The 10,000 Bored Ape artworks with unique traits have become the flagbearer of NFT space. Staggeringly, the most expensive Bored Ape NFT was sold for a gigantic sum of $3.4 million.
While people are still getting accustomed to emerging Web 3.0 trends like NFTs, the baffling sales of digital collectibles worth millions of dollars make them feel further overwhelmed.
Bored Ape Yacht Club is one such leading project that set the foundation of the NFT boom last year when a collection of 10,000 digital Ape cartoons were released. Just a year after its launch, in April 2022, the floor price (entry price) for acquiring one ape NFT reached nearly $400,000. And that is not all: some rare apes out of the catalogue have been sold for millions of dollars.
Many questions arise at this point: what exactly is the Bored Ape Yacht Club? Why is this collection so popular? And why are buyers paying so much for these digital-Bored Apes? Let’s explore the answers to these questions while also looking at the most expensive BAYC pieces ever sold.
What is the Bored Ape Yacht Club?
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 NFTs based on the Ethereum blockchain. The unique collectibles that are included in the assortment are known as “Bored Apes” – digital artworks of bored and sluggish simians. Although all the Apes exude a similar feel and demeanour, they are characterized by unique facial expressions, clothes, accessories, and some other distinctive elements.
In the BAYC ecosystem, Bored Apes’ popularity (though not necessarily) is defined by their “rarity” – an official measure of ape uniqueness – and the combo of traits. Note that the rarity is increased correspondingly to the rareness of traits, which include background colour, clothes category (like Tuxedo Tee, Admirals Coat, Biker Vest, Kings Robe), and type of mouth, eyes, and hats. As per the Rarity Tools, solid gold fur, a black suit, a ‘bored dagger’ in mouth, and blue beams eye are some of the rarest traits.
An interesting and, probably, catchiest fact about Bored Ape NFTs is that their value is not solely linked with “ownership.” Instead, by possessing these Ape caricatures, holders also gain a Yacht Club membership and access exclusive benefits, like a collaborative graffiti board, merchandise, members-only live events, and governance rights in ApeCoin DAO, among other things.
The main idea of Bored Apes Yacht Club was inspired by a famous crypto concept: “aping in” – a slang that refers to the act of heedlessly pouring money into a crypto or NFT project based on hunches & excitement rather than research. This postulation is entrenched into the backstory of Bored Apes that occurs in the future year 2031. The fictional story states that crypto investors who “aped in” many years ago have now grown tremendously rich, assuming the shape of “Bored Apes.” These wealthy Apes have become disenchanted with success & abundant money, and now looking for ways to spend these resources. The solution that saves them is the “Yacht Club” where they immerse themselves in leisure with the rest of the Bored Apes, going down the lane of vibrant craziness.
When initially launched in April 2021, each Bored Ape was priced at 0.8 ETH, which translated to $190 at that time. The founders were able to gather a remarkable sum of $2,000,000 by selling all 10,000 Apes within 12 hours. However, little did they know at that time that the Apes’ popularity would soon reach unprecedented levels, rampantly driving up their valuation.
Bored Ape Yacht Club supremacy – Who owns the Bored Ape NFTs?
A striking flex of BAYC is its association with multiple celebrities where many influencers, artists, singers, as well as regular people own these digital apes. And naturally, the interest of popular celebs in these caricatures creates a ripple effect of validation and amazement among common folks.
Over the past years, many public figures have purchased & flaunted their Bored Apes. Justin Bieber owns BAYC #3001, Snoop Dogg holds a collection of several Bored, Mutant, & Kernel Apes, The Chainsmokers have BAYC #7691, and Madonna owns BAYC #4988, among other celebrities like Eminem, Marshmello, and DJ Khaled who also own these sloppy Apes.
What makes the Bored Ape NFTs valuable? Why are they so expensive?
While we will delve into many answers to this question, the most relevant one-line explanation is: they have somehow become the emblem of “status.” Similar to how the luxury brands of real-life objects work, Bored Apes (in addition to some other elite projects like Crypto Punks) are also discerned as the crème de la crème of the NFT world. Bored Ape-holders actually boast their success, wealth, and luxurious status via these cartoon simians just like they wear luxury Swiss watches to exhibit their social standing.
Now, let us see what features make the Bored Ape NFTs a symbol of class. Though, it’s a subjective analysis as there is no set benchmark to determine what exactly makes this NFT project successful.
- Bored Apes are acknowledged for their “utility,” meaning their scope is not limited to showing off the artwork. Instead, Bored Ape owners enjoy full commercial rights to their NFTs and are authorized to monetize them in any way. For instance, not only can they sell their Ape for profits, but they can also create “spin-off” projects based on their NFT or use it as a marketing tool for their personal goals. In this regard, many prominent brands like Adidas have “aped in” as part of their elaborate metaverse strategy.
