You may have seen Twitter and Discord being taken over with ape avatars. As the digital metaverse welcomes the up-and-coming NFT world, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club took the opportunity to create something different. Now they are going viral and gaining huge success – here’s why.
Dozens of these NFT (non-fungible tokens) projects have popped up in recent months, typically themed around a single creature. There are penguins, aliens, and robots; lions, tigers, and bears; plus a whole lot of cats — Gutter Cats, MoonCats, Mad Cats, Punk Cats, Stoner Cats, and BlazedCats.
The biggest animal seen in peoples new profile pictures is apes. An increasing number of accounts are changing their avatars to cartoons of apes: apes sporting sunglasses or bunny ears, apes with leopard-patterned or rainbow fur, apes smoking cigars or shooting laser beams from their eyes.
Many wear blasé expressions or toothy grimaces. Some have cigarettes dangling from their mouths or the red eyes of the deeply stoned. Amid the Twitter community, the apes were chatting among themselves, chill and supportive.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club collection is a unique NFT collection of over 10,000 different NFT avatars that live on the Ethereum blockchain. Created by Yuga Clubs, each one has specific unique traits that hang over the original image of an ape literally looking bored.
In an interview with Verge, one of the Bored Ape co-founders, who goes by the pseudonym Gargamel, spoke of how the idea dawned on him and his co-worker Gordon in a unique experience:
“We were thinking, we have this club, this dive bar, what kind of people do we imagine would go into this bar? Who do we want? What kind of club would we ourselves want to be a part of? After a long night of brainstorming, it came to Gordon in a dream.”
However, with the huge popularity in growth, the faces of the NFT apes are now changing in style- some have different facial expressions while others have more variations with the eyes. Not one ape looks-alike. They even have different forms of rarity traits.
They can be found on the largest marketplace for digital art- OpenSea or on their own personal website which at first glance is like stepping into a real-life downtown bar. The artwork scene is utterly breathtaking.
The lowest-priced avatar is priced at 39 ETH which equates to over $126 000. This huge incline came after they were originally sold for .08 ETH on the night of the reveal on April 30th- a mere $3000.
Within a day after the launch, all ten thousand Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) images had sold out. Today their historical sales activity shows that BAYC’s $542 million in lifetime sales was across approximately 21,481 sales.
This NFT has specifically caused a cultural wave within the growing NFT community. Some say that the Bored Ape Yacht Club was one of the first NFT projects that truly brought the world of digital art and the idea of a community together.
This was because the artwork resonated with individuals. Some see specific traits or characteristics of the ape avatar within themselves. From these connections came a massive urge to collect.
When choosing your character, viewers have the option of either choosing a specific one you like through a category filter system or the website can completely randomise the NFT apes in a rotating slideshow sequence. That way you won’t know which ape you will receive, making some art pieces rare to get.
Each avatar club is a combination of a gated online community, stock-shareholding group, and art-appreciation society.
So far the Bored Ape Yacht Club has raked in around 20 000 community members who devote their time collecting and admiring the art. Even using them as ways to express themselves on social media, profile pictures or hilarious memes.
The most popular digital ape in the NFT community is Jenkins The Valet – An ‘Valet’ themed ape that is now represented by talent agency Creative Artists Agency to help tell his stories on a larger stage.
The creators are set to launch their own collectable tokens in 2022, featuring an entirely new stream of NFT aviators called the Bored Ape Kennel Club which looks at the idea of introducing dogs. Not to mention a huge drop in merchandise coming soon.
Hollywood is jumping on the NFT trade by collaborating this digital art with brands, advertisements, video games and more.
“Many people still have not heard of Yuga, yet they are one of the highest-grossing talents of the year from any art form, including music and film.” – Variety
Just recently, Guy Oseary, the manager of musical heavyweights U2 and Madonna signed a representation deal with Yuga Labs to expand the Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible token, or NFT, project into movies, TV, music and gaming.
An upcoming project for the club is the launch of its own token, with the team revealing on Twitter last Friday that it will be launching an ERC-20 in Q1 of 2022. They stated that while launching a token takes minutes, it is carefully working on constructing a “legally compliant token” that is set up in a “responsible way.”
So far, the generative NFT model has worked. Many of these projects have built both a community and have added big value to their online digital world since launching.
Explore the Bored Ape Yacht Club here.