American Internet media and entertainment company Buzzfeed has revealed the identities of two of the four founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection, Gordon Goner and Gargamel, who are Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow in real life.
Journalist Kate Notopoulos wrote a Feb. 4 article entitled “We found the real names of the pseudonyms of the founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.”
Notopoulos was able to uncover the couple’s identities by searching the public records of Yuga Labs, the company behind the collection. Yuga was registered in Delaware at an address linked to Greg Solano and other records pointing to Wylie Aronoff.
I was doxed against my will. Well. Web2 Me vs Web3 Me pic.twitter.com/uLkpsJ5LvN — GordonGoner.eth (@GordonGoner) February 5, 2022
The tech reporter argued that “there are reasons why, in the traditional business world, the CEO or founder of a company uses his real name rather than a pseudonym,” adding that “the people behind BAYC are courting investors and running a business that is potentially worth billions.” “.
“How do you hold them accountable if you don’t know who they are?”
The directors of public companies must be identified in the disclosures and reports of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the case of small private companies, banking regulations and know-your-customer laws require executives to use their real names in many cases.
“These laws are designed in part to prevent terrorists, criminals, or countries under sanctions from doing business in the US,” Notopoulos wrote.
However, the disclosure of Aronoff and Solano’s identities without consent has drawn passionate criticism from members of the Web3 community, who describe the article as “doxxing” rather than appropriate journalistic practice.
Got dox so why not Web2 Me vs Web3 Me.pic.twitter.com/jfmzo5NtrH — Garga.eth (@CryptoGarga) February 5, 2022
In a Feb. 5 tweet, cryptocurrency podcaster Cobie called the article “typical Buzzfeed garbage,” stating that it “docks people for clicks and ad revenue.” Meanwhile, venture capitalist Mike Solana wrote that there was “absolutely no reason to dox these guys,” adding that “they are literally cartoon monkeys.”
Messari founder Ryan Selkis was also visibly unhappy with the story, sharing a 2009 Notopoulos tweet that used a homophobic slur.
As for Notopoulos, she seemed relatively unfazed by the backlash. She posted a screenshot of messages sent by someone threatening to release her personal information, including her “location, place of work, parents’ home, and siblings’ addresses.”
In response to the threat, she asked the man “is he a big strong guy”, to which he replied: “No, I’m a degen.” She replied, “Oh, bummer. They have a heavy chest of drawers and need help moving them to the garage.”
Related: Daniele Sestagalli discusses the future of Wonderland after QuadrigaCX co-founder dox
On February 4 (the same day the article was published), Yuga Labs reported that the NFT collection was in talks for funding with one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms, A16z, which has valued the collection at $5 billion.
Solano and Aronov are not the first crypto big names to be publicly unveiled this year. On January 27, Cointelegraph published claims that the true identity of the co-founder of the Wonderland DeFi protocol, “@0xSifu”, is also the co-founder of the now-defunct Canadian QuadrigaCX exchanges.