Roundup: BAYC founders revealed, Nike sues StockX, and US gov’t concerned about NFT money laundering
Moriah Costa

📰 In the Headlines

We now know who’s behind BAYC — and how much they’re set to make on the project  

• Buzzfeed has found the true identities of the Bored Ape Yacht Club founders. They’re Greg Solano and Wylie Arnow, two thirty-something writers from Florida.  

• The news comes on the heels of the revelation that a16z, the powerful Silicon Valley VC firm, is in talks to buy a “multimillion-dollar” stake in Yuga Labs, the company that makes the Apes. The deal would value the company at between $4 billion and $5 billion.  

Fun Fact: While Web3 is known for its secrecy, Yuga Labs has taken an increasingly public approach over the past few months. The otherwise secretive company recently hired a public-facing CEO and has been defending itself in the media against accusations of racism.

Nike sues StockX for selling NFTs of its limited-edition sneakers  

• Nike has sued the popular sneaker marketplace StockX for allegedly violating its trademark. The dispute stems from StockX’s decision to sell NFTs tied to limited-edition sneakers.  

• StockX mints NFTs in quantities of between 1 and 250 for sneakers in its warehouses. Customers can either opt into receiving the physical product, which knocks the NFT out of circulation, or keep the NFT and resell it on the blockchain.  

Fun Fact: Nike says StockX’s NFTs “are likely to confuse consumers, create a false association between those products and Nike,” and infringe on its trademarks. It’s seeking financial recourse and a court order blocking StockX from selling the tokens.

The US government thinks NFTs are being used for money laundering  

• The Treasury recently released a report on money laundering in the art world. While there was little evidence of money laundering in the traditional art market, the report found that NFTs could be used to clean ill-gotten funds.  

• The report ultimately decided against pushing for additional regulations on the art market, a move opposed by anti-money laundering advocates. However, it did identify several issues with the NFT market that it believes should be addressed soon in order to prevent abuse.  

Fun Fact: Concerns about terror organizations and other bad actors laundering money through the art world have been at the forefront for several years. These worries even led to legislation that restricted antiquities trading, a market that’s been repeatedly tied to terror groups.    

🔥 From the Otis Collection

• This week in the Otis Discord, we’re talking about: Chromie Squiggle, NFTs, and more — join the conversation.  

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Bray’s retirement is causing a spike in card sales, with his most sought after rookie card becoming the third most expensive football card ever after it sold on eBay last week for $2.3m. Otis has another Tom Brady Rookie Card (2000 SP Authentic #118 /1250 PSA 10) trading on the platform.  

• A record $25.3m was paid out for 200 pairs of Virgil Abloh’s Lous Vuitton X Nike Air Force 1s, on Wednesday at an auction at Sotheby’s. It was eight times more than expected, with one pair going for $353,000. Abloh’s Nike x Off-White sneaker collection, “The Ten,” is trading on Otis.  

• Sotheby’s plans to offer a single lot of 104 CryptoPunks worth $20m to $30m in an auction on February 23. Otis has two CryptoPunks trading on the platform, CryptoPunk #2142 and CryptoPunk #543.

🔖 From Otis Magazine  

This week on Otis Magazine we take a look at Tom Brady’s retirement and how expensive the cards and memorabilia of the most prolific NFL player of all time are.


Read: Most Expensive Tom Brady Cards and Memorabilia

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