As it turns out, NFTs are an affront to the eyes in more ways than one.
For some background, remember NFTs? If you don’t, there was a weird few months where people looked at a picture of a lion with sepsis and thought, “Yeah, I’ll pay a quarter of a million dollars for that.”
Today, most NFTs are basically worthless (who could have expected that?). However, a few of the people who poured their money into these JPEGs aren’t quite ready to give up on the blockchain-backed dream.
These loyal followers recently attended a conference in Hong Kong to celebrate their love of the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” NFT series. They promptly had their eyes destroyed.
Woke up in the middle of the night after Apefest with so much pain in my eyes that I had to go to the hospital. I've seen several tweets about it— Crypto June (@CryptoJune777) November 5, 2023
Doctor told me it was due to the UV from stage lights. I go to festivals often but have never experienced this
I try to understand…
Posting that in hope that my friends suffering the same issue realise they need medical attention ASAP (read full)— Adrian Zduńczyk, CMT (@crypto_birb) November 5, 2023
Thanks for great apefest logistiscs guys @yugalabs & @BoredApeYC. Incredible event and met plenty of amazing people.
Still, as dozens of others, I’ve almost lost… pic.twitter.com/emCODEnWmb
In tweets following the event, one of the attendees claimed they “almost lost sight.” Another alleged they had “so much pain in my eyes that I had to go to the hospital.”
As for what caused this incredible eye pain, no one is quite sure, but many are claiming the festival skimped on lighting and opted for cheap, unprotected UV lights.
This has happened before. As noted by CoinTelegraph, “On Oct. 20, 2017, a number of attendees at a party thrown by streetwear brand HypeBeast reported painful burns and eye damage.”
In terms of the Bored Ape event, “It was revealed by the event’s DJ on Oct. 26 that the contractor tasked with setting up lighting at the party had used a series of Philips TUV 30W G30 T8 light bulbs, which, according to Philips’ website, emit 12 watts of UV-C radiation, mainly used for disinfecting surfaces,” wrote Tom Mitchelhill for CoinTelegraph.
I was in hospital too this morning same condition , stay safe everyone ✨ pic.twitter.com/MZAoDcxKHV— Treasure Hunt (@treasurehunt888) November 5, 2023
Same here fam. Burning pain at 3am this morning. Haven’t heard the UV reasoning but thank you for sharing— Cream Curtis™️ (@creamcurtis) November 5, 2023
Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, has since apologized for the incident. Speaking to CoinTelegraph, Yuga Labs stated, “We are actively reaching out to and are in touch with those affected. We’re also pursuing multiple lines of inquiry to learn the root cause.”
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…— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) November 6, 2023
“Based on our estimates, the 15 people we’ve been in direct communication with so far represent less than one percent of the approximately 2,250 event attendees and staff at our Saturday night event,” they added.
Still, it’s probably best to avoid any NFT conferences in the future. There may be danger for more than your wallet.