Instagram threatens to delete artist account for selling cocaine NFTs
It turns out that digital cocaine is a lot harder to sell than the real stuff.
Colombian artist sells ‘cocaine’ NFTs and finds that some of his biggest opponents are not rival law enforcement or drug lords, but social media platforms instead.
Camilo Restrepo, an artist based in Medellín, sold the NFTs on OpenSea since June 17, according to Grab. This is part of an art project called “a ToN oF coke” which is made up of “1,000 one kilo collectible packets of cocaine that can be legally detained”. The images themselves are simply white 3D rectangles on a gray background.
Hammer of prohibition
Although completely legal, Restrepo’s artwork has been difficult to market on social media. Indeed, each time the artist tries to promote or market his project, he is inevitably banned or his messages are deleted.
For example, he created a Twitter account for the project in July that tweeted whenever a kilogram was sold – to have the account flagged and suspended within days.
“I guess the algorithm doesn’t differentiate between crypto-cocaine and the real thing,” Restrepo said. Grab.
He is also not doing well on Instagram where two of his posts were deleted due to the site’s rule on “selling illegal or regulated goods,” according to the platform. Restrepo was told that if he deleted a third post his account would be banned entirely – so he stopped posting about it altogether.
Coincidentally, digital cocaine sales are surprisingly similar to actual illicit drug sales – or at least that’s in Colombia where a stigma hangs over the country’s violent history with drugs.
Banks nationwide have blocked sales of NFTs and even imposed stricter security measures on the purchase of US dollars, which is required to secure certain cryptocurrencies. However, Restrepo found an interesting workaround: he transferred ether into the crypto wallets of his clients, who in turn transfer Colombian pesos to his bank account. When a kilo of NFT is purchased, the Ether returns to the artist.
“It really mimics the cocaine laundering circle,” Restrepo said Grab. ” For many [drug] today’s shipments are paid for with crypto which is then exchanged for cash.
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