Anonymous to Investigate BAYC NFTs as Racism Claims Resurface

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: Wallpaper Flare

Global hacktivist group, Anonymous, has sent a message to Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collectors. The group said that it would investigate the allegations of Nazism, racism, and even pedophilia representations in the BAYC non-fungible tokens (NFT).

The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection is one of the most popular and expensive NFT collections. A-list celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Justin Bieber, among others, are all proud owners of BAYC Apes. Snoop Dogg and Eminem have even dropped a music video featuring their respective BAYC Apes. Nonetheless, controversy has followed the famous collection.

Although the founder of the NFT collection has denied all claims, the hacker group stated in the video that,

“We are aware of both official and unofficial responses from founders and representatives, but have come across nothing that has been labeled as unrefuted.”

However, at the beginning of the video, the group did say that this was a “friendly message.” Nonetheless, they want to take the time to open a discussion about the BAYC NFT collection.

The group stated that,

“We don’t believe in half measures and want to be thorough with our investigation.”

They go on to say that the investigation may take several months. Moreover, the group clarifies that they do not care if people have racist, nihilist, or Nazi views. However, they take issue if brands inject said ideologies into unsuspecting collectors.

Many BAYC fans have even called the latest Anonymous video “fake.” However, the video message does seem pretty real. Additionally, it was released via the official channels of the hacker group.

Why the accusations against the BAYC NFT collection?

Accusations of the collection having Nazi symbology started with artist Ryder Ripps who called out the company Yuga Labs. Ripps alleges that the BAYC logo represents the Nazi SS logo.

Moreover, the online pseudonyms the BAYC NFT founders employ, according to Ripps, are based on racial taunts. According to Ripps, one goes by the name Gargamel and has the name of “a character from the Smurfs who is regarded as an antisemitic representation of a Jewish person.” Additionally, he claims that another co-founder’s Twitter handle, SASS, is a merger of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and Schutzstaffel (SS), the paramilitary security forces of the Nazi Party.

Nonetheless, Yuga Labs has filed a lawsuit against Ripps. Ripps is accused of violating the BAYC brand, trademark, and intellectual property, according to the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Ripps thinks the company is seeking to intimidate opponents like him.

Furthermore, the founders have released an open letter denying all claims and calling Ripps a “demented troll.” The creators of the NFT collection have said they will continue to be transparent with their fans and collectors.