Last updated: Sep 21, 2023
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an algorithmically-generated digital art collection of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) designed as unique Apes. A Miami-based Web3 company, Yuga Labs, owns the project and it was created by Gordon Goner, Gargamel, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and No Sass.
The backstory of BAYC is that in the year 2031, BTC and ETH took over the world. Those who invested early in cryptocurrency, apes, are very rich, but bored, therefore they need some special place to spend time with other like-minded apes - a satirical yacht club, which is actually designed to look like a dive bar in the Everglades swamp.
BAYC launched on April 23, 2021. Thirty apes numbered #0-29 were withheld from the sale to be later used for giveaways and puzzle rewards. Additionally, the four creators of the project each got an NFT from the reserved list to have a BAYC membership.
Only 642 NFTs out of 9,970 available were sold in the first eight days of the sale. The project really took off on May 1, 2021, after a famous NFT collector @j1mmyeth tweeted that he bought 100 of the NFTs. The tweet was noticed by another well-known NFT connoisseur - @pranksy, who later acted in the same way by buying even more - 250. Due to their large following, the collection sold off in just 12 hours at a BAYC mint price of 0.08 ETH or $190.
There are 10,000 tokens in the BAYC NFT collection, spread among 6,412 different addresses, or approximately 64% unique owners. There is a 2.5% creators royalties fee on each trade with a token from the collection on some marketplaces.
The BAYC NFT tokens hold the ERC-721 standard, and are stored on an IPFS (a peer-to-peer filesharing protocol) on the Ethereum blockchain. This means that each token is unique or, in other words, not interchangeable.
There is a proof of validity for each BAYC image, also known as the provenance record (PR). To earn a PR each NFT is hashed using SHA-256. After that, all 10,000 hashes are combined into one string and hashed once more.
The digital art depicts wealthy members of a yacht club as apes with disinterested expressions. There are 168 possible BAYC traits, divided into seven attributes. These include 8 backgrounds, 43 clothes, 6 earrings, 23 eyes, 19 furs, 36 hats, 33 mouths, and 3 additional - the lack of clothes, earrings, and hats. The rarest one is the “Bored Unshaven Pizza” mouth, which is a trait found in only 0.26% of the Apes.
The BAYC team consists of four core members and was initially pseudonymous - co-founders Gordon Goner and Gargamel, software engineers Emperor Tomato Ketchup and No Sass. All four are also co-founders of Yuga Labs.
On February 5, 2022, Buzzfeed published an article that revealed the identities of the team: Originally from Florida, Wylie Aronow, aka Gordon Goner, and Greg Solano, aka Gargamel. Both were completing their masters in creative writing, but the first dropped out due to health reasons, while the second finished it and became a writer and book critic.
Later, the other two members willingly revealed their identities in February 2022 - Kerem Atalay aka Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and Zeshan Ali aka No Saas. The first and the second revealed their faces and names, but not surnames. Their full names were made public through a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from Yuga Labs on March 22, 2022.
After the Bored Ape ecosystem became very popular, people from different backgrounds were hired, including the CEO of Yuga Labs - Nicole Muniz, who actually confirmed the Buzzfeed reveal.
There is also the ApeCoin DAO (tasked with governing the APE ecosystem) board - Alexis Ohanian, Amy Wu, Maaria Bajwa, Yat Siu, and Dean Steinbeck.
The community of the BAYC ecosystem is huge with 6,451 BAYC, 5,537 BAKC, 12,972 MAYC, 34,129 Otherdeed unique holders, over 170,000 Discord members, and one million Twitter followers.
Several artists are behind the BAYC collection. However, the most prominent BAYC artist is Seneca, who designed the Apes, while the other four in the team - Thomas Dagley, migwashere, and a couple that chose to remain anonymous, took care of the traits.
BAYC in collaboration with the American magazine Rolling Stone released two animated NFTs - one BAYC and one MAYC, on June 22, 2022. The first was sold for 42,106.05 APE and the second for 22,696.969 APE in an NFT auction on OpenSea. The buyer also got the corresponding collector’s edition print signed by the Yuga Labs founders, the artist, and the CEO of Rolling Stone.
