Yuga Labs has finally broken its silence over a conspiracy theory alleging that the team included alt-right and Nazi memes/images in the artwork and branding behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection of Indestructible Tokens (NFT).
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the BAYC conspiracy theory was highlighted again on June 20 after YouTuber Philion posted a video exploring the supposed evidence that artist Ryder Ripps initially collected earlier this year.
In a blog post on Medium, shared via Twitter on Saturday, Yuga Labs co-founder Gordon Goner said the team finally decided to clear the air after the theory got so much attention that one of their favorite podcasters was talking about it:
“We haven’t responded in more detail to these allegations because they are frankly insanely elusive.”
“Having said that, this morning we woke up to a respected podcast player talking about this conspiracy theory, and it was so surreal. It made us feel like it was time to get out and put an end to all of this.”
In particular, Ryder Rips claimed that BAYC NFT artwork contains racist caricatures of blacks and Asians, and the project’s logo and branding have numerous nods to certain Nazi symbols and language. The artist has also made an NFT-derived set of BAYC called RR/BAYC as satire and protest against Yuga Labs.
While the team did not address all of the points made against BAYC, it completely denied allegations that its logo was derived from the Nazi Totenkopf (skull and crossbones) symbol. She also reiterated that the use of Apes in BAYC is an indication of crypto decay and not racist phishing. However, not everyone was pleased with their response, since several points were not touched upon.
In an update later that day, the Yuga Labs team also said it had taken legal action and filed a lawsuit to “stop the ongoing infringement and other unlawful attempts to harm” the company and the community. Although he didn’t mention Ryder Ripps by name directly.
NFT X2Y2 Market Volume Increased Beyond OpenSea
Over the past several weeks, the volume of sales in the Ethereum-based X2Y2-based NFT market has surged past the top platform in the OpenSea segment.
According to data from DappRadar, X2Y2 generated $144.16 million in NFT sales from just 11,534 traders over the past week, compared to $117.64 million from 155,734 traders on OpenSea.