Why Does Bored Ape Yacht Club Require KYC Now?

Yesterday, Bored Ape Yacht Club dropped a controversial announcement.

Posting a tweet linking to somethingisbrewing.xyz, the NFT world came to a momentary standstill. But, as soon as the link was clicked, eyes rolled to the back of heads. While no one actually knows what this is for, anyone interested in signing up was met with this:

Bored Ape Yacht Club kyc
KYC form via somethingisbrewing.xyz

Of course, the space that has grown on the backbone of anonymity and decentralization was not so thrilled with these requirements. And when some began to dig deeper, we start to see some parallels with traditional Web2 practices.

KYC in some form was inevitable. Especially with rumors swirling of the SEC putting NFTs under the regulatory microscope. But, dropping a mystery data-farming form, with no other information, was not the best way to introduce this to their audience.

Community Response to Bored Ape Yacht Club KYC

When companies are looking to collect data on participants, they should say what it’s for. At this point, all anyone knows is that:

  • It’s related to $APE or a P2E game
  • Has something to do with Animoca Brands

So, collectors that value their anonymity are obviously questioning why this is necessary. And when we start to look at the agreement’s fine print, it seems as if signees don’t actually know what they’re signing!

According to the T&C, if you sign that agreement, you are handing access to your IP to Animoca and Yuga Labs. And that’s for a mystery airdrop (maybe?), to add. Yes, that sentence where they say they can “exploit [your IP] in any manner whatsoever” is actually a line in the T&C (Section 4.5).

The concepts of decentralization and online anonymity are the focuses of Web3. It is very interesting to see leading Web3 brands go the completely opposite route. If we break it down into the simplest form, you are handing assets you own to a centralized service. That centralized service can do whatever they want and profit off that IP. In exchange, you get a percent of the proceeds if they even decide to give that to you. Does that sound eerily similar to traditional Web2 social media platforms?

Those that hand their information to BAYC and Animoca Brands will most likely see tangible rewards soon. But, some see this as a handshake deal with the devil. You get a mystery reward, they get all of your BAYC IP and personal information. There’s a lot of trust involved in this transaction, especially for a system that promotes trustless transactions online.

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