There is a local band I loved and followed in college. It is said that the unique name, Love Seed Mama Jump, was created by the four core band members tossing a word into a hat. The order the words came out would be the band’s name, and all four agreed to this naming concept after being unable to create one in any other way.
It is a random story like that which could almost explain the bizarre pairing of words in the “Bored Ape Yacht Club,” but even that doesn’t even begin to scratch the very, very strange surface of this NFT project. The four words aren’t as randomly arranged as one may think at first glance.
Once you dig a bit into this unique world of buying, selling, and trading of NFTs, it begins to make some more sense; maybe not a lot of sense, but some. And, bare with us; we swear this is not being made up and is, in fact, a popular and well-funded endeavor.
We should forewarn you, there are phrases in this explanation that will make your “puzzler puzzle” as Dr. Seuss would say, but we promise, it is happening. If you want to at least try to understand what words like Ape, Yacht, Club, and Bored have to do with one another, dive in. Just hold on, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. This is no smooth-sailing yacht, to be sure.
Table of Contents
An NFT Project
First and foremost, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is an NFT project. NFT, which stands for non-fungible token, means it is a token or something that represents something else. Typically, non-fungible tokens represent ownership of something that is unique, unmatched, and that cannot be replaced with an exact copy. Non-fungible simply means that it cannot be swapped for another. There is no exact duplicate.
Frequently, NFTs are digital in structure. They can be a digital files such as a .jpg, .png, or .gif file. They can be video files or include movement or action. However, as the NFT evolves in an ever-changing and very much still growing industry, it has also come to take on a role to represent real-life, tangible objects such as real estate or vehicles.
In the case of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, the NFT of choice is a series of bored ape images. Yes, you read that correctly. Go ahead, and do it again. Reread that. We’ll wait.
Yes, the NFTs involved in business transactions which have netted users nearly half a million dollars, revolve around digital images of fake monkeys.
If you choose to partake in the buying, selling, and trading of bored apes, then the Bored Ape Yacht Club is for you. Here, the NFTs are not only the tokens being traded but also a sort of membership card that allows you into the club.
Self-described on its own website as a “limited NFT collection where the token itself doubles as your membership to a swamp club for apes,” the Bored Ape Yacht Club includes 10,000 unique images. The images themselves are of apes, strangely dressed in an assortment of colorful costumes, posed in a headshot, mid-chest, and face-only, profile photo of sorts.
Yes, that’s right. People are buying headshots of fake monkeys. On purpose.
“The club is open! Ape in with us,” states the site. In other words, those who own an ape (the NFT) can also participate in the swamp club.
The Ethereum Blockchain
This rather strange use of technology has been created on the Ethereum blockchain. This blockchain, which uses a native cryptocurrency called “ether” (ETH) on its platform, is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality.
In the world of cryptocurrencies, Ether is second only to Bitcoin in market capitalization, showing the popularity of Ethereum overall. Ethereum, which was launched in 2013, was created originally by a programmer named Vitalik Buterin.
Buterin decided to allow others to have access to the same “tools” so to speak in order to create NFTs, crypto, games, sites, and more. Allowing other programmers access to the blockchain means that the tech (via smart contracts) is open for use, and clearly, many have come up with some pretty unique ways to create value in the space since its inception.
The Swamp Club and a Bathroom
So, now you have an NFT of an interesting face of a reportedly bored ape, but what’s that mean. In addition to an investment as an NFT alone, it is also membership to The Swamp Club. But, what is this club, and who cares if you have a membership?
Owing a bored ape means not only do you have a unique NFT no other person can own, but you also have the coveted “membership card.” This “card” grants access to owners of the NFT to members-only benefits, the first of which is access to “The Bathroom.”
Yes, that’s correct, again. Bored apes were not a strange enough topic to discuss. We thought they could also be in a club, you know, with yachts, in a swamp. And, yes, your exclusive access will also get you into a restroom-like, virtual facility. And this is a place you truly want to be. I swear, we are not making any of this up.
The Bathroom is a collaborative graffiti board of sorts. Approximately 6,300 users own the 10,000 unique NFTs that make up the collection of bored apes. Only those 6,300 or so owners can create art on the board.
Other “club benefits,” include access to other future areas. Also, the ape owners can have access to perks, which can be unlocked by the community through roadmap activation within The Swamp Club.
But Wait, There’s More: The Bored Ape Kennel Club
Yep. This wasn’t weird enough. There’s more. Let’s add dogs!
“It gets lonely in the swamp sometimes,” states the Bored Ape Yacht Club website. “That’s why every ape should have a four-legged companion. To curl up at your feet. To bring you a beer. To fire a missile launcher at that bastard Jimmy the Monkey.”
Yep, that’s right. Now your very own Bored Ape can have a pet dog, too. I swear this is a thing.
“That’s why we’ve started the Bored Ape Kennel Club, and why we’re offering up a dog NFT for adoption to every single member of the Bored Ape Yacht Club – for free (you only pay gas),” reads the Bored Ape Yacht Club website.
In fact, you don’t have to own an ape to purchase a dog. And, at the start of the project, the transactions of such dogs went to a good cause!
Any royalties the company made, after the covering of transaction (or gas) fees, were donated to no-kill animal shelters. However, now royalty fees are not being collected at all.
