Hacker collective Anonymous has come out swinging against the wildly popular NFT collective, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Yuga Labs.
According to the activist group, BAYC “without a shadow of doubt” is guilty of branding its products with esoteric symbols related to Nazism and other extremist beliefs.
In the video, Anonymous claims, “It is at this time we would like to announce that without a shadow of doubt, Anonymous is certain that the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Yuga Labs brand is infected with not one or two, but with dozens of examples of esoteric symbolism and dog whistles reflecting Nazism, racism, Simianization and pedophilia support.”
The activists say they want to shine a light on what they found as part of their investigation. “Dialogue is what’s important here,” the group tells Cryptoslate. “Everyone has a threshold of how many coincidences are ‘too many’ coincidences before something appears to be intentional.”
Yuga Labs recently filed a lawsuit against artist Ryder Ripps, Jeremy Cahen, and “Does 1-10.” In the lawsuit, Yuga claims they employ a false designation of origin, false advertising, cybersquatting, and trademark infringement.
Ripps created NFT work called RR/BAYC weeks before the lawsuit was filed and maintains that the point of the series was to push the boundaries of intellectual property and greater relevance to digital assets where the crossover into the space of the realm of NFTs.
Ripps said of the series, “My recent NFT work has been centered around provocations and inquiries regarding the nature of NFT, provenance, and digital ownership. Provenance has always been the definitive aspect in establishing an artwork’s meaning and value.”
Ripps believes the lawsuit is an attempt to silence his claims about the group’s ties to Nazi symbolism.
Yuga Labs denies the allegations, calling their team ethnically diverse.