The creators behind the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) are no longer a mystery – a BuzzFeed News report reveals them as Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow, two men from Florida. Solano is a 32-year-old writer and editor behind the pseudonym Gargamel, while 35-year-old Aronow is called Gordon Goner.
After BuzzFeed‘s article was posted, the two later responded to the situation with the “Web2 me vs. Web3 me” meme on Twitter, in which you essentially compare a picture of yourself in the real world to an NFT or avatar believed to be you. represent in the metavers. Both aronu and Solano compare pictures of themselves to Bored Ape NFTs and say they are doxxed.
BuzzFeed says it found Solano and Aronow’s information by searching public company records for Yuga Labs, the company behind the BAYC. It found that Yuga Labs had an address associated with Solano and then discovered other public records linking Solano to Aronow. Nicole Muniz, the CEO of Yuga Labs confirmed that: BuzzFeed that Solano and Aronow are indeed the true identities of the co-founders.
BuzzFeed even dug up some old information about the two on the internet, including Aronow’s “Readers of the Week” interview with the Chicago Tribune and Solano’s critique of various pieces of literature. Interviews with outlets, such as rolling stone, New Yorkerand CoinDesk, help connect the dots between the duo’s online personas and real-life stories, confirming what we now know about them. The two met while growing up in Florida and conceived the idea of the BAYC in hopes of breaking into the cryptocurrency world.
In case you’re wondering, Aronow and Solano aren’t the ones who actually pulled the, well, very interesting-looking and sometimes fashionable anthropomorphic monkeys. A 27-year-old who goes by the name Seneca was the lead artist for the original Bored Apes collection and is credited with creating the basic design of the monkeys. There are also two BAYC co-founders who remain unidentified – a couple of programmers who go by the names No Sass and Emperor Tomato Ketchup.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I think the BAYC identity reveal was all a little less climactic than I’d hoped. But given that the BAYC has sold millions of dollars worth of monkey artwork, partnered with companies like Adidas, and had countless celebrities — including Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon — buy their NFTs, anticlimatic is probably a good thing.