👮♂️ Top Art Blocks and FxHash Artist Wrongly Accused of Money Laundering
Shvembldr earned over $8M euros in 2021 and all his property has been seized...
The Blind Gallery is a new collecting experience happening on Tezos. The second edition is around the corner; follow The Blind Gallery on Twitter to get all the updates.
Today I would like to shed some light on unfortunate and shocking news. Ilja Borisovs, aka Shvembldr, has been accused of money laundering in his home country - Latvia.
If you have been reading my newsletter, you probably have seen his name mentioned on my market analysis (I also ran a giveaway with one of his pieces). I own some of his NFTs, and I’ve seen his success on Art Blocks and FxHash.
Shvembldr shared a website called [Generative] ART IS CRIME in Latvia, where he goes through all the details. I’ll summarize the situation and share some thoughts on why this is important.
Summary Of The Situation
Shvembldr earned over 8M euros creating generative art in 2021. He is one of the top-selling generative artists and NFT artists worldwide.
He transferred his earnings to his bank account in Latvia (his home country). Due to the high amount of earnings, it caught the attention of the authorities.
On his website, Shvembldr mentions he has paid over +3M euros in taxes.
His bank account and property are currently seized (for over 160 days), and he is accused of being part of a money laundering scheme.
See the detailed timeline of events here.
Why Is This Important?
Money laundering keeps getting connected to NFTs and crypto… This is a recurring theme impacting everyone in this medium negatively.
If this happened to Shvembldr, it could happen to others. By others, I am not only referring to artists but also collectors, investors, builders, and developers.
This situation highlights the importance of being informed about the regulations and laws affecting all aspects of crypto. It is worth researching, contacting a lawyer, and getting your situation sorted out if you earn income through NFTs or the blockchain.
Kaloh’s Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
On The Bright Side
There is a chance Shvembldr gets his earnings back. The process might take time, but hopefully, things get resolved, and he gets compensated for all the problems he has gone through.
The blockchain makes it straightforward to track his income. There couldn’t be a more transparent way to see he is an artist who created thousands of art pieces, established himself on multiple platforms, and developed a huge fan base worldwide. You can literally see all his collectors. Even if some might be anons, I am sure many would be happy to reveal who they are to help his case.
After looking at Shvembldr earnings, it is safe to say generative art is a career. Although he is one of the top-selling artists in this space (maybe even the top-selling artist), you could make a comfortable living out of generative art by just achieving a portion of his success.
If you would like to support Shvembldr and everyone honestly involved in NFTs, the best you can do is share this story, and the website Generative ART IS CRIME in Latvia.
Hopefully, this case gets resolved soon, and we can use it as an example to educate people and authorities on how the blockchain works.
Until next time,
Consider subscribing to Kaloh’s Newsletter to receive my articles for free in your inbox. For the full experience, become a premium subscriber.
What you’ll get:
Premium posts + NFT market updates and monthly public posts.
Access to my private Discord server.
Participate in monthly NFT giveaways.
This is absolute madness