In a blog post published Wednesday, Yuga said the council members—described as "long-standing proactive community members"—will focus on gathering and curating community feedback and spearheading philanthropic efforts.
Yuga said it also wants to keep the council “autonomous,” meaning it’s not governed by the multibillion-dollar startup. Members are encouraged to bring and pitch their own ideas for upcoming initiatives.
NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership over an asset, typically digital art—have become an important part of Web3. NFT-based communities often congregate across the internet and IRL in Twitter Spaces, Discord servers, Telegram groups, and at token-gated conferences and parties. And an NFT collection’s “community” can be a driving factor that leads a trader to buy or sell their digital asset.
Yuga’s move to establish a community council, then, affirms that the company wants to take its NFT holders seriously—and give them a clear avenue to voice ideas and concerns.
Apes, we wouldn’t be where we are today without our incredible community. We’re excited to announce the first BAYC community council made up of 7 long standing proactive community members to work alongside us moving forward. 🧵below
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) October 5, 2022
“This council, and future councils to come, puts a more formal, efficient and consistent process in place for Yuga leadership to get community feedback and advice on an ongoing basis,” the company wrote in its post.
Newly-appointed council member Wave, aka 0xWave, told Decrypt via Twitter DM that he thinks the council’s job is to “mainly to serve as aggregators of community ideas and sentiment rather than over-inject my personal preferences.”
Wave said he also wants to help BAYC holders better understand crypto security, especially when it comes to protecting their precious NFTs. According to Dune data, 413 Bored and Mutant Ape NFTs are currently marked “stolen” on OpenSea.
“Holding these assets puts a target on your back to bad actors,” he said.
But how does the BAYC community feel about its newly-appointed council? Some are disappointed that they weren’t chosen—and maybe even a little bitter.
“I’m not mad I’m not on the official BAYC community counsel [sic] I just want to know what I’m doing wrong,” a Bored Ape who goes by Storm wrote on Twitter in response to the news.
“I would advocate for not seeing the current council as forever enshrined, but rather a first iteration,” Wave replied.
Multiple Twitter users also expressed surprise that Mutant Ape holder “ThreadGuy” didn’t make the cut.
Man @notthreadguy been repping that MAYC for the entirety of his Twitter career and didn't make the council
— Otto Suwen (@OttoSuwenNFT) October 5, 2022
While the council members may be optimistic, responses on social media are mixed. One Mutant Ape holder applauded Yuga and declared that the council “is exactly what Web3 is all about.” Others, like tech reporter Asa Hiken, noted that Yuga has “personally selected who will represent the community, as opposed to a vote amongst holders.”
It is unclear what criteria Yuga Labs used in evaluating potential members of the council or how the final members were selected. Yuga Labs has not yet responded to Decrypt’s request for comment.