The blockchain world has seen its fair share of sensational stories, but few can rival the extraordinary rise of Yuga Labs. The company, which started as a relatively unknown entity, has emerged as a dominant player in the NFT space, capturing the attention of millions and significantly impacting the Web3 industry.
This article will delve into the fascinating journey of Yuga Labs, from its inception to its recent milestones, and explore the various elements that have contributed to its unprecedented success.
Unmasking the Founders of Yuga Labs
For a long time, the identities of Yuga Labs’ co-founders remained shrouded in mystery. However, in February 2022, a Buzzfeed article exposed the founders by examining public records. In response, the co-founders decided to reveal their identities in solidarity, a move that arguably deepened trust in the brand long-term. The Yuga Labs co-founders are:
- Gargamel – Greg Solano
- Gordon Goner – Wylie Aronow
- No Sass – Zeshan Ali
- Emperor Tomato Ketchup – Kerem Atalay
Yuga Labs and Bored Ape Yacht Club
Yuga Labs is a digital asset and blockchain technology company headquartered in Miami, Florida. It was founded in February 2021 and began developing the initial concept for the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection. Inspired by the crypto slang term “Aping in,” which refers to buying something without conducting research, the founders chose apes as the central theme of their NFT collection.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, launched in April 2021, consists of 10,000 unique NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain. The collection sold out within 12 hours, with a mint price of 0.08 ETH. A year later, the floor price for BAYC NFTs skyrocketed to over 130 ETH, or more than $300,000. The BAYC collection quickly became a status symbol for celebrities and athletes eager to showcase their digital assets.
In June 2021, Yuga Labs expanded its offerings with the Bored Ape Kennel Club, a collection of Shiba-inspired NFTs. These “companion” NFTs were airdropped for free to all BAYC holders, further deepening the bond between the community and Yuga Labs.
To continue growing its holder base, Yuga Labs introduced the Mutant Ape Yacht Club in August 2021. This collection featured 20,000 new NFTs, with 10,000 available through public auction and the remaining 10,000 created using a unique “Mutant Serum” mechanism. BAYC holders received the Mutant Serum, which they could burn to obtain a mutated version of their original Ape NFT.
Purchase of Cryptopunks and Meebits
Yuga Labs significantly expanded its reach in the NFT world by acquiring ownership of other notable collections, such as Cryptopunks and Meebits. This move further cemented Yuga Labs’ dominance in the NFT market and demonstrated the company’s commitment to growth and innovation.
The Otherside Metaverse
One of Yuga Labs’ most ambitious projects is the Otherside metaverse, a virtual game world that serves as a home for all Apes and other compatible NFTs.
The metaverse consists of over 100,000 unique land plots, called OtherDeeds, each possessing different attributes such as environment or sediment type.
However, the minting process for Otherside land plots was criticized for causing network congestion and high gas fees, prompting Yuga Labs to acknowledge the need for a better launch strategy.
ApeCoin (APE) is a utility token that plays an essential role in the Yuga ecosystem. However, it is not an official Yuga Labs product. Instead, it was created by the ApeCoin DAO, a community-run group that operates as a separate legal entity. APE is used for various purposes within the Yuga universe, including minting Otherside land plots.
To engage its community, Yuga Labs developed a competitive ‘runner’ style on-chain game for Ape holders. The game rewards players based on their performance, with the motto, “The greater the score, the greater the reward.” This innovative approach to user engagement further cements Yuga Labs’ commitment to providing unique experiences for its community.
The Launch of Twelvefold
In March 2023, Yuga Labs ventured into new territory by launching Twelvefold, its first ordinal NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin ordinals work by inscribing data, such as an image, on an individual satoshi token (1/100,000,000th of a BTC). This development brought NFT culture and trading to the world’s first cryptocurrency.
However, the launch was met with criticism. Yuga Labs’ strategy for handling Twelvefold auctions, which involved sending BTC to a Yuga Labs-controlled wallet, was denounced by the crypto community and the founder of the Ordinals protocol.
Critics argue that this approach sets a negative precedent for future launches within the Ordinal space, as it could potentially enable scams.
The meteoric rise of Yuga Labs in the NFT universe is nothing short of extraordinary. From its humble beginnings to its current dominance in the NFT market, Yuga Labs has continuously pushed the boundaries of innovation and user engagement.
As Yuga Labs continues to expand and diversify its offerings, it will undoubtedly face challenges along the way. However, the story of Yuga Labs thus far is a testament to the power of creativity, ambition, and determination in the world of blockchain technology.
In March 2022, Yuga Labs expanded its reach by acquiring the historic Cryptopunks collection and Meebits from their original creators, Larva Labs.
uga Labs began in February 2021 when four pseudonymous co-founders came together and started drafting the BAYC collection, inspired by the concept of ‘Aping in.’
ApeCoin (APE) is a utility token within the Yuga Labs ecosystem, created by the ApeCoin DAO, a community-run group that operates as a separate legal entity from Yuga Labs.
Otherside is the metaverse of the Yuga Labs ecosystem, a virtual game world home to all Apes and other compatible NFTs, featuring over 100,000 unique land plots called OtherDeeds.
BAYC is a popular NFT collection consisting of 10,000 unique, programmatically generated ape characters, created by Yuga Labs and minted on the Ethereum blockchain.
Twelvefold is Yuga Labs’ first ordinal NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain, working by inscribing data on individual satoshi tokens, bringing NFT culture to the world’s first cryptocurrency.
Yuga Labs is a digital asset and blockchain technology company based in Miami, Florida, known for creating the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection and several other supporting projects.
Yuga Labs has several collections under its umbrella, including Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC), Otherside, Cryptopunks, and Meebits.
After Andreessen Horowitz led a $450 million seed round investment in Yuga Labs, the company’s valuation reached $4 billion.
The co-founders of Yuga Labs are Greg Solano (Gargamel), Wylie Aronow (Gordon Goner), Zeshan Ali (No Sass), and Kerem Atalay (Emperor Tomato Ketchup).