[Coinlive Feature] Furious controversy over BAYC, what happened?
Bored Ape Yatch Club, or ‘BAYC’ in short, is one of the most well-known NFT projects in the world, be it to the crypto investor, Wall Street manager or even a regular person. For people who don’t understand NFT, BAYC is nothing more than just a digital image; meanwhile for the NFT community, most of them being enthusiasts, view BAYC as the ultimate goal of their NFT collection. Unfortunately, this all changed due to one article, followed by relevant discussions in Twitter and YouTube videos. This BAYC’s ‘kryptonite’ is called racism, or Nazism to be precise.
If you are not active in the NFT scene or stick to your phone tweeting whole day, highly you are not aware of what happened and why people are so upset. As one of the bystanders, let me guide you through the timeline of this controversy.
In the first week of January this year, Twitter user @ryder_ripps were firing BAYC’s racism evidence and finding non-stop. Yuga Labs, the company that owns BAYC’s IP, immediately responded with the accusation. @ryder_ripps later compiled all his findings and published a research article titled ‘Bored Ape Yacht Club is Racist and Contains Nazi Dog Whistles’ on https://gordongoner.com/ . Gordon Goner is one of the co-founders of BAYC and Yuga Labs.
Yuga Labs’s responded with a Twitter thread addressing several questions. Link: https://twitter.com/yugalabs/status/1478100695404449804
The BAYC’s controversy sparked off intense conversations in the NFT scene, and probably article of the month for a few news sites, but nothing too much other than these. The sales of BAYC were still going strong. All the while @ryder_ripps was trying his best to persuade others of his research.
Floor price movement of BAYC
On 20 June 2022, a video titled ‘BORED APE NAZI CLUB’ was uploaded to YouTube and immediately gained traction. As of writing, it accumulated a total view of 1.27 million. The hour-long video was based on the findings from @ryder_ripps's website. The controversy of BAYC being racist reignited. More and more people in the NFT scene started to believe BAYC was at least somehow appropriating Nazism traits, such as Nazi dog whistles, Nazi emblem, Nazi naming etc.
According to @ryder_ripps, the BAYC logo looks very similar to the Nazi Totenkopf emblem
While the floor price of BAYC NFT didn’t hurt much, its reputation did. At the same time, a duplicate BAYC collection, named ‘RR/BAYC’, was on its way to the moon. ‘RR’ stands for Ryder Ripps, the Twitter user aforementioned as well as the face of the BAYC racist movement. Yes, this BAYC derivative NFT collection was created by @ryder_ripps himself, as a satire and protest against BAYC. This rip-off collection was first launched in the mid of May 2022, weeks before the frenzy of free-mint NFT projects, thus 0.15 ETH is required to mint a rip-off ape during then.
Buyers may reserve the ape they wish to mint for 0.15 ETH. Website: https://rrbayc.com/
This rip-off RR/BAYC had some sales on and off before the controversy resurfaced. As the YouTube video gone viral, the floor price of this NFT collection started to pick up. To the astonishment of NFT community, it hit a ten-bagger! Floor price skyrocketed from 0.15 ETH to 1.5 ETH! I vividly remember when I was glancing the hottest NFT collection as a daily routine, this RR/BAYC thingy was in the trending list selling at 0.2 ETH each. When I hit refresh button 10 minutes, it shot up to 0.5 ETH! Well, I nearly spit my coffee watching this madness.
It will be an instant 10 times gain if anyone were able to buy one from the secondary market on 21 June
However, as they say, all good things must come to an end, so do RR/BAYC. Despite the intention of @ryder_ripps is to protest against racism, RR/BAYC is straight up a rip-off and there is no saying in this. OpenSea quickly delisted this derivative NFT collection on the same day, resulted in the plummet of floor price. Although RR/BAYC can still be traded in the second and third largest NFT marketplace, Looksrare & X2Y2, the consequence of delisting from OpenSea is always far-reaching. As the time of writing this piece, RR/BAYC had already lost its trend, floor price is sitting below 0.2 ETH mark.
@ryder_ripps was not in trouble when he launched the fake NFT collection back in May, as it didn’t attract too much attention. It finally became an issue when he started to gain huge profit using registered intellectual property. Yuga Labs has filed lawsuit against @ryder_ripps and relevant parties that ripped off BAYC NFT, but not for defamation, hence the person who uploaded the BAYC conspiracy video is staying out of trouble, at least for now.
Yuga Labs’s statement
Things have settled down at the moment, Gordon and Yuga Labs have stopped responding the accusation. In my opinion, it is challenging to prove BAYC in relation to racism, Nazism, or whatever allegation. That’s why this whole series of event is called a conspiracy, as if the moon landing was faked, there is just no way to prove it, unlike Johnny Depp's legal case. Nevertheless, BAYC’s reputation is heavily harmed in the process. To avoid being call out as a fascist, people will try to stay away from BAYC until the jury reaches a verdict.
Written by: [Coinlive] Nell