Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection that was launched by Yuga Labs in April of 2021 and has since generated an enormous following and recorded record-breaking sales.
The collection of 10,000 profile pictures of Bored Apes was created using randomly-generated traits and accessories and launched by four developers with the aim of building a community that would grow and evolve together.
Initially, the Bored Ape NFTs, which double as Yacht Club membership cards and grant access to the exclusive community, sold out in less than a day for a minting price of .08 Ether each, around $200 at the time. Today, the least expensive Bored Apes sell for over $200,000 and Apes have sold for millions of dollars.
Unsurprisingly, the success of BAYC has been covered by major news outlets around the world, and Bored Apes are being bought and collected by a range of celebrities and athletes.
As BAYC NFTs continue to climb in value and major brands and stars become involved in the community, Yuga Labs looks like it’s positioning itself as a major entertainment company with far-reaching cultural influence for years to come. Let’s look at how it all started and what made the Bored Ape Yacht Club what it is today.
The History of BAYC
The BAYC was founded in 2021 by a writer and a programmer in Miami who went by the pseudonymous names Gargamel and Gordon Goner. They brought on two coders, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and No Sassi, to code the project onto the Ethereum blockchain and hired illustrators to create the first BAYC graphics, which consist of bored-looking apes with distinct traits and characteristics and a website containing graphics of a “swamp” dive bar.
On April 30th, 2021, BAYC launched 10,000 computer-generated ape avatars priced at .08 ETH each. It was a “fair launch” because the apes were sold for a set price, and a “fair distribution” since anyone with Ether and a crypto wallet could purchase an ape.
The collection sold out in less than 12 hours, and it wasn’t long before apes were appearing on secondary markets like OpenSea and Rarible and selling for much more than the mint price. In fact, just six months after the release of the NFT collection, BAYC became 3rd in all-time sale volume on OpenSea with over $450 million in sales.
As of December 1, 2021, the floor price (the cheapest price you can buy into a collection) of a Bored Ape on OpenSea is just under 50 ETH (or around $225,000). In October 2021, Bored Ape #8817 sold for $3.4 million dollars at Sotheby’s auction house, and the month before, a bundle of Bored Apes sold for over $24.4 million at the same auction house.
Since their release, the price tags on Bored Apes have soared and the collection currently stands as one of the best-selling NFT projects.
One key feature of the BAYC NFT collection is that it promises access to a club that includes offerings and benefits that increase with time. The full roadmap can be found on the BAYC website, but some of the benefits and community projects involve a YouTube Lofi BAYC radio station and exclusive merch for members.
On August 28th, 2021, a “Mutant Ape Serum” was dropped to existing Bored Ape owners. The serum was offered to all BAYC owners for the price of gas fees and allowed for 10,000 new digital Mutant Ape NFTs to be created as well as 10,000 additional Mutate Apes NFTs to be minted by the public for a price of 3 ETH. Currently, Mutate Apes have a floor price of around $35,000 each, or 7.5 ETH.
Another project, the Bored Ape Kennel Club, which was released on June 25th, 2021, consists of digital dogs that could be adopted only by Bored Ape owners. These Mutant Apes and Bored Kennel Ape Club drops have created new collections of NFTs for the BAYC community and by doing so increased the value of membership.
As BAYC grows in popularity, several projects with major brands and celebrities are in the works. In less than a year, Bored Apes Yacht Club has gone from an unknown NFT collection to one of the most successful NFT projects of all time.
BYAC Collection Traits and Statistics
When you purchase a Bored Ape, you receive ownership of a distinct, verifiable digital asset that exists on the Ethereum blockchain. The value of your ape depends largely on its rarity within the collection, which is determined by the different traits and characteristics that each ape has. Each Bored Ape was randomly generated using over 170 possible traits that include clothing, headwear, futuristic accessories, and more.
Listed below are the seven sets of traits that Bored Apes are generated from:
- Style of clothing
- Background color
Within each trait, there is variety. For example, the “Bored Dagger” mouth trait only appears 49 times in the collection, making it extremely rare and therefore more valuable. In fact, Bored Ape #7495 is ranked as the rarest ape on Rarity Sniper largely because of its dagger mouth and other rare traits like cyborg eyes.
