In the world of NFTs, you can’t avoid apes, and if you happen not to like simian enterprises, then it might have been a tough week in crypto, what with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) dominating the landscape, and again indicating that expensive JPEGs, rather than reaching the end of a strange cycle, may have only just got started.

Or perhaps not, some might argue, as it depends on whether the hype has substance. However, at this point, BAYC’s collection has proven so capable of not only soaring in value, but maintaining its desirability, that it seems a little head-in-the-sand to still be writing it all off as a frivolous bubble.

How It Started

To recap, Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 NFTs that launched last April. Each item in the collection depicts an ape, bored and they minted for 0.08 ETH (just $200 at the time), taking a week to sell out.

The lowest price for an ape now? A little over 100 ETH, at the time of writing, or around $300,000 at current rates.

BAYC has become the closest thing to a broadly well-known NFT phenomenon, with celebrity owners and constant public befuddlement whenever anyone decides to look into what those monkey pics are, discovers the price tag, and has to do a double-take searching for what else is included in the package.

What else is included was nothing besides membership of the club, but it turns out exclusivity sells, and membership of clubs often comes with valuable perks.

The Token Drop

Last week, ApeCoin DAO launched its own token, ApeCoin. Technically, the DAO is independent of Yuga Labs, the company behind BAYC, but there is interconnection.

On March 17th, a portion of ApeCoin was airdropped to BAYC owners, with Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) holders getting a cut too (MAYC and BAKC are BAYC offshoots, and if you had held a BAYC at the right time, you could have received them both for free).

In case you are wondering how much ApeCoin was given out, it was 10,094 tokens for each BAYC owned, 2,042 tokens for each MAYC owned, and holding a companion BAKC NFT too would have secured a little extra. At the time of writing, ApeCoin is trading at around $12 a token.

So if you had minted BAYC at 0.08 ETH last spring, held on for MAYC, BAKC and the ApeCoin airdrop , and then sold it all, JPEGs and tokens, then well done, take a vacation. You have diamond hands and pulled off a spectacular deal.

A question now for the curious public, though, is what will ApeCoin actually do, and is it worth funding BAYC owners’ spring vacations by picking some up?

What Is Yuga’s Plan?

Critically, Yuga Labs appears intent on making BAYC into something far more mainstream than a collection of hyper-luxury JPEGs.

After the ApeCoin drop, Yuga tweeted a teaser trailer for what looks like a 3D gaming/metaverse development, with the line, “See you on the Otherside in April. Powered by @apecoin.”

And, just to make things even more far out, the video was tweeted later by the official Twitter account of 1960s psychedelic legends The Doors.

But, will Yuga’s project be, if it is something that falls within the definition of a metaverse, an open decentralized world? Or by contrast, is it a walled garden? Well built, but ultimately just a centralized game like any other?

The Leaked Pitch Deck

Furthering speculation, a Yuga Labs pitch deck was leaked and did the rounds on Twitter. BAYC's Co-Founder, Gargamel said of the leak, “There are a lot of things in there that have already changed; and plenty more things that will change”, so care should be taken as to how much we can read into it.

The contents of the leak are not officially endorsed, should be taken as highly speculative, and may change completely or simply turn out to be inaccurate, but some parts that have generated interest include:

  • Yuga is highly profitable and has the financial resources to deliver a projected net revenue for 2022 of over $455 million. On top of this, there is real talent on board.
  • There was mention of creating 200,000 plots of metaverse land, with 30,000 going to BAYC/MAYC owners, and an estimated price tag of 1 ETH per plot.
  • Yuga has a firm grasp of the limitations of existing metaverse projects, accurately describing current projects as “underwhelming”.
  • Yuga talks about creating “the interoperable gaming metaverse”. Along with gaming, there is emphasis on ownership, users bringing in their own NFT characters, users creating their own in-game assets and decentralization.
  • Yuga’s metaverse would have a working in-game economy, and ApeCoin is to be its currency, a 'unifying coin' that would also be utilized in a possible Yuga app store.

Capturing the Imagination

So, where does this leave us? Currently, Yuga Labs has a realistic shot at becoming a dominant force in metaverse development, and, if it cements that position, then ApeCoin will be the currency that powers a key web3 environment, which sounds like a bullish proposition.

Following on from the ApeCoin drop, Yuga Labs this week raised $450 million in a seed funding round led by Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, with Yuga valued at $4 billion.

Yuga’s team seems to recognize a problem that has been commented on by a few observers but isn’t widely acknowledged: that current metaverse projects can appear empty and, in general, like they wouldn’t be very amusing to spend time in.

Yuga’s leaked pitch deck explicitly positions what they are creating as not just a vacant web3 zone waiting to be filled, but as a gaming experience, and this could be very important. For the metaverse to succeed it has to actually be enjoyable, while remaining open and decentralized, and don’t forget that BAYC brings with it an entire community.

If there is one standout aspect of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (besides the cost), it is that it always looked weirdly fun, like an outfit you would want to join in with. And, as for decentralization, that is directly mentioned in the leaked materials.

There are no guarantees, but of all the metaverse developments out there, Yuga is beginning to look like the first that could go beyond the crypto and NFT space, and capture the wider public imagination.

