Eminem. Jimmy Fallon. Steph Curry. Snoop Dogg. What do these celebrities have in common? They are all members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a prestigious collection of 10,000 NFT of monkey avatars, all with different traits and attributes. You can see three NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) above – the middle one with the captain’s hat is Jimmy Fallon’s.
And what makes BAYC “prestigious”? Well, at the moment the minimum entry cost is 71 ethers. It’s about $ 267,000.
If you hang out online, especially on Twitter, you’ve probably seen an NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). These act as both avatars and tickets to an online social club. After launching in April for 0.08 ether each – around $ 190 – BAYC owners are either crypto savvy enough to be ahead of the NFT boom, or wealthy enough to buy now that the collection has acquired a cultural weight.
Beyond celebrities buying, Bored Ape Yacht Club is increasingly becoming an off-chain brand. (That is, a brand that exists outside of the blockchain.) Adidas partner of BAYC for its first NFT project, a mobile game is in the works and a Club monkey last year on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Like everything else about NFTs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is controversial. Monkey owners inspire jealousy in those who own and trade NFT art, but confusion and mistrust in those who do not. Like cryptocurrency, NFTs are very volatile. This leads detractors to predict the eventual collapse of what they call a bubble.
Here’s what you need to know about the collection.
Are there 10,000?
Generally speaking, there are two types of NFT art. First of all, you have unique visual art pieces that are sold in NFT form just like paintings in real life. Think about each ranked in terms of rarity. In the case of BAYC, there are 10,000 monkeys, each with different “properties” – different types of fur, facial expressions, clothing, accessories and more.which were auctioned off by Christie’s for $ 69 million. Second, you have NFT collections, or “projects”, like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Much like Pokémon cards, these take a pattern and produce hundreds or thousands of variations,
These properties are displayed on OpenSea, the main platform where NFTs are traded. On a given NFT page, its properties will be listed along with the percentage of NFTs in the collection that share that property. Usually anything less than 1% is considered rare. For example, take a look at the trio of monkeys at the top of the page. On the right, you’ll 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 stated, the “floor price” for the project – what you’ll pay for a monkey with common traits – is 71 ethers. Monkeys with the golden fur trait are rare, so sell them for a lot more. Last week someone bought one for 333 ethers, or $ 1.36 million. One with golden fur and laser eyes, two traits less than 1%, went for $ 3 million two months ago.
BAYC is the second largest NFT project of its kind, behind only CryptoPunks. CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 8-bit avatars created in 2017 and derives much of its value from being the OG NFT collection. For the second half of 2021, CryptoPunks had a floor price of around 90 ethers. That has come down a bit over the past few weeks, and Bored Ape advocates are hopeful that the BAYC floor price will surpass CryptoPunks, which in the NFT space is called “the turnaround.”
What is the value of the Bored Ape Yacht Club?
This is a complicated question. The short answer is that, like with real world art, the value really is in the eye of the beholder.
Let’s start with the beginning. Bored Ape Yacht Club was launched at the end of April by a team of four pseudonymous developers, Gargamel, Gordon Goner, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and No Sass. It took 12 hours for the 10,000 to sell for 0.08 ether, or around $ 190. As you can see in the price chart below (the price on the Y axis is in ether), the price rose steadily from April to July before soaring in August.
What makes BAYC or any other NFT collection worth is highly subjective. Basically, it’s a mixture of three things. Involvement of influencers / celebrities, community strength and usefulness to members.
The first is obvious. When famous people own a TVN, it makes others want to own one too. A recent example is Jimmy Fallon. The Tonight Show host bought a BAYC on November 8 (for a whopping $ 145,000) and used it for weeks as a profile picture on Twitter, where he has 50 million followers. This has resulted in a wave of hype and sales, which is reflected in the sales volume and the price increase which you can see to the right of the graph above.
Second, utility. Most NFT projects claim to offer some utility of some kind, whether it’s access to games to be won or the ability to wager an NFT in exchange for an associated cryptocurrency. Another collection of great value, CyberKongs, gained notoriety for allowing the owners of two Kongs to breed a BabyKong NFT.
Bored Ape Yacht Club has done a few things to keep owners interested. First, he created the Bored Ape Kennel Club, offering owners the opportunity to “adopt” an NFT dog with traits that mimic those of the Bored Apes. In August, another freebie came: digital vials of mutant serum. Owners could mix their Bored Ape with the serum to create another NFT – a Mutant Ape. The NFT Kennel Club and Mutant Ape are selling a lot. Over the past few weeks, the Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection has exploded, with the floor price dropping from around 4 ethers in November to 15 ethers ($ 55,000) now.
The last and most important is the community which is built around a collection. Bored Ape Yacht Club has held meetings in New York and California and there have been Bored Ape meetings in Hong Kong and the UK as well. Most recently, a weekend of homeowners’ festivities took place in New York City, with a real party on a yacht and a concert which featured appearances by Chris Rock, Aziz Ansari and The Strokes.
Of course, there is a business aspect to building a community. Art, whatever it is, is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. In an NFT collection, the floor price is essentially what the less invested members are willing to sell. People who believe they have a token in a community result in fewer people listing their monkeys for sale. Selling your monkey is not only selling an NFT, but also a community pass.
Additionally, once a collection reaches a certain level of value,. People in the cryptocurrency space and NFT use profile photos for Twitter, Discord, and other platforms, like CEOs wear Rolexes. You can download a JPG of a bored monkey just like you can wear a $ 10 knockoff Rolex. Either way, however, people will know.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club slowly grows from NFTs and becomes an “off-chain” brand, that is, a brand that exists outside of the blockchain. On December 21, it was announced that Yuga Labs, the team behind BAYC, is partnering with developer Animoca. for a game to be won to come in 2022. The benefits for BAYC owners are likely.
Bored Apes are also part of fashion. Adidas launched its first NFT project, Into The Metaverse, in collaboration with several NFT brands, including the head of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Adidas also bought a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT, which now graces its Twitter page.
More unusual, however, is what people do with their monkeys. Owning a Bored Ape NFT gives you all the commercial rights to it, and the holders benefit creatively. A bored monkey owner create a Twitter account for your monkey where he created a backstory, turning him into Jenkins, a valet who works for the Yacht Club. In September, Jenkins signed a contract real world agency. He gets his own biography – written in part by New York Times bestseller Neil Strauss. Universal Music Group invested by sign a group made up of three Bored Apes and a Mutant Ape.
You might think NFTs are dumb – and terrible for the environment – but don’t expect bored monkeys to be gone anytime soon.