At the time of publication, 9,300 such dogs have been claimed for their prospective Bored Apes, leaving nearly 700 still to be generated. Only an owner of a Bored Ape NFT can currently own a Bored Ape Kennel Club pup. It is no longer a capability to mint your own dog, but you can purchase them on secondary markets.
The dog itself is another NFT, creating another revenue stream potential, not to mention the chance for users to invest and own another unique piece of digital art.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club
It is like a bad infomercial. But wait … there’s more!
In addition to its unique 10,000 apes, the collection is growing. A new addition was made to the “ape market” including a set of “mutant ape NFTs” that has come into play with the Mutant Ape Yacht Club. The same makers of the BAYC NFT have created another addition to its project by mutating its own apes.
According to Bored Ape Yacht Club, a Mutant Ape can only be created by exposing an existing Bored Ape to a vial of “Mutant Serum,” or by minting a Mutant Ape in the public sale marketplace. With an additional 20,000 NFTs and at least two spin-off NFT collections to its name, the bored apes have amassed quite the popularity.
Why Own a Bored Ape?
It may seem strange to most. Why would anyone want to purchase a digital image of an ape at all, forget paying thousands or more for the honor? But, there are many reasons people are finding to jump into the world of NFTs, and the Bored Ape Yacht Club is no different.
Some Big Names In Bored Apes
If the unique opportunity to own a digital image of an interesting ape face didn’t intrigue enough, rubbing elbows in The Swamp Club with some pretty big names just might. Since its start in April of 2021, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has boasted members such as Eminem, Paris Hilton, and Jimmy Fallon.
That’s right, a staple of the late-night comedy scene owns a bored ape, and he paid $200,000 for the privilege. In defense of Jimmy Fallon, sort of, his ape has an adorable captains hat and heart-shaped sunglasses, so I suppose if one has $200 grand to blow on such a thing … it isn’t the strangest of the collection.
Yes, now that I’ve typed that sentence, I see how strange the entire concept once again seems. If it were not for the already strange and unusual world of NFTs, it would almost seem out of place to discuss monkeys wearing captain’s hats and their digitized images being sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars … right!?
Eminem has joined the likes of Adidas sporting goods in donning a bored ape NFT as his Twitter profile picture. Others simply own them to enjoy them. Clearly having your name among such owners is exciting and seen as a status symbol to many, especially in the crypto community.
Others, celebrities most included, like having the digital identity tied to a famed NFT. Having an account is a status symbol for some, but also the idea of using monkey heads as your user avatars is fun, too.
Bragging Rights, Of Course
Like most collections of NFTs of this sort, the project-based, mass-produced “trading card-like” type, there is a rarity to the types of apes you can get your hands on. While each of the 10,000 individual apes is completely special, and not a copy of another, there is a rareness to certain attributes. But is that enough to make you want to fork over the money?
From unique hats and accessories like sunglasses to different haircuts, backgrounds, and clothing styles, there is value to some in strictly the ownership of the “most fun” or “most strange” or, well, almost anything you’d like out there on the marketplace. The internet is full of such oddities, and the NFT itself is valuable because of the phenomenon.
Like most NFT projects, part of what makes such the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection fun to own a piece of is strictly that uniqueness. Another part is owning something no one else can. Once an NFT is sold to its owner, that individual has all rights to it. It can only be verified, purely, and authentically owned by that single person.
Ironically, being in a group or circle of exclusive members is the flip side of that same “token,” making it a rather funny point. Those that are supposed to seek the most unique pieces are also constantly looking to belong. Bored Ape Yacht Club can do both for its owners.
The Benefits for Owners
Owning NFTs can also be a fun and exciting venture. It isn’t just about investments and figures. Instead, some owners of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs do so strictly for the benefits. Some of those top perks include:
- Access to exclusive events both online and in the real world
- Private invites to events such as Ape Fest
- Ability to buy members only merch
- Currently resells on eBay and StockX for a premium
- The $APE token: dropping in Q1 2022 which will also provide future governance of the club and could be highly lucrative
There are clearly benefits to the NFT project unique in the ever-changing marketplace. Whether you enjoy online perks or an in-person event, such as the inaugural Ape Fest, hosted in November 2021, which required guests to obtain timed wristbands just to tame a crowd of over 700 people, there are plenty of benefits to owning these NFTs beyond the immediate financial value.
The Future Looks Bright
A Bored Ape sold in January 2022 for over $1.3 million dollars, while another with gold fur and laser eyes, (which are both considered rare and hard-to-find traits) clocked in with a $3 million dollar price tag. The value placed in such NFTs seems to have no end, and users are handing over the cash, at least for the time being, to be a part of the scene.
Additionally, in January 2022, the Bored Ape Yacht Club released a mobile game revolving around the bored ape NFTs. A seven- and ten-day, live series of gaming events was focused on these owner-access-only games, which of course has added interest in ownership, which in turn drives up the price of such NFTs.
While no one can say for certain where things like the art of the Bored Ape Yacht Club are headed, this NFT collection certainly seems to have no end in sight when it comes to growth. Finding unique and fun ways to use the NFT, beyond a funky profile picture, has brought a revenue stream right along with it for these ambitious developers.
The brand has clearly found early success with the NFT project loving the app from its beginning. Continued success has grown bit by bit as the app brings new additions to its platform, creating new excitement, more product, and of course added revenues along with its budding idea stream.
It is obvious this is just the beginning for bored apes and their successful yacht club. And, I can honestly say those are words I certainly never thought I’d type together in a meaningful sentence ever in my life.