In the world of NFTs, you can’t avoid apes, and if you happen not to like simian enterprises, then it might have been a tough week in crypto, what with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) dominating the landscape, and again indicating that expensive JPEGs, rather than reaching the end of a strange cycle, may have only just got started.

Or perhaps not, some might argue, as it depends on whether the hype has substance. However, at this point, BAYC’s collection has proven so capable of not only soaring in value, but maintaining its desirability, that it seems a little head-in-the-sand to still be writing it all off as a frivolous bubble.

How It Started

To recap, Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 NFTs that launched last April. Each item in the collection depicts an ape, bored and they minted for 0.08 ETH (just $200 at the time), taking a week to sell out.

The lowest price for an ape now? A little over 100 ETH, at the time of writing, or around $300,000 at current rates.

BAYC has become the closest thing to a broadly well-known NFT phenomenon, with celebrity owners and constant public befuddlement whenever anyone decides to look into what those monkey pics are, discovers the price tag, and has to do a double-take searching for what else is included in the package.

What else is included was nothing besides membership of the club, but it turns out exclusivity sells, and membership of clubs often comes with valuable perks.

The Token Drop

Last week, ApeCoin DAO launched its own token, ApeCoin. Technically, the DAO is independent of Yuga Labs, the company behind BAYC, but there is interconnection.

On March 17th, a portion of ApeCoin was airdropped to BAYC owners, with Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) holders getting a cut too (MAYC and BAKC are BAYC offshoots, and if you had held a BAYC at the right time, you could have received them both for free).

In case you are wondering how much ApeCoin was given out, it was 10,094 tokens for each BAYC owned, 2,042 tokens for each MAYC owned, and holding a companion BAKC NFT too would have secured a little extra. At the time of writing, ApeCoin is trading at around $12 a token.

So if you had minted BAYC at 0.08 ETH last spring, held on for MAYC, BAKC and the ApeCoin airdrop , and then sold it all, JPEGs and tokens, then well done, take a vacation. You have diamond hands and pulled off a spectacular deal.

A question now for the curious public, though, is what will ApeCoin actually do, and is it worth funding BAYC owners’ spring vacations by picking some up?

What Is Yuga’s Plan?

Critically, Yuga Labs appears intent on making BAYC into something far more mainstream than a collection of hyper-luxury JPEGs.

After the ApeCoin drop, Yuga tweeted a teaser trailer for what looks like a 3D gaming/metaverse development, with the line, “See you on the Otherside in April. Powered by @apecoin.”

And, just to make things even more far out, the video was tweeted later by the official Twitter account of 1960s psychedelic legends The Doors.

But, will Yuga’s project be, if it is something that falls within the definition of a metaverse, an open decentralized world? Or by contrast, is it a walled garden? Well built, but ultimately just a centralized game like any other?

The Leaked Pitch Deck

Furthering speculation, a Yuga Labs pitch deck was leaked and did the rounds on Twitter. BAYC's Co-Founder, Gargamel said of the leak, “There are a lot of things in there that have already changed; and plenty more things that will change”, so care should be taken as to how much we can read into it.

The contents of the leak are not officially endorsed, should be taken as highly speculative, and may change completely or simply turn out to be inaccurate, but some parts that have generated interest include:

  • Yuga is highly profitable and has the financial resources to deliver a projected net revenue for 2022 of over $455 million. On top of this, there is real talent on board.
  • There was mention of creating 200,000 plots of metaverse land, with 30,000 going to BAYC/MAYC owners, and an estimated price tag of 1 ETH per plot.
  • Yuga has a firm grasp of the limitations of existing metaverse projects, accurately describing current projects as “underwhelming”.
  • Yuga talks about creating “the interoperable gaming metaverse”. Along with gaming, there is emphasis on ownership, users bringing in their own NFT characters, users creating their own in-game assets and decentralization.
  • Yuga’s metaverse would have a working in-game economy, and ApeCoin is to be its currency, a 'unifying coin' that would also be utilized in a possible Yuga app store.

Capturing the Imagination

So, where does this leave us? Currently, Yuga Labs has a realistic shot at becoming a dominant force in metaverse development, and, if it cements that position, then ApeCoin will be the currency that powers a key web3 environment, which sounds like a bullish proposition.

Following on from the ApeCoin drop, Yuga Labs this week raised $450 million in a seed funding round led by Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, with Yuga valued at $4 billion.

Yuga’s team seems to recognize a problem that has been commented on by a few observers but isn’t widely acknowledged: that current metaverse projects can appear empty and, in general, like they wouldn’t be very amusing to spend time in.

Yuga’s leaked pitch deck explicitly positions what they are creating as not just a vacant web3 zone waiting to be filled, but as a gaming experience, and this could be very important. For the metaverse to succeed it has to actually be enjoyable, while remaining open and decentralized, and don’t forget that BAYC brings with it an entire community.

If there is one standout aspect of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (besides the cost), it is that it always looked weirdly fun, like an outfit you would want to join in with. And, as for decentralization, that is directly mentioned in the leaked materials.

There are no guarantees, but of all the metaverse developments out there, Yuga is beginning to look like the first that could go beyond the crypto and NFT space, and capture the wider public imagination.