Bored Ape Yacht Club burst onto the scene in April 2021 with a collection of 10,000 non-fungible token (NFT) avatars minted on the Ethereum blockchain. The Apes attracted high-profile celebrities and rode the crest of a crypto wave. Since then, their founding collection has sky-rocketed to the moon, with the current floor price for a Bored Ape NFT 98.5 ETH ($200k) and the total trading volume surpassing $1 billion on Opensea.
With Bored Apes infiltrating the world of Web3 and beyond, let’s explore what everyone needs to know about this extraordinary project.
Despite a volatile crypto market, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a brand created by Yuga Labs, remains as relevant as ever. The journey of the Bored Apes has been remarkable and the feats that they’ve accomplished in the NFT space demand respect. Following the success of the Bored Apes, Yuga Labs has since launched two more two spin-off NFT collections, Bored Ape Kennel Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club.
Then, there’s ‘Apes v Mutants’, a free-to-play mobile game they created in collaboration with Animoca Brands. This game served as the Apes’ transition to the realm of video games and expansion in the digital realm. More was to follow.
Continuing their expansion in the Web3 space, ApeCoin was launched earlier this year, which is a product of ApeCoin DAO, an organisation governed entirely by the token holders. This is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and will be the currency of choice in their new metaverse experience, which is currently under construction.
Speaking of which, Yuga Labs has started building their own gamified, interoperable metaverse called ‘Otherside’, which allows holders of multiple blue-chip NFTs (not only BAYC members) to participate in a community gaming platform.
Hence, an explosion of creativity and artistic brilliance has led us to this point and that’s all in the space of one roller-coaster year.
Who is behind the Bored Apes?
The Bored Ape Yacht Club was created by Yuga Labs, who comprise four men operating under the following pseudonyms: Gordon Goner and Gargamel – the two original co-founders – and two additional engineers they brought into the fold, No Sass and Emperor Tomato Ketchup.
The Bored Ape artwork, which has become so iconic in the community, was the work of a freelance artist called Seneca, who operates largely in the shadows, away from the public realm. According to Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs, Seneca has been compensated for her work to the tune of “over $1 million”.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club has captured the intrigue of the worldwide media. For example, an extended piece was written about them in the prestigious New Yorker magazine and their Apes featured on the front cover of the Rolling Stone magazine, as part of an interview/collaboration. Indeed, Rolling Stone lauded the famous NFT brand in the article.
Gus Wenner, President and COO of Rolling Stone said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Bored Ape Yacht Club. The cultural groundswell associated with these artists is in line with movements Rolling Stone has covered for decades.”
“The Bored Apes’ shared love of music and counter-culture made them fantastic collaborators to bring this unique project to life with.”
Recently, Buzzfeed did some digging and reported that the real names of the two co-founders are Greg Solano (Gordon Goner) and Wylie Aronow (Gargamel). Greg and Wylie are two friends from Miami, who met in a dive bar, dabbled in crypto, enjoyed a beer and debated about literature.
Solano, a writer, co-authored a book about ‘World of Warcraft’ with one of the game’s designers and perhaps his passion has influenced their current RPG project. Both he and Aronow, Buzzfeed reported, are creatives who both did a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. Apparently, only Solano completed his MFA.
Otherside, the Yuga Labs game currently under development, is going to be an expansive open-world experience, bringing to life, and expanding upon, the original idea of rich apes living in a swamp club.
The creative vision of the Bored Ape owners, which inspired the project, is set in the year 2031. The people who invested in the early days of cryptocurrency have all become billionaires and Goner said: “Now they’re just fucking bored. What do you do now that you’re wealthy beyond your wildest dreams? You’re going to hang out in a swamp club with a bunch of apes and get weird.”
When did the Apes become famous?
The Bored Ape NFT collection arrived on the scene in April 2021 at the price of 0.08 ETH (around $200 at the time) and following a series of high-profile endorsements, the snowball effect took over. Like dominos, they fell and the initial sale sold out in a matter of days, earning the team $2 million in revenue. Suddenly, the NFT market was rife with Bored Apes.
Then, the Bored Ape NFTs became status symbols among the rich and famous. Under the FOMO spell (fear of missing out), the brand has taken off among some of the world’s most renowned celebrities, including Eminem, Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Curry and Post Malone. Additionally, it could be argued that Bored Apes have become a proud symbol of counter culture and alternative thinking in the last year.
