Seth Green can rest easy knowing that Bored Ape Yacht Club #8398 is back in its rightful home.
Green, a passionate collector of non-fungible tokens, has had quite the month. He recently lost several of his NFTs in a phishing-related incident, which equated to hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost wealth. But that was not even his biggest concern.
One of the stolen NFTs was a character from the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club, a decentralized brand that gives owners of its ape cartoon NFTs complete control of their character. Bored Ape owners are free to use their apes for any commercial endeavors, and Green was in the process of developing a TV show called “White Horse Tavern” about his ape, #8398.
“I bought that ape in July 2021, and have spent the last several months developing and exploiting the IP to make it into the star of this show,” Green said in May when he lost the NFT. “Then days before — his name is Fred by the way — days before he’s set to make his world debut, he’s literally kidnapped.”
The “kidnapping” meant that Green had to pause work on his series, because as he no longer possessed the NFT, he no longer had the rights to the show’s main character. He has spent much of the last month pleading online for the ape’s new owner to return it to him, to no avail.
But this week, BuzzFeed News (which broke the original story), confirmed that Green has finally been reunited with Bored Ape Yacht Club #8398. News of Green’s reunion with his ape originally broke via public blockchain transaction records, then Green confirmed it to BuzzFeed by saying that “Fred is home.”
The transaction record shows that Green paid 165 ETH, the equivalent of $260,000 at the time, to be reunited with his NFT. The costly move allows Green to move forward on developing “White Horse Tavern.” The “Robot Chicken” creator always maintained that he never lost the IP rights to Fred the ape because he claimed the NFT was stolen, but the lack of legal precedent about the new technology left him in a legal grey area. Now, he can return to work on the show without any legal headaches.