Posted on February 25, 2022 | By Barbara Drews

NFT: Unraveling The Many Mysteries Behind The “Bored Ape Yacht Club”

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Pieces from this collection of monkey designs fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars and have been at the heart of several controversies. Buzzfeed recently revealed the names of two of the four creators behind this spectacular phenomenon.

Ten thousand quirky monkey drawings and a billion dollars worth of transactions: since mid-2021, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has been undergoing a meteoric rise, to the point of becoming the most famous of NFTs worldwide. Non-fungible tokens are virtual certificates of ownership that provide proof that you own the original version of a file – even though that file can still be copied.

By the end of last year, Bored Ape Yacht Club's NFT ratings soared: some of these vaguely jaded-looking primate designs sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and their success inspired other similar projects. Stars are hurrying to own them. PSG star-striker Neymar bought two of them, which he now displays as his profile picture on social networks, and singer Justin Bieber invested $1.3 million in an NFT from the same collection and Yuga Labs, the company that publishes the BAYCs, is in discussion with the prestigious investment fund Andreessen Horowitz for a stake that would value the company at more than four billion dollars!

The founders’ names revealed

On February 4, the Buzzfeed site unveiled part of the mystery surrounding Yuga Labs and its creators, by revealing the identity of two of the four co-founders of the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club. 

The two men, whose identity have been confirmed by the firm, are unknown to the general public. One of them, Wylie Aronow, is suspected of having temporarily squatted a web address resembling that of the Bitmex cryptocurrency exchange platform, before having to give up the domain name.

The article sparked strong criticism in regards to Buzzfeed, accusing the outlet of "doxing" - the practice of revealing personal information about a user in an attempt to harm them. Critics anticipated by Buzzfeed, which explained its decision in the preamble of the article revealing the identity of the two men: CEOs of a company usually use their real names meaning that founders of multi-billion dollar companies are public figures, whether they like it or not.

Many questions remain about how Yuga Labs works and how it promotes it. In late January, reality TV star Paris Hilton, who now happily calls herself an NFT influencer, was a guest on Jimmy Fallon's wildly popular TV show The Tonight Show. During a sequence of the interview, both Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon said that they bought Bored Ape Yacht Club, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

New underlying trend? Sheer futility? Scam? These past several months, not a week has passed without the project making headlines in the American press.

Last week’s top 10 NFT sales include 6 BAYC NFTs, yet the top spot goes to Decentraland

As DappRadar reported, the top 10 NFT sales chart was dominated by BAYC which comprised 60% of it, however the number one spot goes to the virtual world Decentraland. It’s worth noting that all of these sales had a price tag above 117 ETH, the cheapest switching owners for $317,602. Currently, the floor price of the Bored Apes collection is 94 ETH, or about $255,167.

Top 10 NFT Sales – Week 7 / Feb 14 – Feb 20

  1. Dragon City Estate – $938,700 / 315,000 MANA – buyer’s wallet
  2. Bored Ape Yacht Club #8353 – $562,790 / 200 WETH – buyer’s wallet
  3. Bored Ape Yacht Club #3671 – $498,080 / 165 ETH – buyer’s wallet
  4. Al Capone – $442,340 / 1,111 WBNB – buyer’s wallet
  5. Bored Ape Yacht Club #1391 – $431,250 / 153.66 ETH – buyer’s wallet
  6. Azuki #4841 – $399,410 / 150 ETH – buyer’s wallet
  7. Twin Flames #67. Craig & Carey Smith – $398,640 / 130 WETH – buyer’s wallet
  8. Bored Ape Yacht Club #3771 – $387,610 / 125 WETH – buyer’s wallet
  9. Bored Ape Yacht Club #6583 – $380,610 / 121 WETH – buyer’s wallet
  10. Bored Ape Yacht Club #3280 – $370,790 / 117.99 ETH – buyer’s wallet

To conclude, BAYC collection has been the NFT space dominant since last year, in spite of other NFTs entering the top 10 NFT sales charts constantly.

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