Yuga Labs faces user backlash for under wraps KYC-restricted project
Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, teased a new collaboration with blockchain game publisher Animoca Brands on Twitter on Thursday. The catch is that no details about the project have been revealed yet, and users who signed up for it via a Know Your Customer, or KYC, verification process have expressed their concerns on social media.
BAYC simply tweeted out a link to a website where interested fans can apply in the hope of being approved to participate in whatever “is brewing.” To apply, users must connect to an Ethereum wallet, provide a photo of their license, passport or other ID as well as proof of their home address, and take a headshot on the camera of the device on which they sign up.
fuck it, again.https://t.co/1KlPpVjWkb
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) March 10, 2022
Both BAYC and Animoca Brands clarified on Twitter that they are not referring to the play-to-earn game featuring Bored Ape NFTs they had announced in December. The only other information offered is that “this has been building over the last seven months,” according to BAYC. Animoca Brands will reportedly reveal “the first phase.”
Members of the crypto community are wary about consenting to KYC requirements without knowing exactly what they’re signing up for. One user posting under the handle @cr0ssETH tweeted, “Devs, if the IRS has taken you hostage, please blink twice,” suggesting the possibility that any personal information could end up in the hands of third parties.
BAYC twitter account just tweeted a form to fill out requiring your ID/Passport & eth/home Address. Devs if the IRS has taken you hostage please blink twice.
— cr0ss.eth (@cr0ssETH) March 10, 2022
In addition to sensitivity around KYC, a Terms & Conditions document has been criticized for making users consent to an “unrestricted” use to “all or any portion of your User Content.”
I generally root for BAYC from the sidelines, but has anyone on your team actually read your partners T&C? You’re pushing people to KYC & have them agree to these terms? I really thought we were trying to move away from a web that profited off peoples IP without their consent. pic.twitter.com/6H2C6szUmD
— Sebssant (@SebsDead_) March 11, 2022
Another user under the handle @maz_nf warned that crypto will soon turn into a “government regulated corporateverse,” recognizing the inevitability of an NFT community to adhere to regulation and legalities to truly go mainstream.
We all were crying for people to validate us three years ago…well ♂️ here we are. Crypto, NFTs, and whatever comes next will be turned into what we feared most…a Government regulated Corporateverse buckle up and smile for the camera, see you on Mars https://t.co/3c8aWo3lBU
— MachG (@maz_nf) March 11, 2022
These views sparked the debate about whether NFTs should be regulated and if KYC should be integrated into NFT marketplaces. Recently, OpenSea has been subject to phishing attacks and hacks that have left NFT owners very vulnerable. In December 2021, an art gallery owner’s Bored Apes collection, worth $2.2 million dollars, was stolen from his hot wallet.