Mutant Ape Creator Pleads Guilty To $3M Wire Fraud, Disney Launches NFT Platform With Dapper Labs

Here are some of the major developments from the world of crypto over the past few days
Mutant Ape
Mutant Ape

The author of the Mutant Ape Planet non-fungible token (NFT) collection — which is a rip-off of Yuga Labs’ Mutant Ape Yacht Club project — has pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to a conspiracy charge to commit wire fraud.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York revealed in a November 14, 2023 statement that Aurelien Michel, who is a French national, has pled guilty to carrying out a “rug pull” and also acknowledged to cheating investors out of $3 million in connection with the bogus Mutant Ape Planet NFTs. Michel now faces up to five years in prison.

According to prosecutors with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Michel and his co-conspirators advertised the NFTs to investors by falsely promising them incentives and benefits in order to generate demand for the collection.

Prosecutors claimed that Michel and his friends “intentionally failed to deliver on these promises, diverting millions of dollars’ worth of proceeds for their personal benefit.”

Disney Launches NFT Platform With Dapper Labs

Disney has collaborated with Blockchain and metaverse business Dapper Labs to develop an NFT platform. It will be named Disney Pinnacle and will go live later this year.

Disney said on November 14, 2023 that it will tokenise its renowned cartoon characters from the previous century on Disney Pinnacle. The portal will also feature Pixar icons as well as heroes and villains from the Star Wars universe, all stylised as collectible and transferable digital pins.

“Fans anywhere in the world will be able to collect dynamic pins on their phone and trade instantly and securely with each other no matter where they are in the world,” Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou said.

The NFT platform will be available later this year on the iOS App Store, the Google Play Store for Android, and the Web. On its official page, there is now only a waitlist and a landing site. Disney Pinnacle is built on layer-1 Blockchain Flow, which was also established by Dapper Labs. Ticketmaster previously chose to mint NFT event tickets on the Flow Blockchain.

UK Crypto Body Looks With Hope At New Economic Secretary

CryptoUK, a self-regulatory trade association, plans to brief Bim Afolami, the UK’s new Economic Secretary to The Treasury on cryptocurrency and its potential benefits to the UK economy.

Earlier in June 2022, Afolami had met with senior Coinbase executives and had said that they addressed the regulatory landscape and that it was “vitally important” to establish an “appropriate regulatory regime” for specific financial services.

“We look forward to working with Bim Afolami as the new Economic Secretary and as the UK government continues to deliver on its ambitions of cementing the UK as a leading global hub for crypto assets and Blockchain technology. We strongly believe that the right regulatory and competitive market can benefit both businesses and consumers,” a spokeswoman for CryptoUK said.

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