emphasized that blockchain technologies create a lot of opportunities for artists like him and accused the regulators of limiting these opportunities to a large extent.

Non-fungible tokens are gaining popularity amid attempts to regulate the market

Over the past few years, NFTs have become a popular tool for proving ownership of records and digital assets, especially artwork, music, and video. The global market for non-fungible tokens is estimated at between $20 billion and $35 billion. Projections are that it will grow even more with one forecast indicating that it could reach $80 billion by 2025.

Digital collectibles have been used to raise funds for various reasons. Earlier this year, Ukraine sold Cryptopunk NFT, donated to support the war-torn country, to raise more than $100,000. Kryptoponics It is an NFT set on the Ethereum blockchain that was launched in 2017.

Authorities around the world are trying to regulate NFTs along with cryptocurrencies. The latest draft EU proposal for crypto-asset markets (MiCA) makes an exception for the NFT, but European officials must decide whether separate regulations are needed for them within 18 months.

In Russia, a bill on NFTs was presented to the lower house of parliament in May. And in China, where the term ‘digital holdings’ is preferred to avoid being tied to cryptocurrencies, NFTs have enjoyed increasing popularity, but restrictions on secondary trading have convinced tech giants like Tencent to pull out of the market.

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artist, status, crypto, cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency, developer, cryptocurrency, investigation, latvia, latvia, money laundering, nft, nfts, non-fungible tokens, sue, russia, russian, tax, tax, tax, token, ukraine Ukraine

What do you think of the NFT issue in Latvia? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tasev

Lubomir Tasev is an Eastern European technologist who likes to quote Hitchens: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain, and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

photo credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wikicommons

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