In January of 2022, the Mutant Ape Yacht Club made headlines when its rare Serum #69 sold for a whopping 1,542.06 ETH ($5.8 million at the time), making it the largest sale of a Bored Ape “serum” to date.
The serum was bought by Deepak Thapliyal, CEO of the blockchain tech startup Chain, who had to compete with a rival bid of 1,500 ETH ($5.76 million) from Andreessen Horowitz-backed Meta4 Capital.
The sale instantly put the Mutant Ape Yacht Club on the map and made the project famous in the crypto community. So sudden was the adoption of the NFT project that many were left wondering where the collection came from, and just what exactly a serum was?
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The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)
To understand the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, it’s important to learn about its parent collection – The Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Originally launched in April of 2021, the Bored Ape Yacht Club originally comprised 10,000 randomly generated NFTs that took the form of funny-looking apes with various characteristics, ranging from those with tweed suits to those who smoke. The collection, created by cryptocurrency marketing and development company Yuga Labs, instantly rose to the top of the NFT charts. As of early 2022, sales have crossed the $1 billion mark.
Today, Bored Apes function as an exclusive club, with the floor price currently sitting at 124.89 ETH ($386,000) – which puts it out of the reach of nearly everyone whose not a millionaire.
Yuga Labs Roadmap
Despite the success of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs never intended to restrict the project to 10,000 NFTs. As part of a move to expand the collection’s reach outside of the extremely wealthy, the company launched Mutant Apes (MAYC) after all of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs had been sold.
The extension of the original project resulted in the creation of 20,000 Mutant Apes, which would reward both Bored Ape owners and newcomers who chose to buy into the community.
As part of the release, the Mutant Apes were split into two groups: 10,000 Mutant Ape NFTs would go towards holders of the original Bored Apes in the form of “serum,” while the remaining 10,000 would be released to newcomers (as the finished product) who wanted entry into the Bored Ape universe at a lower cost.
To change their existing Bored Ape into a member of the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, the holder had to expose their original ape to the serum they received. This would create a new Mutant Ape, leaving the owner with two ape NFTs.
Ultimately, the airdrop allowed Bored Ape holders to keep their original NFT while minting a valuable extra token.
While the existing Bored Ape holders had their serum NFTs airdropped directly to their wallets, the other 10,000 Mutant Apes were sold via a “Dutch Auction” public sale on August 28, 2021. A Dutch auction is a method in which an item is auctioned at a higher asking price and gradually lowered. Yuga Labs set the original Mutant Ape price at 3 ETH and reduced it until they were all sold.
Understanding the Serum Process
On August 28, the same day as the Dutch auction, every holder of a Bored Ape token was airdropped one of three serums: M1, M2, or Mega Mutant (M3). Of the 10,000 serums, Yuga Labs originally airdropped 7,500 M1 serums, 2,492 M2 serums, and eight Mega Mutant, or M3, serums.
Injecting an NFT with an M1 or M2 mutant serum would change its appearance slightly, with the resulting Mutant Ape retaining the altered traits of the original ape. The M3 mutant serum, however, created a vastly different ape with rarer and more complex traits.
To sum up, an individual must have both a Bored Ape NFT and a mutant serum in their wallet before using the mutating feature on the MAYC website. As serums burn after the first use, they can only be used once. Consequently, a Bored Ape that has been mutated cannot use another serum of the same tier.
The Future of the Mutant Ape Yacht Club
As of the writing of this article, the Mutant Ape Yacht Club floor price stands at 32.1 ETH ($99,397) on the NFT exchange OpenSea, with the total market cap of the project sitting at a whopping 598,838.85 ETH ($1.84 billion).
The first phase of the collection’s roadmap has been completed, and members of the NFT community have openly wondered about what will come next for members of the BAYC and MAYC.
Many believe that the Yuga team will ultimately create a play-to-earn blockchain-based game. Recently, Yuga Labs bought the Meebits and Cryptopunks NFT projects as part of a plan to develop a shared gaming universe. Yuga has also teamed up with one of the leading companies in the field of P2E, Animoca Brands, to help their game become a reality.
Speaking on the partnership, a spokesperson from Yuga commented, “We’re excited to work with Animoca Brands to grow the BAYC universe and expand the utility and benefits offered to all Bored Ape NFT holders.”