Most people, especially billionaires, expect some level of privacy even in the crypto space. To do so, they use pseudonyms to avoid public scrutiny. A recent publishing of true identities of some Web3 billionaires by Buzzfeed has generated a huge backlash from the community.
Buzzfeed, well known as the internet media and entertainment company, revealed the true identities of half the founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT. The two founders with pseudonyms “Gordon Goner” and “Gargamel” were identified as Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow.
This information was revealed by Kate Notopoulos in an article on Friday, February 4th. She uncovered this information by going through the public records of Yuga Labs. Yuga Labs is the company behind the BAYC NFT collection. Incorporated in Delaware using an address provided by Solano, there are records pointing to Aronow as well.
Executives of public companies must be named per US SEC regulations. What raised the ire of many people in the community was the revealing of names without their consent. Many Web3 members call this act “doxxing” rather than good journalism. One crypto podcaster called it typical trash from Buzzfeed and also said that it was done to generate more clicks and revenue. Mike Solana, a VC in the same space, was quoted as saying, “there was no reason to dox these two”.
Solano and Aronow are not the only people whose names were revealed this year. There are others whose identities have been revealed, with similar results.