If you are considering buying a Bored Ape for your collection, it’s important to understand the traits and rarity of the ape you are purchasing. Fortunately, there are sites like ours that rank NFTs within a collection based on rarity.
The BAYC Community
One of the biggest reasons behind Bored Ape Yacht Club’s success is that it was one of the first NFT collections to combine amazing art with access to a vibrant community.
The BAYC website includes cool digital art of a “swamp” dive bar, the hangout of the Bored Apes, and ownership of a Bored Ape comes with numerous memberships and perks. In many ways, a Bored Ape functions like a key that opens digital doors for its owners.
Listed below are a few of the benefits involved with owning a BA and being part of the community:
- Memberships. Owning a Bored Ape grants you access to “The Bathroom,” a collaborative graffiti board that lets members paint one pixel on the wall every 15 minutes when they are signed into their MetaMask Wallet. Future memberships are expected to grow over time.
- Real IP ownership. When you own a BA, you have ownership and commercial usage rights over your NFT. Since the IP is yours and you’re free to do whatever you like with it, some Bored Ape owners have taken advantage of this by printing T-shirts and merchandise, or taking on other creative business ventures by leveraging their Bored Ape NFTs.
- Mutant Apes. The BAYC Mutant Ape serum was airdropped to Bored Ape owners on August 28th. When a Bored Ape drinks the serum, which can be done at any time, a unique Mutant Ape is generated. 10,000 serums, which are divided into three tiers with Mega Mutant serum being the rarest and most valuable, were given for free to anyone who owned a Bored Ape. The Mutant Apes, which featured cool, futuristic graphics, increased the value and utility of being part of the BAYC.
- Bored Ape Kennel Club. In June, BAYC announced the introduction of the Bored Ape Kennel Club. For the price of gas alone, all BA owners could mint a canine companion for their Bored Ape. The dogs featured backgrounds that replicate “The Swamp,” the dive bar where the Bored Apes hang out. Like the original Bored Ape collection, BAKC consists of 10,000 unique NFTs with 170 possible traits. Only owners of a Bored Ape can mint a dog, although they can be bought and sold on secondary marketplaces like OpenSea.
Clearly, the BAYC team is focused on providing evolving utility for its members. With the airdrop of the Mutant Ape series and the Bored Ape Kennel Club, existing Ape owners were able to become owners of additional valuable digital assets, which besides the financial benefit, also served to strengthen the bonds within the BAYC community.
Future projects in the works by the Bored Ape team include a member-only treasure hunt and mutant breeding.
The Success of BAYC
The success of Bored Ape Yacht Club has been nothing short of phenomenal. In less than a year, the Bored Ape team has created a billion-dollar ecosystem between two related projects (BAYC and the Mutant Ape Yacht Club).
Considering that people who bought into the original drop of 10,000 Apes paid a mint price of .08 ETH per Ape and the current floor price (the lowest price you can purchase a BAYC NFT) is over $200,000 at this time of writing, a lot of money has been made and lives have been changed because of BAYC.
Listed below are some of the top sales of Bored Ape NFTs:
- BA #8585 sold for $2.7 million on October 20th, 2021.
- BA #2087 sold for $2.3 million on September 30th, 2021.
- BA #5199 sold for $1.6 million on October 14th, 2021.
But more than just the high prices, BAYC has managed to fulfill its promise of creating a thriving community that is posed to be a major player in entertainment and culture for years to come.
Here are some of the other successes and highlights from BAYC in 2021:
- Press. The collection has been written up in the The New Yorker, The Rolling Stone, Reuters, Billboard.com, CNN.com, and other major news outlets.
- Celebrity endorsements. The number of celebrities who have purchased Bored Apes seems to be growing each week, and includes the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Post Malone, Logan Paul, Steph Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, Mark Cuban, LaMelo Ball, Dez Bryant, Gary Vaynerchuk, and more.
