How the BAYC took over the NFT world in a matter of months.

From the Swamps to the mainstream!

Who are the Bored Apes? Their unique, boring style enabled them to garner widespread attention throughout the space and they’re a project that springs to mind immediately as you mention the word NFT. But how did they rise to the top and what can we learn from them? Let’s dive deep into the swamp and uncover the success behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

The Origins

The Bored Ape Yacht Club, better known as BAYC, is a collection that is set 30 years into the future where the crypto scene has dried up and its community has grown bored. It is a collection of 10,000 randomly generated Ape avatars created by Yuga Labs. They sold at 0.08 ETH a piece and dropped on April 30th. From initially struggling to get attention to swiftly selling out the whole 10,000 in a day, the launch was considered a huge success.

So, who are the founders? They are fully immersed within the community as Apes themselves and go by the pseudonyms of Gargamel, Goner No Sass, and Emperor Ketchup.

From the outset, the team was driven towards establishing a project that had the community at the heart of it. From the bathroom, an interactive graffiti board, giveaways, merch drops, treasure hunts, and community grants, each step that the BAYC took had the intent of fostering their expanding community. Subsequently, they have quickly become the staple collection within the NFT scene, with many preceding collections inspired by their efforts.

How were the Apes created? The foundations were established through sketches from Gargamel and Goner, which were then fleshed out through the work of professional illustrators. Upon completion, the designs were placed into an algorithmic program that generated thousands of different and unique combinations of those designs. Apes could vary from over 170 possible traits, including expression, headwear, clothing, and much more. This method of creating art is known as generative artwork, and it has inspired a wave of collections to follow and utilize the same technology.

Since the creation of BAYC, the prices have grown exponentially. Where in June you could have snagged a floor price Ape for roughly 3 Ethereum, meaning the lowest listed ape, 3 months later it has now exceeded over 40 ETH. Therefore to Ape in, collectors would have to spend over $100,000 dollars to join the exclusive club. Perhaps more astounding is that for those that minted apes back in April, they now have the opportunity to receive a 6 figure sum return from their purchase. Furthermore, during the craziness of the Mutant Ape Yacht Club launch, floor prices soared to over 60 ETH ($200,000) and therefore highlighting the reach that the collection is capable of. Reflecting on this, it is no surprise that the collection has been recognized as one of the very few Blue-Chip NFT projects within the NFT space alongside Crypto Punks.

Roadmap 1.0

The BAYC roadmap has been extensive right from the start. On June 25th, a surprise was launched whereby everyone that had an Ape in their wallet had the opportunity to grab a fury companion through the Bored Ape Kennel Club reward. Despite being fluffy and awesome, their utility did not end there, they have teased that the Dogs will be heavily involved in the roadmap 2.0 narrative, and therefore the dog fun won’t be ending anytime soon.

On July 28th, another bombshell was dropped. The BAYC opened a new door and there entered the highly anticipated Mutant Ape Yacht Club. This collection was comprised of 20,000 Mutant Apes where 10,000 were allocated to existing bored ape owners. The Mutants were created by exposing their Bored Ape to a vial of Mutant Serum which could range between 3 tiers including M1, M2, and M3 at the rarest. The latter 10,000 were released so that anyone could purchase them in a dutch auction, starting at 3 ETH and gradually falling to .01. As with everything that the BAYC releases, they sold out within a single hour. This demonstrates the extent to which the collection has expanded and to reiterate, it has only been 5 months!

But why was this drop so significant? The Mutant Ape Yacht Club provided its ape holders with a valuable asset for free! It also welcomed fans from outside of the BAYC ecosystem to join its exclusive community. Albeit at a lower tier of membership, they remain just as important to the community as everyone else. It has been announced by the creators that no other membership token will follow, and therefore they are the final tier of membership. No other door will reopen and therefore maintaining the exclusivity of the collection.

The treasure hunt was the final piece to conclude roadmap 1.0 and left many Apes scratching their heads. An intriguing image surfaced on the BAYC Twitter where the image contained a message “Come Find Me Below” and the ciphertext of “;u8jj6”. Upon entering this, you were taken to the puzzle page and greeted by Jimmy the Monkey. The game displayed a 2D plan of rooms where you could jump in and out, interacting with objects, and solving puzzles.

JTobcat assembled a team of like-minded puzzle enthusiasts to help crack the code. After gathering information and completing puzzles within 8 separate rooms, the team was eventually led to the final solution. Their collective efforts saw them win the grand prize which included 10 ETH, Bored ape #10, BAKC club dog #10, an M2 serum, and a special surprise! Following this, he released a medium article that detailed how he solved the puzzle revealing every move that they made. A bonus puzzle was also added which enabled 4000 correct submissions the opportunity to receive 1 of 4 unique DCL wearables (1000 each).

The Community

The Bored Ape community is quite possibly the strongest that the digital world has ever seen. With 3 collections and thousands of unique members, the BAYC is one of the most widely distributed collections of its kind. Furthermore, each Ape owner has the commercial rights to the apes they own. This means that they are free to use, copy, and display their bored ape, as well as use it to make any creative, derivative works or spin offs based upon the NFT. As an Ape myself, I have been introduced to awesome friendships and a community like no other. I have found that the apes are supportive, relentless and powerful, all of which has helped to propel the brand to extreme heights in the short space of 5 months.

