Since its launch back in April 2021, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has risen to become the most important NFT PFP collection since the CryptoPunks. Started by four friends, the BAYC’s initial plan was simply to “make some dope apes and try to build something ridiculous”.
Fortunately, that something “ridiculous” has been a hit with fans, creating a brand that has gone far beyond the NFT space and exploding into the mainstream like no NFT collection before it.
What Is The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)?
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an avatar NFT collectible project consisting of 10,000 unique tokens. Hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, each token is a unique piece of art featuring one of many bored apes. This collection is programmed generatively. Thus, each NFT collectible has its own unique expression, outfits, and accessories that set it apart from the rest.
Yuga Labs, the company behind BAYC, was founded by four friends; Gargamel, Gordon Goner, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and No Sass. Originally, they saw the BAYC NFT collection as a bit of a joke. Mainly, they aimed to have fun together and test their creative skills. However, since then, the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs have become some of the most desirable collectibles in the NFT scene.
While the primary sale of the original 10,000 tokens took a week to sell out, the Bored Apes have been booming on the secondary market ever since. So much so that BAYC NFTs are arguably the most sought-after status symbol NFTs in the space.
At the time of writing, BAYC has amassed over 483,000 ETH in OpenSea trade volume – about $1.7 billion. While the total sales volume for BAYC still trails the CryptoPunks collection, it has far surpassed it in terms of floor price. To illustrate, the Bored Ape floor currently sits at 110.9 ETH, while the Punks floor is currently at 67.95 ETH.
Bored Ape Yacht Club: The History Vs Today
Nearly a year after its humble beginnings, the BAYC sits at the top of the NFT ladder. Besides its sky-high floor price, BAYC has been at the forefront of the NFT space, blazing a path that many projects have attempted to follow since its inception. From its embrace of commercial rights, to its high profile airdrops, holder merch, and IRL events, the Bored Apes have every new project dreaming of becoming “the next BAYC”.
How To Buy A Bored Ape When The Prices Are Higher Than Ever
Upon release, each Ape sold for 0.08 ETH ( approximately $250 at the time). According to the creators, they wanted the initial sale to be fair and accessible. Honoring that promise, every Ape was worth an equal amount at launch. It’s important to note that this was a different approach to the bonding curve pricing that was common in the space at the time.
As noted above, the collection has a current floor price of 110.9 ETH, by far the highest floor for a 10K PFP collection. In other words, the cost of the cheapest Bored Ape is about the value of at least a modest house! Naturally, the collection has also seen some absurd sales at the high end.
The Most Notable Bored Ape Sales x Auctions So Far
The highest BAYC NFT sale ever on OpenSea took place on September 30, 2021, for the jaw-dropping amount of 769 ETH. That’s about $2.7 million today. Number 2 comes in close with a 740 ETH sale price, and a 696.969 ETH sale comes in third.
Another notable top 10 sale came from global music superstar Justin Bieber. The popstar made major news at the end of January when he purchased a Bored Ape for a whopping 500 ETH. While this is only good for the eighth biggest Bored Ape sale ever, it was notable for the fact that the Ape Bieber bought was not all that rare. In comparison, seven of the 10 highest BAYC sales were of Apes with the two rarest fur traits – solid gold and trippy.
Celebrities and institutions love BAYC NFTs
To be sure, The Bored Ape Yacht Club’s immense popularity with major celebrities and brands has been the biggest factor in its immense cultural impact.
Indeed, BAYC’s list of celebrity members is too long to recount in its entirety. Just for an idea though, famous faces in the Yacht Club include: Snoop Dogg, Madonna, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Steve Aoki, Post Malone, Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon, Gary Vaynerchuk, Steph Curry, and Josh Hart.
Some big brands have also gotten in on the action like MeUndies and Adidas among others. There’s also the case of Christie’s and Sotheby’s – two famous auction houses which have hosted a number of NFT sales, including some Bored Apes.
BAYC Hold Real Life Events Too: About ApeFest
The first edition of Ape Fest, BAYC’s marquee IRL event, took place in New York City towards the end of 2021. The multi-day event included an immersive gallery event, merch pop-up, and warehouse party headlined by Beck, The Strokes, and BAYC member Lil Baby.