- Partnerships. BAYC has partnered with Adidas, NFT comic series Punks Comic, and crypto investor Gmoney for a collaborative project that although still scarce on details, might put Adidas at the top of the NFT game when it comes to footwear and sports apparel. The BAYC team is also partnering with with Horizen Labs and Fenwick & West LLP for the possible launch of its own token.
According to Coingecko, the current market capitalization of Bored Apes stands at more than $2 trillion and the project has the highest trading volume of any NFT. Considering that BAYC has been around for less than a year, its rapid growth is astonishing.
A Closer Look at Celebrities with BAYC
When a major celebrity buys an NFT, there’s no doubt it helps boost the value and brand of the collection. There are few NFT collections that have had as much success enticing celebrities as Bored Ape Yacht Club. Below are some of the biggest names that have purchased a Bored Ape or Mutant Ape and some details about their involvement:
- Jimmy Fallon. In November 2021, the Tonight Show host revealed during an interview with the prominent NFT artist Beeple that he is the owner of a BAYC NFT. The announcement set off a storm on Twitter and a search to determine which ape Fallon had purchased. Turns out that Fallon paid 46.6 ETH for Bored Ape #599, which features Heart Sunglasses (4%), Cream fur (6%) and a Sea Captain’s hat (3%)
- Steph Curry. The NBA superstar and arguably the best shooter of all time “aped in” to the club with his purchase of Ape #7990 for 55 ETH. The ape, which is currently Curry’s Twitter profile picture, features notable traits such as Zombie Eyes and a Tweed Suit.
- Mark Cuban. Billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks owns BAYC NFT #1597, which was gifted to him and is estimated to be worth over $250,000. The ape features Cheetah Fur and a Hawaiian Shirt.
- Post Malone. Singer and rapper Post Malone recently featured his Bored Apes in music video “One Right Now” with the Weeknd. He currently owns two Bored Apes and uses Ape #961 as his profile picture.
- Logan Paul. YouTube star and social media influencer turned boxer Logan Paul paid 34 ETH for Ape #1442, which features 3D Glasses and DMT Fur. Paul also owns multiple CryptoPunks and is an avid NFT collector.
The attention that these big names bring to Bored Ape Yacht Club in particular and NFTs, in general, is huge, and it increases the value of ownership for all members of the BAYC community. In the future, be on the lookout for more stars to “ape in” and become proud owners of BAYC NFTs.
Other BAYC Projects
There have been several recent developments by the Bored Ape team and members of their community to create other up-and-coming BAYC or BAYC-affiliated projects. Listed below are two exciting new NFT projects inspired by Bored Ape Yacht Club:
- Universal Music Group. The 10:22PM label has created a virtual supergroup using four characters from the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The group is called KINGSHIP and consists of three Bored Ape characters and one Mutant Ape. Current Bored Ape and Mutant Ape owners have early access to KINGSHIP NFTs and experiences.
- The ZOO. Timbaland, one of the most influential hip-hop producers of all time, recently revealed the launch of a BAYC entertainment label called Ape-In Productions (AIP). According to Timbaland, the idea is to use the metaverse, smart contracts, blockchain technology, and NFTs to put long-term ownership back in “the hands of artists.”
As BAYC moves into the future, we can expect more news of exciting projects, collaborations, and future drops from the creators. As a decentralized project where everyone has the commercial IPO rights to their NFTs, it is also likely there will be many more projects from BAYC community members that feature their Bored Apes.
How to Get Involved with BAYC
Although all 10,000 Bored Apes were sold out shortly after release, there are still a number of ways you can get involved with BAYC. Listed below are some of the ways you can still purchase a Bored Ape, Mutant Ape, or involve yourself with the project:
- By shopping on open secondary markets. Bored Apes are available for purchase on secondary marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible. However, the current floor price at time of writing is over $225,000, making it quite an expensive time to buy in. Mutant Apes and Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs are also available on secondary markets.
- Fractional ownership. If you can’t afford to buy a BA or Mutant Ape on the secondary market (understandably so), it is possible to buy a fraction of an NFT. The most popular site for fractional ownership is Fractional.
