There are 10,000 NFTs in the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. Here are three examples. The middle one belongs to Jimmy Fallon.
Knowing or not, you’ve likely seen a Bored Ape Yacht Clubaround. This is especially true when you’re on Twitter, where Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT owners are flaunting their price by using it as a profile photo. One of the most successful collections in the non-fungible token space, there are 10,000 Bored Apes and right now the cheapest you can buy one for is 52 Ether – $ 209,000.
Well-known BAYC owners are Post Malone, Steph Curry and, most recently, Jimmy Fallon. Fallon’s monkey is the one in the middle of the trio above, with the striped t-shirt and captain’s hat. Like everything else related to NFTs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is controversial. Monkey owners create jealousy among those who own and trade NFT art, but confusion and suspicion among those who don’t. Here’s what you need to know about the collection.
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Is it 10,000?
Broadly speaking, there are two types of NFT art. First, you have one-off visual works of art that are sold as NFTs, just like paintings in real life. Think thatwhich sold for up to $ 69 million at Christie’s auctions. Second, you have NFT collections or “projects” like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Similar to Pokemon cards, these take a template and produce hundreds or thousands of variations, each sorted by rarity. In the case of BAYC, there are 10,000 great apes, each with different “properties”: different types of fur, facial expressions, clothing, accessories and more.
These properties are displayed on OpenSea, the main platform on which NFTs are traded. A particular NFT’s page lists its properties and the percentage of NFTs in the collection that share that property. Usually anything below 1% is considered rare. For example, check out the trio of monkeys at the top of the page. On the right you can see one with a rare “Solid Gold” fur trait. Out of 10,000 monkeys only 46 have this property, which makes these 46 particularly valuable.
As mentioned earlier, the “minimum price” for the project – what you pay for a monkey with common traits – is 52 ethers. Monkeys with the characteristic of golden fur are rare, so sell for a lot more. Last week someone bought one for 333 ethers, or $ 1,361,000. One with gold fur and laser eyes, two traits under 1%, was $ 3,000,000 two months ago.
BAYC is the second largest NFT project of its kind after CryptoPunks. CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 8-bit avatars that was created in 2017 and receives much of their value as an OG NFT collection. The inconspicuous ones sell for around 100 ethers, or $ 500,000.
What makes the Bored Ape Yacht Club so valuable?
This is a complicated question. The short answer is that like real world art, value is very much in the eye of the beholder.
Let’s start at the beginning. Bored Ape Yacht Club was founded in late April by a team of four pseudonymous developers, Gargamel, Gordon Goner, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and No Sass. It took 12 hours for all 10,000 to sell out at 0.08 ether, about $ 190. As you can see in the price chart below (the price on the Y-axis is in ether), the price grew steadily from April to July before skyrocketing in August.
What makes BAYC or any other NFT collection valuable is highly subjective. On the whole, it’s a mix of three things. Influencer / Celebrity Involvement, Community Strength, and Benefits for Members.
The first is obvious. If famous people own an NFT, others want one too. The most recent example is Jimmy Fallon. The late-night host bought a BAYC on Nov. 8 (for a cool $ 145,000) and has since used it as a profile picture on Twitter, where it has 50 million followers. This has resulted in a flurry of hype and sales which is reflected in the sales volume and price spike that you can see in the graph above to the right.
Second, usefulness. Most NFT projects claim to offer a benefit, be it access to games to earn, or the ability to use an NFT in exchange for an associated cryptocurrency.
Bored Ape Yacht Club did a few things to keep the owners interested. First, the Bored Ape Kennel Club was formed, offering owners the opportunity to “adopt” a canine NFT with characteristics that mimic those of the Bored Apes. Another giveaway arrived in August: digital bottles of mutant syrum. Owners could mix their Bored Ape with the Syrum to create another NFT – a Mutant Ape. Both Kennel Club and Mutant Ape NFTs sell for a lot, with minimum prices of around $ 14,000 and $ 26,000, respectively.
A bored monkey and its mutant ape counterpart.
Last and most important is the community built around a collection. The Bored Ape Yacht Club has organized meetings in New York and California, and there have also been Bored Ape meetings in Hong Kong and the UK. Most recently, there was a festival weekend for owners in New York with a real yacht party and a concert with performances by Chris Rock, Aziz Ansari and The Strokes.
Of course, the development of a community also has a business aspect. Art of any kind is only worth as much as people are willing to pay for it. In an NFT collection, the reserve price is essentially what the least-invested members are willing to sell for. People who believe they hold a token for a community result in fewer people putting their monkeys up for sale. When you sell your monkey, you’re selling not only an NFT, but a Community Pass as well.
As soon as a collection has achieved a certain value, it also becomes a status symbol. People in the cryptocurrency and NFT space use profile pictures for Twitter, Discord and other platforms, such as managing directors wearing Rolexes. You can download a JPG of a bored monkey, just like you can wear a $ 10 Rolex imitation. Either way, however, people will know.
After the star-studded New York party, the next member-only perk for Bored Ape and Mutant Ape owners is an upcoming mobile game. Details are sparse aside from the fact that the game will only be available for 10 days and there will likely be prizes that are staggering in value.
What is more unusual, however, is what people do with their monkeys. Owning a Bored Ape NFT gives you full commercial rights in it, and the owners use this in creative ways. A Bored Ape owner set up a Twitter account for his monkey where he created a backstory and turned him into Jenkins, a servant who works for the Yacht Club. In September, Jenkins was signed to a real real world agency. He gets his own biography – partly written by the New York Times bestseller Neil Strauss. Universal Music Group invested by signing a band consisting of three Bored Apes and one Mutant Ape.
You may think NFTs are silly – and terrible for the environment – but don’t expect the Bored Apes to go away anytime soon.