How Bored Ape Yacht Club Became The Cultural Zeitgeist Of NFTS

When Yuga Labs released the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs in 2021, no one knew how big it would become. But there were glimpses of its potential. The project of 10,000 Bored Apes sold out within 12 hours of minting when the price was 0.08 ETH.

Fast forward to almost a year later, the floor price is around 100 ETH, and trading volume has surpassed $1 billion. Bored Ape has come to define the nascent NFT space. The question is, how did all these happen.

The Early Days of Bored Apes

Bored Ape Yacht Club launched in April 2021, with the first one minted on April 23, 2021, around 9:56:11 pm UTC. While it sold out quickly after launch, the first month wasn’t exactly booming as the collection only had 35 transactions on the secondary market.

The average price at this point was $313.07. But by August, its potential has started to show with more than 3,300 transactions and an average price of $89,602. As the BAYC continued to grow in value, so did the interest in them. In less than a year, they’ve been featured on the top media platforms ranging from CNN to New Yorker. 

What made Bored Apes Yacht Club Successful

Bored Apes have remained the best performing in a space where hundreds of NFT avatar collections are launched almost every day, with no other similar NFT project even coming close. While it’s impossible to accurately identify what makes Bored Apes so successful as to become a reference point, there are a few possible reasons. They include:

  • Early Entry into the Market

Although Bored Apes might not be as old as Crypto Punks that go far back to 2017, BAYC was still early. It arrived at a time when NFT was just getting mainstream adoption. In late April, when it launched, OpenSea had 37,000 active wallets. By August of the same year, the number was 116,000.

The NFT space was just getting mainstream adoption at this period due to various reasons. In March 2021, Beeple sold his record-breaking NFT art for over $69 million, and on May, 9 CryptoPunks went for $17 million. Christie’s facilitated both trades, and Bored Apes launching in the middle of these two major trades was one of the catalysts.

  • Exclusive Commercial Rights

Unlike most NFT projects where users don’t have commercial rights to their assets, BAYC gives their holders full and exclusive rights. This means they can use their NFTs as they please, and many are already doing that.

Some holders like Jim McNeils have formed a music band with Bored Apes as members, while others like owners of Jenkins the Valet have created a backstory for their NFT, allowing them to sign media partnerships. The freedom that BAYC members have in how they use their assets has helped increase the value of the NFT and transform it from an ordinary avatar art to a marketable brand.

  • Social Capital

Bored Apes NFTs are owned by some of the most famous people in the world, from celebrities and musicians to sports stars. This has made the BAYC an exclusive social club where only those who can afford to own a Bored Ape can become members.

Owners of Bored Apes signify this status on social media by using it as their profile picture. With the Twitter NFT profile picture feature, it’s even easier to verify the originality of the NFT used. The fact that icons such as Justin Bieber, Pop Malone, Eminem, Steph Curry, Neymar, Jimmy Kimmel, and many other popular names own Bored Apes NFTs and share it with their followers has helped greatly in improving its value.

  • Attached Benefits

Creators of Bored Apes had a roadmap for how they wanted to push the project into public awareness. The goals in this road drove the utility and popularity of the collection as it allowed it to evolve rather than just be a simple artwork on the blockchain. Some of the goals include Mutant Ape serum drop, Liquidity Pool, 5 ETH treasure hunt, exclusive merchandise for BAYC members, the release of ‘Caged Apes,’ etc.

Additionally, releasing secondary assets such as Bored Ape Kennel Club, Mutant Serum, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, etc., have further driven up the value of BAYC and brought more people into the ecosystem.

BAYC as Reference for the NFT Space

The success of BAYC within a short period has made it the perfect reference point of the NFT space by both enthusiasts and critics. On the one hand, there are those who point to its utility as the sole reason for its almost 150,000% rise in value since mint.

On the other, some believe it encapsulates everything NFT stands for, greed, speculation, scam, and not art. Whatever opinion anyone might hold, it’s clear that Bored Apes have become a cultural phenomenon. More than any other NFT collection before or after them, they truly represent NFT space and its potential.

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