- Buying a Mutant Ape. As earlier mentioned, mutant apes were formed by a combined public release and serum drop in June of 2021 that created 20,000 new Mutant Apes. These apes have cool, futuristic graphics and a much lower floor price than the original Bored Apes.
- Buying a Bored Ape Kennel Club NFT. Another airdrop from BAYC created the Bored Ape Kennel Club, a collection of adopted canine companions for people’s apes. As with Mutant Apes, you can also buy into the Kennel Club on secondary markets and it is significantly cheaper than buying a BAYC NFT.
Finally, you can follow BAYC on Twitter and Discord to learn about what’s going on in the community and any future releases by Yuga Labs. Twitter and Discord allow Bored Ape NFT owners and fans to connect and also take advantage of exclusive merch releases and other offerings. BAYC Twitter currently has over 318,000 followers.
The regular discussions and interactions on these forums strengthen the BAYC community and add an element of social investment to the club. There are also occasional giveaways of Bored Apes and Mutant Apes on Twitter.
NFT Projects that Are Similar to BAYC
Although BAYC is clearly an outstanding NFT project, because of its popularity and the high price of buying a Bored Ape or Mutant Ape, it can be difficult for newcomers to buy-in. Fortunately, there are several NFT collections that are similar to BAYC that have lower floor prices.
Listed below are a few other NFT projects that are similar to BAYC:
- Degenerative Ape Academy. This is one of the most successful projects on the Solana blockchain and currently has a floor price of 31 SOL, which is over $6,000 USD. When you mint or buy an Ape you are enrolled in the Ape Academy, which grants you evolving utility over time.
- Solana Monkey Business. This NFT project also exists on the Solana blockchain and consists of two collections: SolanaMonkeys and SpaceMonkeys. SolanaMonkeys is comprised of 5,000 NFTs generated from 99 possible traits and six layers. The SpaceMonkeys are four NFTs that grant royalties on each mint and trade to the holders of the SpaceMonkeys, forever. The current floor price of SolanaMonkeys is 144 SOL, or about $31,000.
- CyberKongz and CyberKongz VX. CyberKongz are unique, randomly-generated 2D NFT social avatars. The VX collections consists of 15,000 playable avatars that can be used in the digital metaverse the Sandbox. You have full commercial rights over your digital Kong and are free to do what you wish with it. The current floor price on OpenSea for a CyberKongz NFT is 4.8 ETH.
Since new NFT projects are released every day, it can sometimes be difficult to separate the gems from the throwaways. To find new and emerging NFT collections before they drop you can check out the Upcoming Projects section on RaritySniper.com.
What makes Bored Apes special?
While the artwork and concept created by BAYC are distinct and cool to look at, the success of Bored Apes should also be attributed to their vision for building a strong community.
When you “ape in,” or become an owner of a Bored Ape NFT, you are granted access to a digital community referred to as the Swamp Club, and membership to this community involves continual rewards.
And beyond the useful rewards that can be gained from access to the Swamp Club, like Mutant serum drops and exclusive offers on merch, Ape avatars are also used as markers of status.
Many celebrities have chosen to post their Bored Apes as their profile pictures on social media, and posting an Ape avatar usually generates more followers on social media for the owner.
In summary, the combination of fantastic digital art, a thriving community, and a roadmap that promises future benefits to members sets BAYC apart from other NFT projects.
How to Evaluate and Buy a Bored Ape
If you’re considering purchasing a Bored Ape, Mutant Ape, or Bored Ape Kennel Club NFT for your collection, you should do as much research and investigation as possible before making a decision.
By evaluating the rarity of different apes before visiting secondary markets to check the prices, you can get an understanding of which Bored Apes are rarer than others and therefore more valuable.
Another factor to keep in mind when purchasing a Bored Ape or other NFT from Yuga Labs is how much you like the Ape you’ve selected.
Because purchasing a Bored Ape is a major financial decision for most people, you want to make sure you love the artwork and particular NFT that you’re purchasing before you buy it. When you love a piece of artwork, digital or not, you’re more likely to hold onto it no matter the price.