Whether you like it or not, you’ve probably seen a Bored Ape Yacht Club before. This is especially true if you’re on Twitter, where the owners of NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club feature them as profile photos. The owners include Steph Curry, Post Malone and most recently Jimmy Fallon.
See that monkey above with the striped T-shirt? It’s Fallon’s.
One of the most successful collections in the non-fungible token space, BAYC launched in April and consists of 10,000 bored monkeys. Right now the cheapest you can buy one for is 49 ethers – $ 208,000. They often sell a lot more.
Like everything else about NFTs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is controversial. Monkey owners inspire jealousy among those who own and trade NFT art, but confusion and mistrust among those who do not. Some of its success is art, but most of it is not. 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 aboutwhich were auctioned off at Christie’s for $ 69 million. Second, you have NFT collections, or “projects”, like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Much like Pokémon cards, these take one pattern and produce hundreds or thousands of variations, 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.
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 project’s “floor price” – what you’ll pay for a monkey with common traits – is 52 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. The 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 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. The most common ones sell for around 100 ethers, or $ 500,000.
What is the value of the Bored Ape Yacht Club?
This is a complicated question. The short answer is that, like 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. The most recent example is Jimmy Fallon. The Tonight Show host bought a BAYC on November 8 (for a whopping $ 145,000) and has been using it since 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, whether it’s access to games to be won or the ability to wager an NFT in exchange for an associated cryptocurrency.
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 giveaway 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 well, with floor prices of around $ 14,000 and $ 26,000, respectively.
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 owner-festivities took place in New York City, with an actual yacht party and concert featuring 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. Selling your monkey is not only selling an NFT, but also a community pass.
Moreover, once a collection reaches a certain level of value, it becomes a status symbol. 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.
After the star-studded New York City party, the next member-only benefit for Bored Ape and Mutant Ape owners is an upcoming mobile game. Details are scarce, other than the fact that the game will only be available for 10 days and there will likely be prizes of tempting value.
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 was signed to a true real-world agency. He gets his own biography – written in part by New York Times bestseller Neil Strauss. Universal Music Group has invested by signing a group consisting 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.