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Yuga Labs CEO: BuzzFeed Outing Bored Ape Founders Was ‘Very Very Dangerous’

Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz criticized Buzzfeed for outing the Bored Ape founders. She also said she believes in freedom of the press.

3 min read
BAYC. Image: Shutterstock

Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs—the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection—criticized Buzzfeed for revealing the identities of the Bored Ape founders. 

“Releasing their identities and frankly only giving us 30 minutes was very, very dangerous for them and their families,” she said during an interview with D3 Network.

During the same interview, Muniz said, “We believe in freedom of the press. We believe in journalistic integrity,” adding that all she wanted was time to make sure the founders’ families knew and were safe. 

Though Muniz said that she—and her company—believe in freedom of the press, she criticized Buzzfeed’s story for not having a real purpose. “The thing is, is like, if it was for something, it would have been okay,” she said. 

“It was a story about ‘what if,’ and that sort of leaves me with this feeling of just like, it just felt so dangerous. And the only thing that people got out of it was just knowing their real names,” added Muniz.

The danger, Muniz said, revolved primarily around potentially attracting “nefarious characters” in and around the crypto industry. 

“In the crypto community, there are these things called crypto whales. It’s people who have made a lot of money in crypto. And it’s attracted some nefarious characters and it has put people in severe jeopardy,” added Muniz during her D3 interview. 

She also said there is a “misconception” that these founders are crypto whales. 

Buzzfeed outs Bored Ape founders

Earlier this month, Buzzfeed published an investigation revealing Wylie Aranow and Greg Solano as two of the four Bored Ape founders. 

The investigation did not reveal anything negative about the two individuals, earning Buzzfeed a trouncing on Twitter from the crypto community. 

“Doxxing people for clicks and ad revenue. Typical Buzzfeed trash. Wonder if I can short Buzzfeed somehow,” said popular crypto persona and podcaster Cobie at the time. 

Outside the world of crypto, though, the Buzzfeed story didn’t generate the same amount of controversy. 

It’s common for the public to know the identities of those behind companies, and for journalists to reveal these identities when that is not the case. 

Gabe Rivera, the founder behind the tech-focused news curation service, described the Buzzfeed piece as “standard business reporting.” 

“Calling it illegitimate implicitly asserts only certain wealthy, connected people should continue to know the identities behind folks orchestrating billions in transactions.”

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