What is BAYC. The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an exclusive community for holders of the ape and mutant-themed NFT collections on Ethereum’s blockchain. Commonly referred to as the Bored Apes, only 10,000 generative art pieces will ever be in existence.
What happened: Bored Ape #8790 just sold for 159.69 ETH – ETH/USD ($472,185 USD). The value of Bored Apes is typically determined by the Ape’s attributes, with the laser eyes, crown, and golden fur traits being the most coveted.
Here is a list of its attributes and how many others have the same trait:
- Background: Army Green (1,243)
- Earring: Silver Hoop (882)
- Hat: Fez (377)
- Eyes: Scumbag (233)
- Mouth: Grin (713)
- Clothes: Prison Jumpsuit (235)
- Fur: Red (474)
Why it Matters: Bored Apes are the ultimate store of culture for NFT collectors. The NFT collection has gained huge influence in 2021, with an ever-growing list of top-tier celebrities making apes their profile pictures on Twitter. With the recent explosion in popularity surrounding the Metaverse, rare blockchain-based avatars are all the rage for those looking to flex online.
Being a member of the Bored Ape Yacht Club is not just about flexing online. Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Apes throw exclusive parties often with free private performances from members of the club such as Lil Baby. Other notable celebrities in the club include Post Malone, Stephen Curry, Dez Bryant, and Jimmy Kimmel.
Yuga Labs also created another NFT collection known as the Mutant Apes, which also provides membership to the elusive club. There are a total of 20,000 Mutant Apes, and the price floor is historically lower than the Bored Apes.
Bored Ape owners currently using their NFT as a Twitter profile picture include Timbaland (1.6 million followers), Eminem (22.6 million followers), and footballer Neyman Jr. (55 million followers). Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton are also BAYC holders, discussing their Apes in a (cringey) Tonight Show segment. Justin Bieber made headlines with his purchase of a $1.29 million Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT in February.
What makes Bored Ape Yacht Club valuable?
This is a complicated question. The short answer is that they’re status symbols, and like all status symbols, their value comes from perception and branding rather than utility. Just like a CEO may try to communicate business acumen with a Rolex or a luxury suit, people who trade NFTs display their success with a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT. Their argument is that NFTs are better status symbols than real-world items since when used as profile pictures they can be seen by millions of people on Twitter and Instagram.
Let’s start at the beginning. Bored Ape Yacht Club was launched last April. It took 12 hours for all 10,000 to sell out at a price of $190 (0.08 ether). The price of Bored Ape NFTs rose steadily until July when they spiked dramatically and the collection became a blue-chip set.
What makes an NFT collection successful is highly subjective. Broadly, it’s a mix of four things: Influencer or celebrity involvement, mainstream potential, a utility for members, and community appeal.
The first and second are obvious. When famous people own an NFT, it makes others want to own one too. When celebrities like Jimmy Fallon and Justin Bieber bought into Bored Ape, it caused a run on sales and hype – and the hype is what the NFT market is all about. People buying into BAYC today, at a steep price of over $400,000, are likely to believe that the brand could one day adorn more than celebrity social media accounts: Netflix shows, popular games, and Hollywood movies are the goal.
Thirdly, utility. Most NFT projects claim to offer a utility of some sort, which means it does something other than act as a profile picture. That can be access to play-to-earn games or the option to stake an NFT in exchange for an associated cryptocurrency.
Bored Ape Yacht Club has done a few things to keep owners interested. First, it created the Bored Ape Kennel Club, offering owners the opportunity to “adopt” a dog NFT with traits that mimic those of the Bored Apes. Another freebie came in August: Digital vials of mutant serum. Owners could mix their Bored Ape with the serum to create a Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT (see below).
The advent of this second collection last August is when the Bored Ape brand really popped. Seen as doing innovative things with NFT technology, and coinciding with a huge amount of money entering the space that month, Bored Ape Yacht Club started to be seen as the premiere NFT brand.
Both Kennel Club and Mutant Ape NFTs now sell for a lot. The Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection in particular has blown up, with the floor price rising from around $11,500 (4 ether) in November to 40 ether ($116,000) now. (Remember, these were free to BAYC holders.)
Last but not least is the community that’s built around a collection. NFTs double as membership cards to holder groups. The more valuable people find belonging to that community, the less they’ll want to sell their NFT. Bored Ape Yacht Club has organized meetups in New York and California, and there have been Bored Ape get-togethers in Hong Kong and the UK, too. In November a weekend of festivities for owners was held in New York, featuring an actual yacht party and a concert that featured appearances from Chris Rock, Aziz Ansari and The Strokes.
But “community value” also extends to financial self-interest. The higher the floor price on a collection, the more crypto-rich traders you can expect to be the holders. These savvy investors trade information within locked Discord groups, providing valuable (sometimes insanely valuable) tips to one another. Sell your NFT and you’ll no longer be privy to such tips.