BAYC Creator Yuga Labs Faces SEC Probe Over Alleged Securities Violations: Report

The investigation is part of the ongoing SEC probe into the wider NFT market.

BAYC Creator Yuga Labs Faces SEC Probe Over Alleged Securities Violations: Report

Photo Credit: ICO Drops

The SEC is also looking into the distribution of ApeCoin, which went live last March

  • Yuga Labs are the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs
  • Yuga Labs claims that it will cooperate with the SEC in its probe
  • Yuga Labs is the biggest crypto company to be looked into by the SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is probing Yuga Labs over securities violations via the sale of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. Per the report, which cites an unnamed source, the agency is also investigating the startup over the distribution of ApeCoin, which launched in March. Yuga Labs' official stance is that it is not the creator of ApeCoin, apparently due to regulatory concerns. Instead, according to the official ApeCoin website, the Ape Foundation is the "steward" of the Ethereum-based token, which is designed to be used throughout the growing Bored Ape ecosystem of apps and marketplaces.

The Ape Foundation is anchored by a board made up of prominent Web3 builders, including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, FTX Ventures head Amy Wu, and Animoca Brands co-founder and Executive Chairman Yat Siu.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the SEC is looking into whether certain assets could be treated more like stocks and therefore should follow the same rules, according to the report. It is also looking at the distribution of APEcoin, the token linked to the collection.

That said, an SEC probe may not necessarily lead to action against Yuga. The Miami-based company, which also features CryptoPunks and Meetbits, said it is "committed to fully cooperating with any inquiries" in a statement to Bloomberg.

With backers such as venture capital firm a16z and celebrities like NBA superstar Stephen Curry showing off their Bored Apes online, Yuga Labs may be the highest profile crypto platform yet to be targeted by the SEC.

The news comes as US regulators are making good on their vow to crack down on the largely unregulated crypto market. Last month, Gary Gensler, the chair of the SEC, suggested that proof-of-stake networks such as post-Merge Ethereum may be required to comply with securities laws that govern the issuance of securities such as stocks and bonds.

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Further reading: Cryptocurrency, Yuga Labs, ApeCoin, SEC, NFT
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