The Opensea total traded volume has climbed to 164,000 ETH, they have encouraged mainstream adoption with celebrities and athletes such as Stephen Curry joining the club, and they have taken the Apes to world-renowned and historical auctions including Sotheby’s as well as Christie’s.

If you were to mention this outcome to the creators on April 30th, they would quite possibly call you crazy. Nonetheless, this is the current reality for the BAYC. Unlike many of the online communities that we see often battling each other, the BAYC community has demonstrated its positive outlook and readiness to have each other’s backs at every step of the way.

The Auctions

If you are immersed within the NFT space, there is no doubt that your Twitter feed was flooded with sharp and distinguished Apes over the last week. Why? Hundreds of Apes were suited up this week to prepare for the impending auction, ‘No Time Like The Present’ at Christie’s in Hong Kong.

This show of solidarity has further proven the strength of the BAYC community. Many Apes helped to orchestrate this, particularly stew.eth who reached out to their fellow Apes and offered to suit them up! The movement was also extended by other collections, namely Cool Cats and their 4 devs who tweeted out an image of their cats suited up to support the Bored Apes and to commemorate the historical auction! Which to mention, is a huge success not just for the BAYC, but for the entirety of the NFT space.

As of today, the 4 Apes that are on auction have currently amassed 8,350,000 HKD between them and the highest bid is placed at 150 ETH (4,500,000 HKD). With the auction set to conclude on September 28th, there is still plenty of time for activity to take place and no doubt we will see the prices soar.

Prior to this, the Sotheby’s auction saw 101 Apes sell for an astounding $24.39 million, as well as 101 Bored Ape kennel dogs for $1.8 million. More importantly, the final prices of this auction climbed much higher than the initial estimates that were placed on the collection. Clearly, we should not underestimate the BAYC as they continue to break the boundaries!

The extent to which the collection has grown can be illustrated through their top sales. Just recently, the NFT Metaverse platform ‘The Sandbox’ bought a BAYC NFT for a record 740ETH, which amounts to over $2 million dollars for a single ape. To place this into context, on May 31st, the highest paid for ape amounted to 50 ETH. Evidently, the market has grown enormously since then and it continues to skyrocket with each and every move made by the creators.

The Metaverse

The Bored Ape Yacht Club are looking to continually expand their presence within the Metaverse, a virtual platform that enables users to socially interact amongst other users. Following the Sotheby’s auction, Apes were able to join the Decentraland Riverboat party where they jammed out to a live performance from Crypto Punk rapper and fellow Ape, Spottie WiFi. As well as this, Apes were able to play both blackjack and roulette to compete for prizes.

Furthermore, the team is currently underway with a project that will see every single Bored Ape and Mutant Ape receive a free, fully rendered 3D model that they can use in the metaverse. It is clear that the BAYC plan for a future in the Metaverse and it is definitely something that we should all be excited about. A world where Apes can communicate and interact virtually is one that will elevate the community even further than it already has.

Roadmap 2.0

Last night, the BAYC team announced on Twitter their new roadmap, an image was posted that outlines a meandering river with checkpoints along the way, each denoting the timeline and plans for the roadmap.

From the image, we can infer a number of possibilities and as always, the team have continued to keep us on our toes with their secretive style.

  1. At the start of the river, we are informed that the BAYC have some collabs and partnerships lined up, but they will not be revealed just yet.

  2. The boat then approaches a grand yacht with the tag, ‘first annual apefest’, evidently, this will be a festival that apes can attend IRL and it will be hosted in New York between 10/31-11/6.

  3. The boat then reaches the Ape hands emerging from the ground, holding a phone with the words ‘PLAY’ on the screen. This will be the BAYC and MAYC mobile competition.

  4. Following this, we are met by a tired looking ape that is chained to the ground. This signals the Jimmy the Monkey puzzle as well as the MD vs MMI prologue. Could this be a robot war?

  5. Around the bend a powerful robotic hand protrudes from the ground, this will be the MD vs MMI event.

  6. We are then met by a bored ape and a mutant ape stood side by side, as previously mentioned this refers to the 3D models that each holder will receive and can use in the metaverse.

  7. Another robotic limb stands tall on the ground, and it appears to be a the leg of a dog this points to the final MD and MMI battle.

  8. Adjacent to this is the Miami sandbox 2035 event which will be hosted by the BAYC apes as well as Cyberkongz VX.

  9. As with roadmap 1.0, another treasure hunt will occur with roadmap 2.0 and it is referred to as the Trezor hunt.

  10. Perhaps the most highly anticipated is the Miami clubhouse (IRL), a permanent meeting place for apes!

  11. Before the next bend, we are met by a black screen with the words ‘redacted’. The BAYC will be releasing a secret blockchain video game!

  12. Last of all, and of most significance the BAYC are launching their very own DAO ( Decentralized Autonomous Orginization) for their members to input ideas for the future of the brand!

It is tough to pinpoint which of these plans is the most exciting! However this roadmap certainly illustrates the extent to which the BAYC is providing long term value for its collectors. From members utility, narrative, games, collabs, IRL, and much more, this is just the beginning!

The Future

The future is being rewritten every day in the NFT space, amongst many others, The Bored Ape Yacht Club is at the forefront of this digital renaissance. It is almost impossible to predict what will come next, however with everything that we have seen so far, we can certainly expect that it will be something game changing.