MoonPay’s CEO is Accused of Insider Trading



Fintech company, MoonPay is in the news again. But, this time, it’s not for assisting a high-profile celebrity in acquiring a blue-chip NFT or for its strategic partnerships. Rather, Twitter user @NFTethics has accused MoonPay CEO, Ivan Soto-Wright, of insider trading.  

NFT Ethics has alleged that MoonPay’s CEO is involved in insider trading. Credits: MoonPay

“Do you think it is appropriate for you, as the CEO of MoonPay, to personally trade in NFTs, when you have insider information about (celebrity) deals that can have a material impact on the value of that NFT?,” NFT Ethics asked Ivan in a tweet

First things first: What is MoonPay?

Launched in 2019, MoonPay allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and NFTs using major payment methods, including credit cards, mobile wallets, and bank transfers. Essentially, MoonPay integration allows users to buy NFTs without acquiring crypto beforehand. The firm’s aim is to “increase cryptocurrency adoption” and enable people worldwide to “participate in the biggest digital revolution since the internet.” 

Late last year, MoonPay launched an NFT Concierge for high-net-worth individuals. In a nutshell, the service assists high-profile clients in purchasing blue-chip NFTs hassle-free. Their clientele boasts celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Post Malone, Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, and Martin Garrix. More recently, the company helped Gwyneth Paltrow in purchasing a BAYC NFT.

MoonPay’s CEO and insider trading

Now, NFT Ethics has accused MoonPay’s CEO of insider trading. Ivan personally trades in NFTs and in fact, his verified Twitter profile features a Bored Ape. This could likely impact the value of the collection. What’s more, Ivan bought several RTFKT CloneX NFTs just hours before MoonPay transferred CloneX to Justin Beiber. 

“That is what we would call a “hands-on” CEO,” NFT Ethics wrote. 

MoonPay CEO bought several RTFKT CloneX NFTs. Credits: @NFTethics

Things don’t end there. NFT Ethics also revealed that some Bored Apes and Mutant apes were transferred to MoonPay’s OpenSea account for free. These came from several accounts, including that of nft42 and j1mmy.eth. The company has not clarified how it compensated these people. 

Besides, over two months ago, MoonPay had already purchased the Bored Ape that Gwyneth Paltrow bought days back. “Does that imply that MoonPay is actively investing in NFTs, even before a potential celebrity wants to purchase one?” NFT Ethics asked. 

Ever since MoonPay launched the concierge service, several users have raised questions about MoonPay’s commercial relationship with celebrity customers. Notably, the startup had appeared in Post Malone’s music video as well as on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.

In a recent interview, The Block had asked Ivan if he could confirm that the “clients are not paid in any way” to use the concierge service to “promote MoonPay.” However, his answer was far from satisfactory. 

Ivan’s answer to The Block. Credits: @NFTethics

Neither MoonPay nor Ivan has responded to the allegations (at the time of writing). This is not the first time that a major player in the NFT space has been accused of insider trading. In fact, top NFT marketplace, OpenSea had admitted that one of their employees was involved in an insider trading scheme last year. 

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