There is also a partnership with Adidas, which released “Into The Metaverse” NFTs on December 17, 2021. There are three phases and corresponding NFTs. The holders of Phase 1 ERC-1155 tokens can claim physical merchandise at no additional cost. The claim will burn Phase one NFTs and mint Phase 2 NFTs in return.
Animoca Brands, the owner of The Sandbox, also partnered with the BAYC team. Users can buy NFTs on the Play To Earn Benji Bananas game with APE tokens. Additionally, they are working together on an NFT game called Otherside.
Universal Music Group (UMG) label - 10:22PM, using three Bored Apes and one Mutant Ape provided by j1mmy.eth created a metaverse music band KINGSHIP on November 11, 2021. 10:22PM created the personalities behind each ape and developed original music for the group.
In addition to all of the above, Eminem and Snoop Dogg released the “From the D 2 the LBC” track in June and performed it at the MTV Video Music Awards as their Bored Apes NFTs in the Otherside metaverse.
In March 2022, Yuga Labs acquired the Intellectual Property (IP) of CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections and raised $450 million in a funding round at a $4 billion valuation led by Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm, including other investors like Animoca Brands, LionTree, Sound Ventures, Thrive Capital, FTX, and MoonPay.
There are many ways to derive BAYC value by being a holder of an NFT from the collection. For example, each owner of a BAYC, has the commercial usage rights to their NFTs. This means that they can create and sell, merchandise with the specific ape they hold.
Additionally, they get access to the “Bathroom” - a canvas where each holder can draw one pixel every fifteen minutes, an exclusive Discord server, limited edition merch, and real-world events like ApeFest 2022 in NYC.
Two months after the release of BAYC, Yuga Labs released an NFT collection named Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) illustrating cartoon dogs meant to be companions for each Bored Ape. BAKC was airdropped to BAYC holders. Later, Yuga Labs created another NFT collection – Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and gave half of it (10,000) to the BAYC community.
The team also released a pixel browser game called Mutant Ape Arcade alongside the MAYC collection. The winners got a wallet address prompt, to which an NFT - POAP or Proof Of Attendance Protocol, called The Mutant Ape’s Demise, was sent as a reward.
And lastly, Yuga Labs released a 100,000 NFT land collection called Otherdeed on April 30, 2022. These lands are a part of an upcoming metaverse game that is still in development. All BAYC owners were allowed to claim 10,000 lands at the center of the world called “Biogenic Swamp” for free, while MAYC holders were given access to 20,000 lands at the outskirts called “Chemical Goo”.
Yuga Labs is working with Animoca Brands on a 3D metaverse Play-to-Earn MMORPG called Otherside using Improbable’s MSquared engine, which supports more than 10,000 players and voice chat. It is still a demo, but the world is planned to bring together various NFT projects like Cool Cats, World of Women, and CryptoToadz in addition to the projects that are owned by Yuga Labs.
In 2035 Yuga Labs plans a Miami-based real-life meeting exclusive to the owners of BAYC and MAYC NFTs.
ApeCoin, or APE, is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 utility and governance token of the Bored Ape ecosystem.
It allows its holders to decide on the future of the ecosystem by participating in its governance and can be used for payments and transactions in different Web3 apps. The token was released by ApeCoin DAO on March 16, 2022.
There is a fixed supply of one billion tokens and the allocation is distributed between 6 groups.
The lock-up schedule varies by contributor but falls into one of the following:
ApeCoin has gone through two security audits, from CertiK and Chainsulting. All major and minor issues have been resolved. There is also an ongoing audit by Halborn.
BAYC NFTs can be bought on numerous marketplaces, such as OpenSea, LooksRare, and the native BAYC marketplace, created by the ApeCoin DAO. The BAYC floor price has been fluctuating around 33 ETH recently, with the cheapest BAYC currently being listed for sale standing at 33.88 ETH, or around $54,570. The most expensive BAYC, sold recently was worth an astonishing 600 ETH.
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