March 18, 2022 - 8 min read
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 unique cartoon apes created using generative art, and represented by ERC-721 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. The collection was originally minted by the firm Yuga Labs by pseudonymous founders Gargamel, Gordon Goner, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and No Sass.
Unfortunately, Bored Apes sold out quickly after their original minting, which of course means acquiring a Bored Ape involves purchasing one from another Ethereum user on OpenSea, Rarible, or another secondary market.
First, you’ll need to make sure your wallet has enough ETH to pay for the NFT itself, plus gas fees. Of course, buying a Bored Ape NFT at the time of this publication would cost about 60 ETH at the very least. You’ll also need to use a compatible crypto wallet like Metamask or Trust Wallet, though there are plenty of alternatives.
Each Bored Ape NFT essentially has a unique digital identifier which can be tracked and traded, and therefore protected, cryptographically. Bored Ape NFTs function not only as a representation of verifiable digital ownership, but also as ‘Yacht Club’ membership cards, granting exclusive access to certain Ethereum dApps as well as physical BAYC events.
The BAYC Bathroom is an example of an exclusive member benefit, giving Ape NFT holders a digital sandbox in which they can paint one pixel every fifteen minutes on a virtual doodle pad. The “bathroom” doesn’t offer more than a community drawing board, but it maintains a certain level of excitement around the project in addition to the other initiatives by Yuga Labs and BAYC community creators.
Since the initial minting and given the excitement surrounding BAYC, Yuga Labs has created new lines of NFTs, NFT upgrades, digital graffiti boards, and an exclusive club for Ape NFT holders. The BAYC community has grown from relative obscurity into a notable pop-culture phenomenon, with familiar names like Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, NBA’s Mark Cuban and Steph Curry, DJ Steve Aoki, rappers Eminem and Snoop Dogg, and YouTube’s Logan Paul, just to name a few.
Bored Apes were minted via generative art, meaning several characteristics were entered into a verifiable random function mechanism, providing several variations for each characteristic, and generating thousands of random combinations according to set parameters to determine each characteristic’s rarity.
That is, Bored Apes may possess one or several rare characteristics which are denominated by rarity scores, with higher scores attracting higher bids. In fact, the rarest Bored Apes sell for thousands of ETH on secondary markets. As mentioned, Bored Apes were generated based on the randomization of the following seven traits:
As mentioned, each trait may have a variety of styles, some of which are rarer than others. For instance, Bored Apes can have robot, trippy, or zombie fur, among others. Some of them have laser eyes, coin eyes, or sunglasses; and backgrounds behind the Bored Apes themselves range from gray to aquamarine.
Bored Ape Chemistry Club (BACC) is a collection of 10,000 serums that were airdropped directly to the Ethereum wallets of BAYC holders: M1, M2, and ‘Mega Mutant’ (only 8 mega serums were possible). Technically speaking, BACC serums are not NFTs in the same sense as other Bored Ape clubs mentioned within this article, but more like a hybrid token designed to execute an Ethereum smart contract by design. At the time of publication, about 80% of the serums have already been used/burned through the mutation process.
Using a mutation serum resulted in a new and unique Mutant Ape NFT being minted, meaning the original Bored Ape remained in its original state. That is, the mutation did not destroy, degrade, or otherwise affect the original Bored Ape NFT, though the serum NFTs themselves were burned at the time which they were used as the ‘cost’ for minting the new Mutant Ape NFT.
The first two tiers of Bored Ape mutant serum mutated their corresponding ape in ways which preserved some of their original characteristics, and therefore rarity. Mega Mutant Serum, conversely, mutated the corresponding Bored Ape into one with increased rarity traits, therefore fetching much higher prices on secondary markets. The ghastly collection maintains the aura of the originals, mixing the cute with the horrific for eye-catching results, as seen below.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) is a collection of 20,000 mutant-themed Bored Apes related to the original BAYC, hence the name. 10,000 Mutant Ape NFTs were available to mint during their public Dutch Auction sale, or otherwise minted by using a mutant serum on one of the original Bored Apes. With all of the original 10,000 MAYC already minted and 8,000 Mutants minted via the airdropped serum tokens, that leaves only 2,000 Mutant Apes that have yet to undergo the mutation process using the remaining serum tokens.
Yuga Labs announced that the MAYC is the ‘final tier’ of membership for Bored Ape NFT holders. Going forward, the developers announced their intent to focus on adding more digital benefits and physical events for the BAYC/MAYC community.
The Bored Ape Kennel Club is another example of generative art minted as a collection of NFTs. As with the other Bored Ape clubs, BAKC came from Yuga Labs, distributed to Bored Ape NFT holders. Owning a Bored Ape within one’s Ethereum wallet had granted the ability to mint a Kennel Club Dog NFT, with the aforementioned randomized traits distinguished by appearance and rarity scores.
Minting Bored Ape Kennel Club Dogs was completely free, excluding the gas fees required to sign the NFT minting smart contract, so long as the Ethereum wallet held a Bored Ape NFT which had not already minted a corresponding BAKC Dog. These Dog NFTs were programmed to assess a 2.5% royalty fee for a limited time, with proceeds being philanthropically donated to various animal charities.
As mentioned, Yuga Labs has leaned heavily on NFT utility, airdropped perks, and community-based activities to drive excitement. For instance, Ape Fest 2022 is set to take place in downtown Manhattan, New York over four days from June 20th-23rd. The first BAYC Ape Fest took place back in 2021 to much fanfare.
Bored Ape Yacht Club has successfully taken a popular NFT collection, and leveraged clever marketing, community-building initiatives, and additional perks into innovative business models. By using member bonuses, airdrops, exclusive access, physical events, and charitable donations, Yuga Labs and the BAYC community has captured global attention, leading to the adoption of NFTs more broadly.
Another creative example of this was the BAYC mobile game, announced in a tweet along with a teaser of some of the prizes participants could win. Unsurprisingly, the spoils up for grabs consisted of both Ape and mutant-themed items like a Mutant Ape Beer Stein or the coveted first prize, a BAYC Pinball Machine.
For Ape and Mutant NFT holders to participate in the competition, they first had to visit the BAYC website, meaning their Ethereum wallets must connect to verify their ownership of their Apes. After retrieving a special passcode for the game, participants needed to click through to a Shopify storefront and fill out some personal details on the form within Shopify. Once registered, NFT holders were sent a personalized link to download their game and wait for it to go live.
BAYC has clearly established itself as a premium NFT brand, and has demonstrated what clever marketing and exclusive membership perks can accomplish when combined with stylish collectible items and a bit of star power. While the buzz surrounding NFTs seems to go on forever, there is good reason to believe that it will pick up rather than slow down as businesses in every sector discover the power of NFT communities and verifiable, exclusive digital ownership.
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