The regret is real.
Investors of the once-popular Bored Ape collection of NFTs are furious now that prices of the JPGs have cratered — and they're out for blood.
As CNN reports, a group of investors are suing famed auction house Sotheby's for hyping up the tokens back in 2021, arguing that they "misleadingly promoted" the collection, and colluded with Bored Apes creator Yuga Labs to artificially inflate prices.
The lawsuit also names several high-profile celebrities, including Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton, who they allege didn't disclose financial ties to the collection when promoting it.
The investors are now seeking more than $5 million in damages. That's possibly in part to make up for the giant hole in their pockets. Bored Apes, which once sold for millions of dollars worth of crypto two years ago — a time when celebrities were willing to shell out vast sums to be part of the conversation — have absolutely plummeted in value and are now selling for as little as $52,000 each.
In 2021, Sotheby's sold well over 100 of the Bored Ape NFTs to just one buyer for more than $24 million, vastly exceeding expectations and drawing mainstream media attention.
For its part, Sotheby's maintains it did absolutely nothing wrong.
"The allegations in this suit are baseless, and Sotheby’s is prepared to vigorously defend itself," the auction house told CNN in a statement.
Yuga Labs has also come out, telling CNN that "these new allegations, like those in the previous iteration of this opportunistic complaint, are completely without merit or factual basis."
The lawsuit dates back to December, when it was filed in a federal court in California, but only recently was amended to name the auction house as a defendant.
But to prove that it was part of a "vast scheme" to artificially inflate prices will likely be difficult. The hype surrounding the largely unregulated tokens was astronomical back in 2021. But that was two long years ago, giving collectors and investors plenty of time to come to their senses.
Perhaps silly and phoned-in JPG portraits of apes aren't worth millions of dollars after all.
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