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This Week on Crypto Twitter: Last Two Bored Ape Founders Step Forward, Buterin Pleads With Putin

Also: Web3 continued to grapple with Twitter 'cancellation' as SuperRare parted ways with a staffer because of lyrics tweeted over a decade ago.

4 min read
The Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. Image: Bored Ape Yacht Club
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

Crypto prices mostly fell over the past week, but there were a few promising signs of mainstream crypto acceptance around the globe: India and the European Union are preparing their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and Russia is drafting legislation to incorporate crypto into the same regulatory framework as foreign currencies.

Over on Crypto Twitter, drama played out that had nothing to do with prices or CBDCs.

Web3 grapples with harassment and Twitter 'cancellation'

On Monday, non-binary Web3 and NFT educator Dame shared some of the abuse they’ve received through encoded messages attached to Ethereum transactions.

The transphobic messages aren't worth reproducing, but you can view them over on dame’s Twitter. Dame seemed to shrug it off, writing in a followup tweet: “on the plus side, this person had to spend $7.16 in order to harass me lmao.”

It turned out that the harasser, unsurprisingly, didn’t even get the facts correct. As Dame explained: “this person clearly has no idea who i am because i am not trans or gay and have never had surgery.”

The next day, Dame received even more abuse, but a benefactor appeared to send them some ETH and a message commending their courage.

That same day, digital art marketplace SuperRare announced it had cut ties with an employee over “offensive and racist language in the past.”

That employee was Ashley Christenson, aka Ashnichrist, founder of Stream Coach Academy, a program to help amateur streamers become leading content creators. Ashnichrist responded on Twitter, writing, in part: "I apologize for the harm and hurt I caused and am stepping down from my role at @SuperRare to reflect and learn from my mistakes.”

So what were the “offensive and racist” tweets? They were Kanye West and Drake lyrics from over a decade ago, and several instances where she used the word “retarded”—most recently seven years ago.

From the harassment sent to Dame, to the firing of Christenson, to the removal of Brantly Millegan from Ethereum Name Service for past homophobic tweets, the Web3 community is clearly experiencing a watershed moment involving anonymity and the views of the people behind the avatars.

Crypto podcaster Cobie threw in his lighthearted two cents: “If you’re gonna get fired for tweeting bad words in song lyrics 12 years ago I kinda think you may as well just tweet the same lyrics again to really make your firing worth it. What’s the point of a decade of personal growth if you still get fired.”

Two remaining Bored Ape founders unmask themselves

Last week, a Buzzfeed investigation revealed two of the four anonymous creators of the massively successful Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. On Tuesday, the remaining two members stepped out of the shadows voluntarily.

The founder known as "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" (clearly a Stereolab fan) goes by Kerem in the offline world. 

And "Sass" is named Zeshan.

Buterin beseeches Putin

Finally, Ethereum creator and Russian national Vitalik Buterin publicly asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to not invade Ukraine because it will “harm humanity.”

The 28-year-old wrote: “Whether the situation will return to a peaceful path or there will be a war can now be decided not by Zelensky, not by NATO, but by @KremlinRussia […] I hope they choose wisely.”

Israeli blockchain investor Maya Zehavi added: “Vitalik opining about geopolitics is so rare, it really signals to me how dire the situation is.”

Putin has deployed forces to menace the Ukrainian border, and many are worried a full-scale invasion is inevitable. So far, over $570,000 in crypto has been sent to Ukrainian NGOs this year, with the bulk of the organizations using it for defense, medical supplies or cyber warfare.

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