What is Bored Ape Yacht Club? The Celebrity NFT of Choice

NFT avatars blew up in 2021, commanding up to millions of dollars apiece for individual images that could be collected and used on social media, and driving billions of dollars’ worth of collective trading volume in the process.

CryptoPunks are the OG Ethereum NFTs, having been created back in 2017—well before anyone outside of crypto die-hards knew or cared about provably scarce digital collectibles. But among the more recent crop of projects inspired by CryptoPunks, there’s none larger than Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Bored Ape NFTs have now generated more than $750 million worth of trading volume, including subsequent variant sets, per data from CryptoSlam. And they are increasingly the Twitter NFT avatar of choice for athletes, musicians, and more. Buying a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT grants access to the titular “club” of sorts, and membership has benefits.

Thinking about “aping in” and buying one? Here’s what you need to know about the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Bored Ape Kennel Club, and how to buy them.

What is the Bored Ape Yacht Club?

Developed by Yuga Labs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 profile pictures minted as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. An NFT, or non-fungible token, acts like a deed of ownership for a digital item, allowing buyers to prove that they own the one-and-only version of that image. In this case, buyers own an illustration of a disinterested-looking ape with randomly-generated traits and accessories. No two images are exactly alike.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is not alone on that front, as there are many other popular NFT avatar collections that have sprung up of late—including Pudgy Penguins and 0N1 Force. But the Bored Apes have found an avid base of collectors, plus there are perks.

As of publishing, the record sale for a single Bored Ape NFT is 740 ETH, or just over $2.9 million, in September 2021. It was purchased by the developer of the upcoming Ethereum game, The Sandbox.

What’s so special about them?

As the name suggests, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is billed as an exclusive society or social organization, and owning one of the coveted NFTs unlocks that membership. It earns users access to an exclusive Discord server, for example, where fellow owners—including celebrities—hang out and chat. And Apes tend to flock together on social media, where the increasingly familiar avatars have united a digital brotherhood of sorts.

Bored Ape Yacht Club Sells $96 Million of Mutant Ape NFTs in One Hour

Perhaps more importantly, owning a Bored Ape NFT earns you access to additional NFT collectibles, which can then be resold for potentially considerable amounts of cash. Yuga Labs first offered free Bored Ape Kennel Club dog NFTs to Bored Ape owners, and then later released free “mutant serum” NFTs that generated a Mutant Ape Yacht Club image. It’s almost like paying a one-time fee for an ongoing subscription plan for NFTs and perks.

How to buy Bored Apes

Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are available through secondary markets, most notably OpenSea. To purchase a Bored Ape Yacht Club, Bored Ape Kennel Club, or Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT on OpenSea, simply visit the project page for each to view the entire collection.

Some may be listed for sale at a fixed price, while others can be listed for auction. You will need an Ethereum wallet, such as MetaMask, to purchase an NFT on the site, as well as enough ETH to cover both the purchase price and Ethereum gas transaction fee.

A Sotheby’s auction in September 2021 sold a lot of 101 Bored Ape NFTs for nearly $24.4 million, beating the top-end estimate of $18 million.

The future

In terms of trading volume, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is the second-most-popular profile picture NFT collection behind CryptoPunks at the time of publication—and they’ve only been around since April 2021.

NBA Star Stephen Curry Buys Ethereum Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT for $180K

Gradually, we’ve seen more and more prominent people using Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs as their social media avatars. Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry bought one for $180,000 worth of Ethereum in August 2021, joining a list of athlete owners that includes fellow NBA stars Josh Hart and Tyrese Haliburton, as well as NFL players Dez Bryant and Von Miller. Musicians like The Chainsmokers, Waka Flocka Flame, and Jermaine Dupri also own Apes.

Even Arizona Iced Tea bought a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT and used it in marketing materials. However, Yuga Labs told Decrypt that while the drink brand can use the image of the NFT it owns, its usage of the official Bored Apes branding was “inappropriate.”

In addition to giving existing Bored Ape owners a “mutant serum” to mint a free Mutant Ape NFT, Yuga Labs also released 10,000 new Mutant Apes that anyone could purchase for 3 ETH. The entire set sold out within an hour in late August 2021, generating $96 million in the process.

Bored Ape Yacht Club Sells $96 Million of Mutant Ape NFTs in One Hour

At this point, the big question is: how many more NFTs will Bored Ape owners get, what other perks could come, and what will Yuga Labs do next? We’ve seen Larva Labs sign with a Hollywood talent agency to bring CryptoPunks and Meebits to TV, movies, and more. Could the Bored Apes follow a similar path?

15 September 2021 11:52

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