The NFT Monkey, also known as Bored Apes or BAYC, is a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) created on the Ethereum blockchain. The collection consists of cartoon ape profile pictures, which are procedurally generated by an algorithm.
Yuga Labs is the parent company behind NFT Monkey, and the project was launched in April . Owners of a NFT Monkey can access a private online club, exclusive in-person events, and have intellectual property rights for the image.
Yuga Labs’ valuation has exceeded US$ billion, thanks in large part to the sales of the NFT Monkey collection, which has totaled over US$ billion. Many celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, and Gwyneth Paltrow, have purchased these NFTs.
The Bored Ape NFT collection was created by four friends who “set out to make some dope apes, test their skills, and try to build something (ridiculous).” The NFTs were sold for . ether each, approximately $ at the time of their April launch, and sold out within hours.
There are , unique NFTs in the NFT Monkey collection, derived from unique assets. The NFTs also function as membership cards to the Yacht Club. Membership to the club includes access to a digital graffiti board called THE BATHROOM, where users often “draw dicks.”
Unlike other NFTs, Bored Apes holders have full commercialization rights to their ape, meaning they can use it in any film, music, TV, book, or media project they want.
The founders of BAYC go by the pseudonyms “Gargamel,” “Gordon Goner,” “No Sass,” and “Emperor Tomato Ketchup.” Two of the founders, Gargamel and Gordon Goner, revealed their identities to be Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow, respectively, in February , after being doxxed by BuzzFeed News.
Solano is a writer and editor, while No Sass and Emperor Tomato Ketchup are programmers. Aronow, the son of boat tycoon Donald Aronow, has had a tumultuous past, including battling addiction and becoming a cryptocurrency day trader.
The Bored Ape NFT collection was initially conceived as a shared digital canvas, where anyone who bought in could draw on it, similar to a dive bar bathroom. The concept evolved into a science-fiction storyline about early cryptocurrency investors becoming billionaires and hanging out in a swamp club with a bunch of apes. The choice of apes as a mascot was inspired by the cryptocurrency phrase “aping in,” meaning buying into a new currency or NFT with abandon.
Bored Ape Yacht Club has quickly become one of the most notable NFT collections on the market, with its unique cartoon ape designs and exclusive membership perks. The success of BAYC has sparked a surge of interest in NFTs and their potential as a new form of digital art and investment. However, as with any emerging market, there are concerns about the sustainability and potential risks associated with NFTs. It will be interesting to see how the NFT space develops in the coming years and whether collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club will continue to dominate the market.