Tech Digest daily roundup: NFTs seized in suspected VAT fraud

(CC BY 2.0) by wuestenigel

The UK tax authority has seized three Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) as part of a probe into a suspected VAT fraud involving 250 alleged fake companies. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said three people had been arrested on suspicion of attempting to defraud it of £1.4m. The authority said it was the first UK law enforcement to seize an NFT. NFTs are assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold, but which have no tangible form of their own. The digital tokens, which emerged in 2014, can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets. NFTs have a unique digital signature so they can be bought and sold using traditional currency or cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. BBC

A maker of parts for wind farms is to build a factory in the North East that will create more than 2,000 jobs, in a boost for a region seeking an industrial revival. South Korea’s SeAH Wind will invest up to £300m to make steel foundations for offshore wind turbines from a 90-acre site in Teesworks next to the River Tees. It is expected to create 750 direct jobs and 1,500 more in the supply chain, and will be fully up and running by 2026. The area was given freeport status in late 2021, creating an attractive tax regime for businesses including stamp duty and business rates relief. Telegraph

Image: Nintendo

In case you’ve spent the past few days living under a Donkey Kong barrel, it’s finally happened. Nintendo has confirmed the upcoming release of Nintendo Switch Sports, a successor to one of the best-selling video games of all time, Wii Sports, even if it was a pack-in title.  As announced during the company’s first Nintendo Direct event of the year, the Wii game is getting a full refresh in time for an April 2022 release. And while some people may typically have mixed feelings about companies remaking their most popular games, it’s hard to deny that news of a Wii Sports remake has been incredibly well-received. Tech Radar

Plans to make pornography websites carry out age checks are a “privacy minefield” that could lead to a digital ID system for accessing the internet, privacy campaigners have warned. Ministers confirmed this week that social media sites hosting large amounts of pornographic material, such as Twitter and Reddit, would also have to work under the same age-verification rules as adult content sites. It means the sites would have to introduce systems to remove adult material in the UK, or introduce age checks to determine whether users are over 18. The proposed changes to the online safety bill were targeted primarily at commercial pornography publishers, but privacy groups have warned that the move could establish the principle of age-gating across the internet. The Guardian

Norfolk County Council is to tackle Apple in a class-action lawsuit over what it alleges was the company’s misleading predictions about iPhone demand in China. Apple, its chief executive Tim Cook, and its chief financial officer Luca Maestri, are accused of misleading shareholders about iPhone demand in China in 2018. Mr Cook had told investors that while Apple was seeing pressure in some emerging markets he did not believe demand would be down in China…Norfolk County Council claims that Mr Cook must have known at the time that sales in China were starting to slow down. The council claims that this cost its pension fund almost $1m. Sky News

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to