Fittingly, the highlight of the first Ape Fest was an actual yacht party for holders. After the immense success of the first Ape Fest, the BAYC team is gearing up for the next edition of the event during NFT NYC 2022.
Bored Ape Holders Love Their Merch
One of the most beloved products from Yuga Labs is its IRL, holders-only merch. The first ever, limited edition run of Bored Ape Yacht Club merch went on sale on May 29, 2021. Since then, Bored Ape hoodies, hats and shirts have become status symbols in their own right. Especially at IRL NFT events, where Ape holders wear them proudly. So much so that single items of Bored Ape merch goes for hundreds of dollars on eBay these days.
Since its initial merch launch, BAYC has done some additional drops including a genesis Mutant Ape merch drop, and its most recent March merchandise drop which required holders to pay for all items exclusively using APEcoin. It also collaborated on a merch drop with legendary streetwear brand The Hundreds.
BAYC NFT Ecosystem Goes Further Than Just Apes
Their Trusty Pet Companions: Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC)
Firstly, BAYC launched the Bored Ape Kennel Club. Although they were not available to purchase directly, every Bored Ape holder received a dog-themed NFT airdropped straight to them. Despite the free airdrop, the BAKC NFTs now command quite the fee on the secondary market with a floor price of 7.429 ETH (at the time of writing).
The Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) NFTs Are Integral To The Ecosystem
Secondly, the BAYC NFT team launched the Mutant Ape Yacht club (MAYC). Bored Ape Yacht Club Holders got an airdrop of one of three NFT serums, which could be “injected” into their Apes to create another Mutant ape!
The rarity and characteristics of the mutant apes varied depending on whichever serum you were randomly airdropped out of three types: M1, M2, or M3. What’s more, 10,000 MAYC NFTs were also available via a public Dutch auction.
While the announcement came only 24hours before the drop via Twitter, The Mutant Ape Yacht Club was an overnight success! In fact, some Mutant serum NFTs were going for as high as 269 ETH ($872,000) on secondary markets immediately following the drop. Holders were all dropped one serum per Bored Ape NFT, but each ape can be “injected” with each of the three types of serum once. Thus, the Bored Ape mutant serums are in high demand.
After months of anticipation, the token of the BAYC ecosystem finally launched. Interestingly, Yuga Labs had stressed that they are not behind APEcoin. Rather, the coin is a product of and the governance token for APEcoin DAO.
Regardless of semantics, BAYC and MAYC holders were the immediate beneficiaries of the APEcoin drop. To that end, Bored Ape and Mutant Holders all received airdrops of APEcoin on launch day. In addition, holders with a BAYC-BAKC or MAYC-BAKC pairing received a larger allotment of APEcoin. In addition, the APEcoin token was listed on pretty much all major crypto exchanges from day one.
Evidently, Yuga Labs fully intends APEcoin to be an important part of its plans moving forward. For one thing, the token will be at the center of its upcoming metaverse game, “Otherside” (more on that later).
BAYC set a new standard with full commercial rights
To clarify, buying and selling isn’t the only way to profit from your Bored Apes. In fact, buying a BAYC NFT gives you full commercial rights to the artwork. What does that mean? Basically, you are within your full legal right to use your NFT as a logo, make merchandise, and much more – All without those pesky legal repercussions.
Some of the Bored Ape Yacht Club members have used their avatar to launch craft beers or print t-shirts. For one example, Wiv Technology recently launched the Bored Wine Company, offering BAYC holders the opportunity to invest in limited edition wine. In a similar vein, SOUL launched a set of exclusive customized headphones exclusively for BAYC members.
There are also Bored Apes in use in TV shows, in music groups, and literature. Finally, some brick-and-mortar establishments have also taken advantage of commercial rights. There are the restaurants Bodega Taqueria in Miami, Bored and Hungry in Long Beach, California, and the E11EVEN Nightclub in Miami.
Yuga Labs and BAYC’s Expanding Web3 empire
Yuga Labs’ monster acquisition of CryptoPunks and Meebits
Some of the biggest news to come from the Bored Ape Yacht Club in 2022 so far was Yuga Labs’ acquisition of the CryptoPunks and Meebits IP from Larva Labs. Without a doubt, this was one of the biggest developments in the NFT space so far.
