Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is one of the most famous and sought-after collections of NFT tokens today, comparable in popularity to CryptoPunks. According to the OpenSea marketplace, this collection sells for more than 1,000 ETH daily.
The collection is also popular among celebrities. Thus, Eminem bought one of the NFTs for 123.45 ETH ($460,000) in January 2022. At the same time, in the fall of 2021, Adidas purchased one of the monkeys for 46 ETH ($205,000). Here is a review of BAYC collectible NFTs, how they stand out, and why they succeed. Let’s get started!
History of Creation
The birthplace of Bored Ape Yacht Club is the city of Miami, which is known as the center of conceptual art. The collection was launched by startup Yuga Labs in the spring of 2021, amid the hype surrounding the NFT industry. BAYC made about $2,000,000 on its initial launch, and prices have gone up since then.
Sotheby’s, for example, sold a set of 107 monkeys for more than $24 million. In addition to Eminem, Gwyneth Paltrow, Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, Post Malone, Mark Cuban, Steph Curry, Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon followed the trend.
There are four creators of the project, and they use pseudonyms:
- Gordon Goner
- Emperor tomato ketchup
- No sass
As stated on the official website, the friends just decided to test their skills and create something, resulting in such a collection. The company is called Yuga Labs.
Deanonymization of Creators in 2022
Until February 4, 2022, however, no one knew the real identities of the Bored Ape Yacht Club developers. The situation changed when Buzzfeed published an investigation revealing the identities of two of the four developers, Gargamel and Gordon Goner.
It turned out that these are two 30-year-old residents of Florida, Wylie Aronow, and Greg Solano, who are fond of cryptography.
There was nothing particularly scandalous in the Buzzfeed material, but the crypto community did not like such an invasion of privacy.
- Popular podcaster Cobie called the article trash and accused Buzzfeed of ‘doxxing people for clicks and ad revenue.’
- Mike Solana, president of the Founders Fund venture capital firm, called the publication’s act disgusting and noted that they were just cartoon apes, and ‘there was absolutely no reason to dox these guys.’
- Crypto blogger and founder of Messari, Ryan Selkis, also criticized the story and, in turn, found dirt on the journalist who published it.
However, people who do not belong to the crypto world do not see anything terrible in the situation. Gabe Rivera, the founder of the popular website Techmeme, described the article as standard business reporting. Others noted that the journalist used publicly available data, which, if desired, could be found by any Internet user.
Essentially, the debate boils down to whether crypto billionaires should be as controlled as politicians and traditional business moguls.
As for the developers themselves, they did not deny the obvious and treated the situation philosophically. They posted their photos on Twitter with the captions’ Web2 me vs. Web3 me.’ Then the other two creators followed suit.
Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 unique collectible apes pictures minted in NFT format on the Ethereum blockchain. NFTs could be purchased for 0.8 ETH at the initial sale, which means that the distribution was fair without price levels.
BAYC also works as a kind of club membership card, giving owners access to certain privileges:
- Full ownership and commercial use rights granted to the owner.
- The Bathroom is a member-only graffiti tool. It is a canvas that is only open to wallet owners with at least one ape. You can draw or write whatever your heart desires on the canvas, but only 1 pixel per 15 minutes.
- Offline meetings and events.
- Additional benefits as you progress through the roadmap.
You need to log in to the project website using a Metamask wallet to use the privileges.
Let’s talk briefly about the technical characteristics. Each Bored Ape is stored as ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and hosted in IPFS (Interplanetary File System — storage that does not have a server). Such NFTs cannot be changed after purchase. The art will be lost only if no single node stores it left.
Each ape is unique and programmatically generated from over 170 possible features such as clothing, face, headgear, additional accessories. Some traits are rarer than others, and characters with them are more valued.
Where to Buy or Sell Bored Apes?
Bored Apes are predominantly traded on the OpenSea marketplace. To purchase them, you need to log in using one of the wallets:
- Coinbase Wallet
- Various wallets via WalletConnect, etc.
The purchase takes place for ETH or WETH (tokenized Ether on the Polygon blockchain). If you’re interested in buying ETH, you should definitely think about doing this at Switchere. On our platform, you have an opportunity to buy ETH in the fastest and most convenient ways using any available payment method. Moreover, we offer some surprising bonuses! Users of our platform enjoy a 0% service fee for the first order.
Most apes are sold using an offer system, while individual arts are sold through an auction. You can store the purchase in the same wallets listed above.
Spin-Off Collections from Yuga Labs
Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) is a collection of apes similar to the original BAYC but with a zombie and mutant theme. Special serums were distributed among the holders of the original BAYC NFTs, allowing them to turn ordinary apes into mutants. The serum has three levels:
- M1 and M2 add one or more random features to the original ape, but the overall image remains recognizable.
- M3 can create an entirely new and much rarer ape.
Bored Ape Kennel Club is another NFT collection that was distributed exclusively to BAYC owners. Holders could mint a dog with various attributes and rarity. Any resales were subject to a royalty of 2.5% for some time, which was donated to animal charities.
There are quite a few factors contributing to the success of Bored Ape Yacht Club, but one of the main ones is the rapid development of the NFT market. Access to meetups, airdrops, and exclusive games has proven that utility is just as important to NFT owners as a rarity.
The BAYC team told an interesting story through art and technology that eventually revealed their personalities. Of course, deanonymization did not cause any particular harm — the crypto community supported the developers, and this did not affect the commercial rights to the project in any way.
What is the best Bored Ape? Feel free to share your favorite ones in the comments!