When a conversation turns to the subject of NFTs, talk of the Bored Ape Yacht Club generally isn’t far. These Apes have helped to bring NFTs into the mainstream. With a minimum sale price hovering around $300k and 10,000 Bored Apes in existence, it makes sense that there’s a lot of hype surrounding the project.
Bored Ape Yacht Club, commonly shortened to Bored Apes or BAYC, is an NFT project launched by Yuga Labs. The name comes from the fact that the creators liked apes and wanted to incorporate the idea of “aping in,” in which a person buys a cryptocurrency without putting too much thought into the fundamentals of it. The Apes live in a futuristic world in which all of the early crypto investors are billionaires and are bored due to their richness.
Bored Apes act as membership cards to the Yacht Club, which has exclusive perks for members. One of the earliest perks was a digital graffiti board called “The Bathroom” that any Yacht Club member can paint one pixel on every 15 minutes. It is meant to be similar to a bathroom wall that many people draw on. Over time, this board has grown to have many different drawings all across it. There is also access to exclusive channels on Discord where members can hang out. In addition, owners have full commercial and ownership rights for their Apes.
Each Ape has seven possible properties: background color, clothes, earrings, eyes, fur, hat, and mouth. For instance, the most expensive Ape, which sold for $2.3 million (Ape #2087), has: a purple background, no clothes (only shown from the shoulders up), no earring, angry eyes, trippy fur (psychedelic colors), no hat, and a bored cigarette mouth. Combinations of these traits make certain Apes rarer than others and thus more valuable. These traits were created by freelance artists and then mixed up and combined to form all 10,000 Apes.
The BAYC Launch
On February 8, 2021, Yuga Labs Inc. was incorporated after Gargamel and Gordon, two friends who had been in crypto for a few years, enlisted the help of Tomato and Sass, two friends of theirs who are software engineers. These names are the pseudonyms used by the creators of BAYC in order to stay anonymous when starting the project.
On April 23, 2021, the Yuga Labs team launched the Bored Ape Yacht Club. They were priced at around $220 (0.08 ETH). Anyone who has held their Ape since the beginning has seen at least a 1200x ROI. The first 500 sold during the week-long presale and the remaining Apes were minted on May 1 during a flurry of activity.
Bored Ape Kennel Club
Due to the success of its first NFT launch, Yuga Labs was ready to launch a second one. This time, the goal wasn’t to make a large profit.
For one week, beginning on June 18, 2021, BAYC members were able to adopt one Bored Ape Kennel Club dog for each Ape that they owned. These dogs were not available for sale and the claimer only had to pay Ethereum network gas fees.
A 2.5% royalty was added to BAKC sales on OpenSea for the first six weeks of its existence. After this, the royalty was removed. All proceeds were donated to charities that help animal shelters.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club
Mutant Ape Yacht Club is currently the more valuable of the two Bored Ape spinoffs from Yuga Labs. According to CoinGecko, it is the third most valuable NFT project by market cap (floor price times total supply). This is in comparison to BAYC, which is the most valuable and BAKC which comes in around the 12th position. BAKC is meant to be a companion NFT, while BAYC and MAYC are the main two NFTs in the ecosystem.
On August 28, 2021, the Bored Ape Chemistry Club was launched. It contains three serum NFTs used to mint the Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs. These other tokens were given to all BAYC holders at the time and consisted of three different rarities: M1, M2, and Mega. Only eight Mega Mutant Serums were minted and they instantly became valued very highly. The most recent sale of one went for a whopping $5.9 million (1,542.069 ETH).
A public sale also occurred in which another 10,000 MAYC were sold. Each one cost slightly under 3 ETH, which was about $9000 at the time. This netted Yuga Labs about $96 million. They were only available for about one hour before they all sold out. Currently, the cheapest MAYC is 21 ETH ($60,000).
Mutant Apes have traits that are mutated versions of the traits that the original Ape has. Each Mutant Ape has the same trait names as the original, except it also contains the name of the serum type used to mutate it. Anyone who used their serum received an Ape that slightly resembles the one they already had. For an example, here is an original BAYC and the MAYC that was mutated from it.
The Rise of the Apes
In the beginning, there was a lot of hype around BAYC solely in the NFT space. This was just a taste of what was to come. While many NFT projects quickly fizzle out and lose their hype, BAYC was able to keep it up and move into the mainstream. Whether you support the project or not, there’s no avoiding the fact that it’s popular and here to stay.
The NFT collection’s explosive growth was especially demonstrated during the month of August 2021. In August, the average BAYC selling price on OpenSea increased to about 55 ETH ($189,000) compared to around 11 ETH ($28,000) at the start of the month. The MAYC launch, an increase in the price of ETH, and more public recognition of BAYC all combined to create a great month for BAYC holders.
One contributing factor to the popularity of the Apes has been that celebrities, such as Jimmy Fallon, have purchased Bored Apes and set them as their profile pictures on social media. This obviously created massive hype, as millions of people previously unfamiliar with NFTs learned about them.
The exclusivity of BAYC has made it the ultimate status symbol of NFT collectors, which, in turn, has only increased its popularity.
After months of anticipation, ApeCoin was launched by the ApeCoin DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) on March 18, 2022. It is an ERC-20 token with a supply of 1 billion tokens that were allocated to different groups related to the Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem. To reward Mutant Ape and Bored Ape holders, 15% of the supply (150 million tokens) was available to be claimed by holders of those Apes.
The up to date price of ApeCoin can be checked on CoinGecko. A few days after the airdrop, the price settled around $10, making the airdrop worth about $100,000 per BAYC (10,094 APE) and $20,000 per MAYC (2,042 APE). An additional 856 APE is claimable for people who hold a BAYC or MAYC along with a BAKC, but not for people who only hold a BAKC. This airdrop is only available for 90 days-it ends on June 15, 2022.
The rest of the supply was divided up between Yuga Labs, the Yuga Labs founders, charity, companies and people who helped launch ApeCoin, and the DAO. ApeCoin holders can vote on what the DAO does with its tokens in the future.
There is also the APE Foundation that oversees the DAO. It has a board that is voted in by DAO members. It is a legal entity, while the DAO is the digital entity meant to be open to all ApeCoin holders. The Foundation is also meant to “serve the vision of the community,” according to apecoin.com, the website dedicated to the token.
The token was designed not only for community governance of BAYC related issues, but also as a currency. One of its first uses is in games, with Animoca Brands already turning one of its titles, Benji Bananas, into a play-to-earn game using the token.
The Future of the Apes
The future looks bright for the NFT project that is showing no signs of slowing down. Recently, Yuga Labs teased Otherside, a project incorporating many NFT projects that looks to be a metaverse of sorts. The company stated that more details are coming in April.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club has taken the world by storm with many excited to see what comes next.