Buzzfeed Faces Backlash After Revealing Identities of BAYC Founders
On February 4, 2022, Buzzfeed, a popular online news outlet, released a report detailing the names of people they believe to be behind BAYC & Yuga Labs.
BAYC & Yuga Labs
If there’s one thing that’s interesting about NFT projects, it’s that anonymity isn’t always a negative. Having anonymous individuals behind an NFT project should be an obvious red flag. Still, in the world of NFTs, it’s not a negative, and in some cases, it can contribute towards a project being more sought after.
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a simian avatar collection created by four founders and quickly grew into one of the most successful NFT projects to date. As of the time of this report, BAYC is the most expensive NFT collection ever, and you’ll need more than a quarter-million US dollars to buy the cheapest BAYC offering in February 2022.
Yuga Labs is the company behind BAYC, and as of February 2022, they have a market cap of a little under $3 Billion. Yuga Labs and BAYC make a considerable amount of their revenue from the initial sale of NFT Apes, but they make even more by charging a 2.5% royalty each time their creations get sold or resold.
Nicole Muniz is the CEO and the public face of Yuga Labs; whenever they need to communicate with the public through a representative, it’s almost always Muniz, but the world has been enthralled about the other “brains” behind Yuga Labs and BAYC.
Gordon Goner and Gargamel
Buzzfeed News reported the identities of BAYC’s principal founders as Greg Solano, a 32-year-old editor and writer, and Wylie Aronow, a 35-year-old US citizen. According to the report, Solano and Aronow go by “Gordon Goner” and “Gargamel.”
Public records show that Yuga Labs is incorporated in Delaware, United States, and its incorporation address can be directly linked to Greg Solano. Additionally, Buzzfeed’s report claims that Nicole Muniz, the CEO mentioned above of Yuga Labs, confirmed the real identities of Gordon Goner and Gargamel to the online news site.
In the past, “Gordon Goner” and “Gargamel” have given public interviews to news outlets including Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and CoinDesk , where they’ve discussed personal issues, university dropouts, interests in NFTs and Crypto, the idea behind rich apes living in a swamp clubhouse, and much more.
Backlash for Buzzfeed
One of the most attractive features of the metaverse is that you can become whoever or whatever you want with a digital avatar. After Buzzfeed’s Katie Notopolous combed through public records to reveal the names of two founders behind BAYC, NFT purists were unhappy and did not hold back their anger about the report online.
Many people wonder why the news of BAYC’s founders is coming at a sensitive time when the company is in talks with Andreessen Horowitz for a possible investment that could double Yuga Lab’s current valuation.