A Singaporean citizen has managed to successfully block the sale of one Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT through a court-ordered injunction.
According to the court filing seen and reported by Bloomberg, the plaintiff used the NFT as collateral for a loan on the NFTfi platform. The collector decided to use the BAYC collectible since “its rarity and high value” could guarantee him a larger loan.
Of note, the NFT in question is the BAYC NFT No. 2162. It stands out from the rest of the 10,000 units collection since it is the “only one wearing a beanie and has a jovial expression.” It is also a “virgin ape” since it has not been infused with mutant serum.
Court Freezes Sale of BAYC NFT
In mid-April, the claimant obtained a loan from someone with the username “chefpierre.eth,” a frequent but anonymous lender. The filing went on to say that following negotiation, the claimant got the loan, but its conditions included a “short” repayment period. When the claimant failed to repay the loan on its maturity date, the lender took ownership of the NFT.
Now, the plaintiff alleges “unjust enrichment” on the lender’s part. The BAYC NFT is “one of the claimant’s most treasured possessions, and is irreplaceable to him,” the filing reads, adding that he had “no intentions to ever part with or sell it.”
With his argument, the Singaporean court has foreclosed any sale of the NFT until after its ownership is resolved.
In all of crypto history, this is the first case involving a dispute in NFT ownership. The proceedings also show that the law recognizes NFTs as a form of property, Hagen Rooke, a partner at Reed Smith LLP law firm, noted.
Shaun Leong, the claimant’s legal counsel, echoed Rooke’s statement, adding that NFT investors “have rights that can be protected.” Leong also noted that similar ownership disputes could emerge regarding virtual land. As a recommendation, the legal counsel said NFT platforms should keep “an open registry” of NFT ownership to help the fast resolution of such cases.
The NFT Gem
The Bored Ape NFT collection is one deemed a “blue chip” in the NFT space. High demand in late April, propelled by the launch of the Otherside NFT, saw its floor price skyrocket to an all-time high of 152 ETH (roughly $434,000 at the time).
The NFT’s related metaverse project, Otherside, attracted massive interest as well, increasing ETH burning levels to unprecedented levels. And even though BAYC floor price is currently under $200,000, the collection remains widely popular and highly coveted.