Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is one of the most influential NFT projects in the world. Second only to CryptoPunks when it comes to PFP (profile picture) projects, BAYC not only kicked off the 2021 NFT avatar craze, it gave thousands of collectors an affordable alternative to CryptoPunks and a vibrant community to call home.
Who created Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)?
Any active member of the NFT community is sure to have seen PFP apes far and wide throughout the metaverse – but where did it all start? Where did these apes come from? As with most projects, a lot of time and effort went into BAYC. And this story in particular starts with a few IRL friends wanting to make something all their own.
Gargamel and Gordon Goner are the two co-founders of BAYC and the brand Yuga Labs, and Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and No Sass helped with development. All four went by these pseudonyms until they were doxxed by BuzzFeed in a February 2022 article.
Prior to BAYC, Gargamel and Gordon Goner had been involved in crypto in some capacity (holding and trading) since 2017 – with Tomato and Nosass being software engineers and a bit newer to NFTs.
The lead artist behind BAYC’s original collection is a woman who goes by “Seneca” or “All Seeing Seneca.” Other artists included Thomas Dagley, Migwashere, and a couple who chose to remain anonymous. Today, Seneca has dropped her own NFTs, and is working to gain recognition for her work.
What is the Bored Bored Ape Yacht Club?
Before the idea for BAYC was born, as the troop originally began conceptualizing an NFT project, they found that their ideas for “art” were more fitting for display on a bathroom wall than a traditional canvas. And running with that idea, they realized that they wanted that bathroom to be inside a bar, but an exclusive bar, one accessible only to members of a club. And thus, the idea of a Yacht Club was born.
From there, they decided that the club would be inhabited by the Apes of the future. Specifically, those that “aped” into (jumped into) crypto and NFTs. Years from now, the apes find themselves Bored, spending most of their time sitting around at a bar with their friends. That basis was good enough for the founders to roll with.
How did the BAYC start?
After draining their savings into the project, with traits decided, art secured, and minting contract written – the team at Yuga Labs set to launch Bored Ape Yacht Club on April 29, 2021. Priced for fair distribution at .08 ETH per ape, things started out slow at first, then as with most things in the NFT space, snowballed hard until two days later on May 1, they were sold out.
Over the next month, two things happened: ape secondary sales started to pick up fast and the developers started implementing their roadmap within the now quite active BAYC community.
WE JUST SOLD OUT
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) May 1, 2021
At this point, you’ve probably guessed that there’s a lot more to BAYC than just PFP NFTs – and you’re right. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is truly a club, with their hangout spot being Discord.
The only way to join this exclusive club is to purchase an ape on secondary. Although enrollment started out low, as of March 2022, the ape floor is sitting at nearly 82 ETH.
Yet, members of the club themselves won’t hesitate to advise you that a floor ape is always worth the money, as the perks of joining outweigh the loss of ETH.
Thus far, the BAYC community has received quite a few member rewards:
- Members have the commercial usage rights to their apes. Meaning they can make and sell prints, T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. using the IP of the BAYC NFT they own.
- BAYC also released their own merch exclusive to ape owners. This required members to sign in using their ETH wallet to verify ownership prior to purchase. Currently, #2 plus a collab with streetwear giant TheHundreds is in the works.
- A new project called the Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) was launched, with the entire supply of NFTs airdropped exclusively to ape owners. 1 Ape = 1 Dog – and the floor of BAKC almost immediately surpassed 1 ETH on the secondary market.
- BAYC members have a say in where the project’s funds go – and so far community initiatives have donated millions to various charities.
- Recent roadmap updates have announced even more members only utility, including a scavenger hunt, BAYC project narrative updates, games and more on the horizon.
Beyond the incentives, the BAYC feels exactly like the developers intended. The exclusivity is rewarding to those who supported early or made the decision to ape in and join the crew.
NFTs in general have allowed for those from all walks of life to be a part of fantastically exciting tech, culture, and financial movement; and BAYC is truly indicative of that. From students to engineers, mailmen to millionaires, the environment within the club is one of ape inclusivity.
In March 2022, Yuga Labs announced it had acquired both CryptoPunks and Meebits. As a result, Yuga Labs now controls three of the most valuable NFT collections in existence.
Yuga Labs says that, with the acquisition they aim to foster a “community of builders” creating derivative works around the two projects. To accomplish this, as they’ve done with their own BAYC collection, Yuga Labs will transfer IP, commercial, and exclusive licensing rights to the individual NFT holders. This will enable CryptoPunks and Meebits owners to create artwork and products based on their NFTs the same way BAYC owners have.
Launch of the $APE token
March 2022 was a big year for Yuga Labs. Just days after the announcement that they’d acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits, the crew behind the influential project announced the launch of a new token, ApeCoin ($APE). ApeCoin is billed as a “token for culture, gaming, and commerce used to empower a decentralized community building at the forefront of web3.”
“The community’s been wanting ApeCoin for a long time now, so we’re excited to see it come to life through community ownership,” Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs, said in a statement. “Yuga Labs will continue to be builders of products and experiences that bring new ideas and energy to the community.”
Addittional announcements surrounding $APE will be made via the ApeCoin Twitter account.
The future of BAYC
The BAYC community, months after launch, is still a dynamic, high-spirited space – with a roadmap aimed at providing continuous utility to its members. It’s true that time moves incredibly fast in the NFT space, so the question in the air is “what’s next?”
Numerous members have had the opportunity to flip their apes for a profit. And this is potentially life-changing money we’re talking about. The top selling ape of all-time, Ape #8817 raked in $3,408,000 at a Sotheby’s Metaverse auction in October 2021. The Ape sports a wool turtleneck, rainbow spinner hat, and silver hoop earrings.
Apes, similar to Punks, have become a status symbol. With the added utility of being able to identify your fellow apes on social media, being an ape owner shows that you’re part of a 5,000+ member club. And aside from those within the crypto and NFT community, we’ve witnessed quite a few celebrities, including superstar Shawn Yue, Steph Curry, LaMelo Ball, and more enter into the non-fungible space through the purchase of an ape.
With the floor continuing to rise and interest reaching beyond the non-fungible community, we may see apes follow along the same path as Punks – that is, as a legacy project that helps define the NFT space. It’s important to make the distinction between the two though, as one mapped out the rules (Punks) and one changed the game entirely (BAYC).
Bored Ape Yacht Club not only dominated the NFT community’s “JPEG Summer,” but was the catalyst that started the summer 2021 PFP project mayhem. As Punks continued to moon throughout the first half of the year, and Punk derivative projects started to peter out, BAYC filled a demand for originality and substance within the collectible and art sections of the NFT market.
Punks are surely the gold standard for NFT projects, but what they lack in community, they make up for through ETH value far too high for most collectors to obtain even at floor prices. BAYC undoubtedly set a precedent for community-based projects – and we’ve seen countless use its success as a template to follow in its footsteps. With the two now owned by Yuga Labs, we’re excited to see what’s next.
Now that the code has been cracked, it’s anyone’s guess what will deliver.
Editor’s note: At time of publication, members of the nft now staff are holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.
Source: NFT Now