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Did MoonPay give Hollywood celebs Bored Ape NFTs to pump their price and boost its profile?

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It’s no secret that there’s an ongoing class action lawsuit against some of Hollywood’s biggest names for promoting Bored Ape NFTs without declaring their financial interests.

Now, The Block has reported its sources confirmed that MoonPay, a multi-billion digital currency industry startup, did, in fact, gift high-profile celebrities Bored Ape NFTs to boost its profile.

While MoonPay denies the allegations, claiming that it charged its celebrity clients the full price of the NFTs, it declined to comment on when it invoiced them and whether or not they paid.

The class action lawsuit, filed in 2022, alleges that celebrities promoted both the Bored Apes NFT collection and MoonPay itself without disclosing their financial interests.

The revelations are yet another example of the shenanigans in the industry. It’s also yet more proof there’s nothing new here: existing financial and securities laws apply to so-called digital assets, and those who violate them will be held accountable no matter who they are.

Which celebs were involved, and who has been brought to justice so far?

The celebs who promoted Bored Apes on social media include Justin Bieber, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jimmy Fallon, and Paris Hilton. However, while they may be caught up in this particular scandal, they’re far from the only celebrities involved in “crypto” schemes.

Previously, boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., DJ Khaled, and influencer Kim Kardashian have all been named and shamed, and in some cases fined, for their involvement in promoting ICOs.

As the SEC ramps up its enforcement on the industry, taking aim at some of its biggest players such as Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) and Binance, we may yet see more household names charged, fined, and worse for their law-breaking.

Bored Apes are an embarrassment to the potential of NFTs

Not only did the Bored Apes launch crash the Ethereum blockchain, proving how unsuitable it is as the base layer of anything, but they have irreparably damaged the reputation of NFTs. That’s a shame because, as those building on utility blockchains know, NFTs can be so much more than JPEGs of apes that fleece people for millions.

What are some real use cases for NFTs? Controlling access to rooms and buildings, verifying the authenticity of luxury goods, tracking items in supply chains, tokenizing real estate, and creating new business models for artists are some potential use cases for non-fungible tokens.

However, for these use cases to be realized, the ‘crypto’ scams have to die, and technically superior blockchains must be given the attention they deserve. Hopefully, as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brings the hammer down on the worst actors in the industry, the endless distractions will fade to black, and those building the future on utility blockchains like BSV blockchain will show the world what this revolutionary technology can do.

Discussion: How NFTs are bridging the gap across platforms

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