- As there are only 10,000 Bored Apes, they can be considered “scarce,” especially, considering their towering popularity and high demand. The capped maximum supply generates value for this NFT collection; its current floor price is 74.6 ETH which is equal to nearly $100,000 as per the recent rates. Moreover, as some Apes are significantly rarer than their fellows, they command much higher prices and push the whole equation to new heights.
- As mentioned earlier, celebrity endorsement has taken things to the next level for the Bored Ape Yacht Club. When famous names, like Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg, bought their Bored Apes, the ensuing buzz triggered a jump in the BAYC sales and prices. NFTs are all about the razzmatazz and there is no one better at doing this than the “public” stars.
- The developers have managed to retain the BAYC fan base by consistently introducing innovative and unique elements to this landscape. Back in June 2021, the team launched “Bored Ape Kernel Club” whereby every Bored Ape holder was offered an opportunity to “adopt” a free dog NFT with similar traits to their Apes. Currently, the floor price of Kernel Club Dogs is 5.97 ETH but they were given free to the Bored Ape owners – a perk of being a member of the BAYC. A month later in August 2021, the creators announced the Mutant Ape Yacht Club – a project that became tremendously successful and attracted a whole lot of new investors. MAYC is a collection of up to 20,000 Mutant Apes that can only be created by exposing an existing Bored Ape to a vial of Mutant Serum. The existing Bored Ape holders also benefited here as all owners were given free digital serum vials and they were allowed to list their new Mutant NFTs on the marketplace for making profits.
- Moreover, the BAYC team released their own native cryptocurrency, APE Coin, in March 2022. The tokens were airdropped to each Bored & Mutant Yacht Club member.
- Bored Apes Yacht Club has developed a valuable community that is hard to let go of due to the perks & advantages it offers. BAYC has previously arranged several real-life events like “Ape Fest” and meetups in New York and California. This year’s four-day Ape Fest, which has now become a yearly tradition, was held in June where many Yacht Club celebrities, like Eminem, & Snoop Dogg, performed. The Ape-avatar holders also have access to some exclusive online groups (such as, on Discord) where the crypto-rich investors interact with each other.
Who is behind the BAYC?
Bored Ape Yacht Club was developed by four creators under the umbrella of Yuga Labs in 2021. The developers went by interesting pseudonyms, namely Gordon Goner and Gargamel (the two co-founders), & No Sass and Emperor Tomato Ketchup (the two who helped on the development side). However, BuzzFeed revealed the identities of Gordon Goner and Gargamel in February 2022, after which all four founders came out and revealed their pictures on Twitter along with their Bored Apes.
The real name of No Sass is Zeshan Ali and Emperor Tomato Ketchup is Kerem Atalay.
Interestingly, the innovative art of these apathetic apes was created by a Freelance artist, Seneca, who is not a team member of Yuga Labs.
Previously this year, Yuga Labs announced the release of a major metaverse project called "Otherside”, which marks the largest development in the BAYC universe till now. The metaverse will amalgamate the elements of MMORPGs and Web 3.0-based virtual reality to perpetuate an immersive experience. In July 2022, developers invited around 4300 “land owners” or Voyagers to have a trip to the Apes metaverse for the first time.
Some of the most expensive Bored Apes sold to date
Finally, let’s have a quick look at some Bored Apes which were sold at the most exorbitant prices.
3. Bored Ape No. 2087 – $2.3 Million
The third most expensive in our list is the Bored Ape No. 2087, which is a minimalistic being with no clothes, hat, or accessories. The angry-eyed Ape has trippy fur and holds a cigarette in mouth with purple background.
Just five months after its original sale for 0.8 ETH, it was sold for a whopping sum of $2.3 million (or 769 ETH) in September 2021. At that time, this sale was the most expensive BAYC NFT sale.
2. Bored Ape No. 8585 – $2.7 Million
Second on the list is the Bored Ape No. 8585, which is one funky-looking ape wearing a King’s crown and heart-shaped glasses. The trippy fur and protruding teeth add to its exaggerated look.
In October 2021, this goofy-looking Ape was purchased by an anonymous buyer for $2.7 million, whereas it was previously sold for $1.2 million in August 2021. The two sales pushed its total trading volume to $3.9 million!
1. Bored Ape No. 8817 – $3.4 Million
Listed as the 16th rarest, Bored Ape No. 8817 is the most expensive Ape sold to date. The simian flaunts gold fur against an orange background, with a tri-color hat on its head and a silver earring on one ear.
The sleepy eyed-Ape, with a party horn in its mouth, was purchased from Jimmy for $3.4 million by an anonymous person “Rhincodon.” who later revealed himself to be crypto investor “Brandon Buchanan” during an interview.
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