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Bored Ape Yacht Club ‘aware’ of ‘eye-related issues’ following festival in Hong Kong

Viral crypto art brand Bored Ape Yacht Club says it is “aware” of “eye-related issues” suffered by fans following one of its events in Hong Kong.

The company behind the non-fungible token (NFT) art firm said it is looking into reports that attendees suffered from eye burn, extreme pain and impaired vision after attending ApeFest.

The festival, held every year for top collectors of the cartoon ape NFTs, had a stage with UV lights, according to the US tech news site, The Verge.

More than a dozen people who attended last weekend’s festival shared on social media that they were suffering from eye pain and vision problems.

One person reported on X, formerly Twitter, that they had been diagnosed with photokeratitis – commonly known as “snow blindness” to skiers – a condition caused by unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Bored Ape Yacht Club said: “Apes, we are aware of the eye-related issues that affected some of the attendees of ApeFest and have been proactively reaching out to individuals since yesterday to try and find the potential root causes.

“Based on our estimates, we believe that much less than 1% of those attending and working the event had these symptoms.

“While nearly everyone has indicated their symptoms have improved, we encourage anybody who feels them to seek medical attention just in case.”

In a statement to The Verge, Yuga Labs, the parent company of Bored Ape Yacht Club, said it had been in direct contact with 15 people who had been affected by eye issues following the event.

What is Bored Ape Yacht Club?

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Launched in 2021, Bored Ape Yacht Club is considered one of, if not the most, successful NFT projects to date – with A-listers including Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg buying their own cartoon ape.

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The club consists of a collection of cartoon ape NFTs – essentially unique digital assets – built on the Ethereum blockchain.

Owners of the NFTs – some of which have been sold for millions of pounds – are granted access to a private online club and exclusive in-person events, such as ApeFest.

However, after peaking in May last year, the popularity of the NFT market has somewhat waned since, with sales down by around 98% when compared to September this year, according to the industry data tracker, CryptoSlam.

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