Why would I buy a Bored Ape NFT?
So, what can you do with a Bored Ape NFT? Firstly, BAYC holders can use it as a profile picture on Twitter.
Furthermore, you gain access to a private Discord channel, which the co-founders liken to an “online dive bar”. This allows like-minded Ape enthusiasts to exchange ideas, draw graffiti and connect.
Perhaps the most interesting utility of all is that your membership – a Bored Ape NFT – gains you access to exclusive in-person events and random airdrops from the team.
For instance, Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT holders famously received a random gift – a bunch of ApeCoin – after the ApeDAO cryptocurrency had been launched. Many Bored Ape holders became wealthy overnight, cashing in their ApeCoin for close to $100,000 USD. Thus, they were rewarded for simply being a part of the NFT project.
Remember, some Bored Ape holders bought their NFTs when they were just $200 and thus, those who got in early, and sold their ApeCoin at its peak, reaped huge financial rewards.
What is next for the Bored Ape NFT project?
Bored Ape Yacht Club appears to be one of the definitive NFT art projects at the moment. The collection has taken on a life of its own and the community is thriving. Indeed, pictures of Bored Apes being proudly worn around the world are proliferating on Twitter. Now, this is more than a PFP phenomenon and the community believes in the future of the project.
Parent company Yuga Labs is showing no signs of stopping. In March, they raised $450 million in a seed funding round that valued the company at $4 billion dollars. Moreover, they recently acquired the “brands, copyright in the art and other IP rights” for two major NFT projects developed by Larva Labs: Cryptopunks and Meebits, their 3D counterparts.
This made Yuga Labs the owners of the two most successful NFT projects of all time. With Cryptopunks, they promised to add more “utility” to the brand, which could see those pixelated punks re-appear in various places in the physical and digital world.
Meanwhile, the Yuga Labs ‘Otherdeeds’ land sale on April 30th sent the Ethereum blockchain into a frenzy. Otherdeeds are parcels of land within Otherside, the metaverse project currently under development. In total, 55,000 parcels of land were sold for a total of $320 million. Another major triumph for Yuga Labs, although the sheer volume of traffic on Ethereum sent the transaction fees soaring that night. A lesson learned, perhaps.
In truth, Bored Apes have already achieved so much with their brand and the scope of the project is limited only by their own imagination and motivation to continue.
Aping around in the metaverse
We don’t currently know exactly what the Otherside will look and feel like, but we know that it will resemble a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) RPG game, with various places to roam and explore within the game and socialise with friends. Indeed, natural voice will feature in the game.
The artistic vision of Otherside was revealed in a tantalising teaser and from that teaser, we know that the game intends to support multiple NFT brands – including CryptoPunks, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Cool Cats and World of Women, to name a few.
For the Otherside, Yuga Labs are partnering up with games developer and venture capital company Animoca Brands, who acquired The Sandbox in 2018 and have been making big moves in the development of the metaverse.
Bored Apes and big brands
The most eye-catching collaboration achieved by Bored Ape Yacht Club to date was with Adidas Originals. The fashion and lifestyle subdivision of the German sportswear giant launched ‘Into the Metaverse’ as part of their bigger plan to enter Web3 culture. The poster boy for the project was a Bored Ape #8774 named Indigo Herz, sporting heart-shaped shades and a green Adidas tracksuit.
Into the Metaverse grants NFT holders benefits in the physical and digital world. Holders of these NFTs can claim exclusive real merchandise and also the NFT works as your ticket into the metaverse. Specifically, you will have access to The Sandbox, where Adidas are building experiences to enjoy. What is more, your avatar will be able to wear an exclusive, branded pair of Adidas sneakers, which commemorate this collaboration with the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
The defining NFT collection
BAYC holders will tell you that they’re part of something that feels special and whether you love or loathe these Bored Ape NFTs, their community has to be respected. From quirky profile pictures to worldwide fame and recognition, these Apes have infiltrated our subconscious and the success of this project is a testament to something profound.
It’s a celebration of creativity, of an imaginative idea, which a couple of guys hanging out in a bar came up with, and ran with it. They committed to their idea, found a wonderful illustrator to execute it, and found a couple of tech guys who could make their vision happen. The rest, as they say, is history.
For any creative person out there, this story has to be inspiring. The tale of the Bored Apes proves that your art and creativity, thanks to the blockchain and NFTs, can reap financial rewards in the modern, Web3 era.