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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. The seizure was made as part of a £1.4 million (roughly $1.9 million) fraud case, in which three individuals have been arrested. The authority seized £5,000 worth of crypto assets (around $6,762) alongside
three NFT artworks that have yet to be valued.
As cryptocurrencies have exploded in price, high-profile seizures by
authorities have become increasingly common. Just this month, the USA’s Department of Justice seized $3.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency linked to the 2016 Bitfinex hack. But this is one of the first high profile seizures of NFTs, digital assets that attempt to serve as proof of ownership of media like images or 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.”