This article is written assuming that you understand the concept of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT). If you need a refresher on what an NFT is, check out this video.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a popular series of NFT collectibles minted on the Ethereum blockchain. Launched by developer Yuga Labs in April 2021, the collection consists of 10,000 Bored Ape avatars that each have a unique combination of randomly generated traits (fur, eyes, mouth, background color) and accessories (clothes, earrings, hats). The art and world-building of the Bored Ape universe spawned a dedicated community and captured the attention of the NFT world. Ownership of a Bored Ape NFT unlocks access to a Discord server as well as additional NFT collectibles and perks. While originally released for .08 Eth, or around $220, as of writing this article, the lowest price BAYC NFT for sale is listed at 35.95 Eth, or $150k. For more statistics around the BAYC check out https://www.nft-stats.com/collection/boredapeyachtclub.
How was the BAYC created?
The Bored Ape Yacht Club started with a world-building concept: The year is 2031. The people who invested in the early days of cryptocurrency have all become billionaires. Now everyone is just bored. And what do these billionaires do with their time? Hang out in a swamp club with a bunch of apes and get weird.
This was the original idea Gargamel and his co-founder, Gordon Goner (both go by pseudonyms) had in early 2021 when they created the BAYC. The founders, both self-proclaimed literary nerds, saw an opportunity in the NFT space to create a new kind of NFT collectible driven by its open-ended storyline. Inspiration was drawn from Hashmasks and CryptoPunks. Unlike these projects, which were closed to development after minting, the BAYC founders would continue to grow the project over time, guided by what is now a common practice in NFT projects, a roadmap.
On April 3rd, 2021, the BAYC launched to the public. Interest did not pick up for the project, however, until April 30th, when the first images of the apes were revealed. News of these interesting-looking apes quickly spread throughout the NFT community and within 12 hours the entire collection was sold out. The vision the founders had for the project struck a chord with the crypto community and many notable figures “aped” into buying one of these NFTs. With CryptoPunks being far too expensive for many NFT investors to get into, the BAYC became the next best profile picture you could afford. Soon NFT Twitter was taken over by BAYC avatars and the price for a Bored Ape shot up.
An aspect of the BAYC that many future NFT projects follow is the continuation of support from the creating team. Through using a roadmap, the founding team could lay out a long-term vision for the BAYC that indicated future value generation for the NFT project. The roadmap promised exclusive merch, a YouTube lo-fi radio station, and additional NFT collectibles. The Bored Ape Kennel Club and The Mutant Ape Yacht Club are both NFT projects released in the BAYC universe. These NFTs were given for free to all holders of a Bored Ape. This is a very notable perk because these projects have benefited from the popularity of the BAYC brand and have increased in value since their release. At the time of writing this article, the lowest priced Bored Ape Kennel Club is 2.1 Eth or $8.8k, and the lowest priced Mutant Ape is 3.6 Eth or 15k.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club captured lightning in a bottle. They had unique art, a dedicated team, and a message the NFT community could rally behind. This project showcases how originality and community building can create long-lasting value in NFTs. The Bored Ape community isn’t slowing down either. In September 2021, the BAYC Roadmap 2.0 was released and included initiatives such as a physical Miami clubhouse, 3D models of the Apes, a secret blockchain game, as well as various other perks and activities. The success of the BAYC spawned thousands of copycat animal NFT projects hoping to cash in on the hype. Most of these copycat projects fail to capture the same magic as BAYC with notable exceptions such as Cool Cats, Gutter Dogs, The Doge Pound, and Lazy Lions all gaining different levels of popularity. The continuation of NFT innovation will lead to new, and exciting projects, but as far as monkey profile pictures go, The Bored Ape Yacht Club will remain supreme.
Some of My Favorite Apes
#8699 Owned by guyo
#582 owned by MachiBigBrother
#2130 Owned by: 4BananasCapital
#3831 Owned by: E6DCE2