On Monday, a group known as Anonewsco — which, despite its name and imagery, does not appear to be affiliated with the international hacktivist collective Anonymous — released a video addressing blockchain technology company Yuga Labs and its nonfungible token (NFT)-driven social club, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
The group's statement included a laundry list of allegations regarding Yuga Lab’s alleged use of esoteric symbolism in BAYC’s art, which Anonewsco claimed is an indication of the company’s support for numerous controversial subjects, such as Nazism, racism, simianization and pedophilia.
It further alleged that after research and interviews with key figures, it could supposedly confirm “without a shadow of doubt” that BAYC and Yuga Labs were guilty of hiding these esoteric symbols in plain sight — a conclusion Yuga Labs and BAYC both openly protest.
The group cautioned against relegating its accusations to baseless “conspiracy theory” however, adding that people who do so are “simply ignorant,” “not versed, or worse, at a financial conflict of interest.” A representative shared:
“[Anonewsco] is certain that the BAYC collection and the Yuga labs brand are infected with not one or two — but with dozens of examples of esoteric symbolism and dog whistles reflecting Nazism, racism, siminization and pedophilic support.”
Anonewsco suggested that holders of these artworks are also victims of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Yuga Labs’ trolling and urged owners not to stay silent out of a desire to protect their financial interests:
“Don’t your founders owe you more than this? Many outside the BAYC community continue to whisper how you’ve been deceived in a way that is both unprecedented and unforgivable.”
The group called on investors, partners and high-profile celebrities such as Andreessen Horowitz, Mark Cuban, Dez Bryant, Tom Brady, Ben Simmons, Neymar Junior, Kevin Hart, Drake Bell and Shaquille O’Neal as well as big brands such as Lion Tree, Adidas and Tiffany & Co to speak up and take an official stance on the practices of Nazism, racism, simianization and pedophilia.
On June 24, Yuga Labs co-founder Greg Solano denied similar claims against his company in a Medium post, saying:
“We’ve become the target of a crazy disinformation campaign accusing us — a group of Jewish, Turkish, Pakistani, and Cuban friends — of being super-secret Nazis.”
Solano firmly stated at the time that the allegations of racism made against his diverse team were wholly unfounded.
On July 25, Cointelegraph reported on a proposed class-action lawsuit that alleged that Yuga Labs “inappropriately induced” the community to buy Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs and the project’s affiliated ApeCoin (APE). The proposed class-action lawsuit suggested that Yuga Labs used celebrity promoters and endorsements to “inflate the price” of the BAYC NFTs and the APE token.
Update: The team behind the video in question do not appear to be directly affiliated with the hacktivist group known as Anonymous. We have updated the wording of this article to clarify the source of the allegations against Yuga Labs and the Bored Ape Yacht Club.