After launching in the spring of 2021, a graphic collection of colorful cartoon apes began circulating around the internet, and soon propelled nonfungible tokens into the mainstream.

Since then, the world has seen NFTs endorsed by artists, wielded by large corporations, and inevitably, targeted by regulators. The arguably most famous NFTs—the apes—had managed to avoid regulatory attention until last week when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened a probe into Yuga Labs, the owner of not only the aforementioned Bored Ape Yacht Club, but of a significant share of the NFT market.

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