Bored Ape Yacht Club Slammed for New KYC-Restricted Project

Users can now register for the collaborative project between Yuga Labs and Animoca Brands—but they will need to reveal their identities. 

Bored Ape Yacht Club Slammed for New KYC-Restricted Project
Cover image from Bored Ape Yacht Club/OpenSea

Key Takeaways

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs is launching a new project in collaboration with Animoca Brands.
  • However, many fans are displeased by its know-your-customer verification requirements.
  • A Terms of Service document has also been criticized as it allows Animoca Brands to commercialize users’ content.

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Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs has faced backlash from the crypto community after sign-ups for the company’s new collaboration with Animoca Brands requires users to undergo know-your-customer verification. 

New Bored Ape Project Requires KYC

Bored Ape fans will need to reveal their identities to take part in Yuga Labs’ latest project.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club creator released a teaser website for an upcoming collaboration with crypto game developer Animoca Brands Thursday night, but many users are hesitant to sign up. 

The reason is that in order to register an Ethereum wallet, users must undergo full know-your-customer verification. The requirements include providing a passport, national ID, or driving license, along with a slew of personal details, including family name, date of birth, and proof of address. 

Many members of the crypto community have spoken out against the move on Twitter, slamming Yuga Labs’ stringent KYC requirements. “Sad day, will be the first ( and hopefully last ) BAYC related thing I’m gonna skip. No KYC for me thanks,” said one user posting under the handle @OGDfarmer. However, others appear more understanding of Yuga Labs’ KYC requirements. User @BAYC2745 pointed out that KYC requirements were inevitable for big NFT brands such as Yuga Labs that want to go mainstream.

In addition to the KYC requirements, a Terms of Service document that users must agree to has also been criticized. The Terms of Service grant Yuga Labs partner Animoca Brands the right to license, adapt and commercialize any portion of users’ current and future content produced through or connected to the new project. “I really thought we were trying to move away from a web that profited off people’s IP without their consent,” said user @SebsDead_, referencing the crypto community’s efforts to move away from centralized Web2 platforms where users do not own their content. Crypto enthusiasts believe that the next evolution of Web2 is “Web3,” a new version of the Internet where decentralization is paramount, and users maintain ownership of what they create online.

While many Bored Ape Yacht Club fans are displeased with the KYC requirements, the team behind the project appears to understand their fans’ concerns. In a follow up to the Tweet announcing the project, the official Bored Ape Yacht Club account posted:

“This has been building over the last seven months. @AnimocaBrands will launch the first phase, and there’s more to come. P.S. we don’t like KYCs either, but we think you’re going to want to be a part of this.”

In the same thread, the Bored Ape Yacht Club account also stated that the project would have nothing to do with the previously confirmed Bored Ape Yacht Club token or play-to-earn game. 

In recent months, Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs have received a huge amount of mainstream attention. Several major celebrities revealed they had bought Bored Ape NFTs, including talk show host Jimmy Fallon, rapper Eminem, and sports stars such as the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry. 

Rumors also surfaced in February that Bored Ape creator Yuga Labs was in talks with venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz over a possible investment that would value the company between $4 and $5 billion. While multiple sources have reported this rumor, its authenticity is yet to be confirmed. 

Regardless of the backlash against its KYC requirements, the new collaborative project looks set to boost further the hype surrounding the Bored Ape Yacht Club brand. 

Yuga Labs did not respond for comment at press time.

Disclosure: At the time of writing this piece, the author owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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