BAYC and CryptoPunks had had somewhat of a friendly rivalry, with BAYC holders long predicting that the Apes would eventually “flip” the Punks (i.e. have their floor price grow past that of the Punks). Given that, the acquisition sent shockwaves through the NFT space.
Ultimately, the Larva Labs team felt that Yuga Labs would be better suited to serve the evolving demands of Punk holders at large. Indeed, Yuga Labs immediately granted all Punk and Meebits holders full commercial rights. Notably, this had been a point of contention between many Punk holders and Larva Labs for some time.
Beyond that, the team quickly came out to say that it would not be pushing the boat out too far with either collection, to begin with. Instead, it will just wait and listen to holders before making any decisions on how to move forward with the former Larva Labs properties.
Otherside, the BAYC gaming metaverse
Continuing what was an absolutely massive week for the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs shook up the Web3 space when it revealed a trailer for something called Otherside. Although the trailer didn’t give away too much, people were quickly able to figure out what the trailer was teasing.
For one thing, the trailer came about a week after a mysterious joint venture between the BAYC and Animoca Brands required users to offer up KYC (know your customer) information in order to sign up.
This move was actually one of the rare times that Yuga Labs faced public backlash from the BAYC community. This is because the NFT space as a whole values anonymity. Basically, people felt that blindly submitting to KYC without any indication of why was a bridge too far.
In addition, a leaked Yuga Labs pitch deck made various mentions of a meta RPG, gaming metaverse centering around the BAYC ecosystem. Yuga Labs eventually confirmed that Otherside was indeed the name of this upcoming gaming metaverse.
Now the Bored Ape co-founders did contest that the information in the leaked pitch deck was outdated or inaccurate. Nevertheless, they have confirmed that APEcoin will be a central part of Otherside. Not to mention that the metaverse will launch with a land sale sometime in April. Given Animoca Brands’ major role in APEcoin, it looks like Otherside was actually the project requiring KYC.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the Bored Ape Yacht Club
Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT owners routinely fall victim to scams
Unfortunately, the nascent NFT space has seen countless owners of high-value assets lose their NFTs. Naturally, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is no exception. As a matter of fact, the immense value of Bored Ape NFTs has made them a target for malicious actors. As a result, there have been a ton of sad stories involving Bored Ape owners losing their Apes.
Phishing scams – where people click on malicious and connect their wallets thinking they come from an NFT project’s team – are some of the most common ones affecting BAYC owners and NFT owners at large. There were also a number of BAYC NFTs lost to the OpenSea listing bug. There have also been some criminally low, unintentional BAYC sales, either due to “fat finger” listing errors, careless mistakes, or otherwise.
Most recently the Bored Ape Yacht Club was victim to a Discord hack. Thankfully the damage from the Discord hack did not appear to be as bad as with other project server hacks. Regardless, BAYC owners have arguably more cause to be extremely careful than any other project holders.
The Yuga Labs team got unceremoniously doxxed
For most of the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s existence, the identity of its four founders was unknown. However, this changed back in February when Yuga Labs’ two founder/co-presidents Gordon Goner and Gargamel were doxxed by BuzzFeed.
As unfortunate as this was, both men took it in stride, later posting pictures of themselves via Twitter. Since then, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and No Sass have also revealed their names and faces via Twitter.
BAYC Built an Empire From A Community
So what made the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection so successful? After all, there are hoards of animal-themed NFT avatar projects out there. Yet none come close to the success and impact of the BAYC. Of course, the Bored Apes were trendsetters, being the first project to execute many things at a high level.
In many ways, however, it was the Bored Ape community that powered it to success in those early days. To that end, many Ape holders state that their first reason to buy a Bored Ape was the community. In truth, there are a significant number of long-term holders in BAYC. On the other hand, the collection now has a unique owner count of about 6.4K. This is definitely one of the biggest holder distributions for a blue-chip 10K project.
The Yuga Labs team never disappoints
Above all, the Yuga Labs team deserves a ton of credit. It has been able to carry BAYC to its present-day success by consistently building and delivering for its community. They’ve been leaders in the NFT space as far as innovating and branding. One could certainly argue that their success has pushed the entire NFT space forward.
And they’re showing no signs of slowing down. With the recent news of its $450 million funding round and $4 billion valuation, the Bored Ape Yacht Club team is flush with resources to keep building. All things considered, the future of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and its whole ecosystem is very bright indeed.