Sotheby’s Hits Back: “Baseless” Bored Ape Allegations

picture of a BAYC NFT next to a judges gavel, implying a lawsuit in session

Auction house Sotheby’s has issued a response to the allegations made against it by BAYC investors. The lawsuit dismisses them as ‘opportunistic and lacking merit‘. The lawsuit involves a class action suit against Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), where Sotheby’s was named as a defendant. Let’s take a closer look at the allegations and response.

TL;DR:

  • Sotheby’s responds to Bored Ape investor lawsuit, labeling allegations as opportunistic and meritless.
  • Lawsuit involves Yuga Labs, creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), and claims collaboration to deceive NFT investors.
  • NFT market faces challenges due to macroeconomic factors and “crypto winter,” impacting Bored Apes collection among others.

picture of a BAYC NFT next to a judges gavel, implying a lawsuit in session

BAYC Vs Sotheby’s: A Lawsuit Too Little Too Late?

The investors who own BAYC art claim that Sotheby’s and Yuga Labs collaborated to deceptively promote digital art in their NFT collection. The lawsuit first emerged in December 2022. That’s over a year after Sotheby’s auctioned 101 NFTs from the Bored Ape collection. This auction generated $24 million. Now, the plaintiffs argue that this auction lent legitimacy to future misrepresentations by the defendants.

Sotheby’s has stated that it will vigorously defend itself against the baseless allegations, while Yuga Labs echoed this sentiment, calling the complaint opportunistic and lacking factual basis. Yuga Labs has also faced legal issues regarding BAYC images used by a developer that implied a partnership.

The NFT market, which had flourished in 2021 due to high cryptocurrency prices, experienced a downturn in 2022 alongside the falling crypto prices and rising interest rates by central banks. This macroeconomic situation, along with the so-called “crypto winter,” affected NFT sales, leading to a decline in the market.

The Bored Apes collection is also hit by the market’s challenges. Its token’s value reportedly dropped over 93% from its peak in April 2022. Despite these setbacks, industry experts like Devin Finzer, CEO of OpenSea, caution that the intersection of macroeconomic factors and the crypto winter could prolong the current market downturn.

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