How did Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Blow Up? | The Full Story

Last Updated: October 16, 2022
How Bored Ape Yacht Club Blew Up

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The cryptocurrency boom has helped the newer market of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) rise to record heights. In 2021, the total NFT sales volume hit $23 billion. NFTs are unique digital items, and among this rise of NFTs, Bored Aped Yacht Club (BAYC) emerged as one of the most popular digital collectibles. 

Overall, BAYC has recorded more than $1.43 billion in sales so far, according to data from CryptoSlam

BAYC is a collection of 10,000 unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain, which were minted at a price of 0.08 ETH each in April 2021 and today their floor price, the lowest a BAYC NFT is available in the market, has climbed to a whopping 92 ETH. Currently, there are 6,400 BAYC owners.

These BAYC NFTs, however, are more than just digital collectibles as they also work as your Yacht Club membership card, and grants access to several members-only benefits.

An Expensive Collection

During the summer of 2021, as NFTs exploded into popularity especially profile picture (PFP) NFTs, the BAYC project was launched, which sold out within 12 hours since its minting started.

In terms of overall sales volume, BAYC is the third most popular NFT after Axie Infinity and OG PFP NFT project CryptoPunks. 

This popularity has sent the prices of BAYC skywards. The most expensive BAYC ever sold was Bored Ape #232 for an eye-watering 1080.69 ETH ($2.85 million) on the NFT marketplace LooksRare in late January 2022. This Ape features an army green background, a seaman’s hat, sleepy eyes, a clean bored mouth, solid gold fur, and a smoking jacket, making it one of the very rare NFTs in the collection.

The BAYC NFTs collection surged to prominence over the last year, in part due to high-profile purchases by celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Serena Willimas, Jimmy Fallon, and recently Justin Beiber. Other famous people owning Bore Ape NFTs include rapper Eminem, NBA champion Stephen Curry, popular footballer Neymar Jr., and rapper Post Malone. Additionally, Adidas partnered with the BAYC project to launch its collection and step into the metaverse and Web3.

Rise to Fame

There are only a limited, 10,000, Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs out there, and each one has traits that are rarer than others. For instance, according to Rarity.Tools, BoredApe #7495 is the rarest NFT in the project thanks to the combination of Bored Dagger, Cyborg, a Cross earring, among other traits.

Another of the attractive features of owning BAYC NFTs is that they are more than just digital collectibles. In its roadmap, the BAYC team listed a ton of benefits for its holders in terms of creation of a YouTube channel and LoFi Radio, member-exclusive BAYC merchandise, a treasure hunt with a 5 ETH prize attached to it, full commercial rights to Ape owners over their NFTs, and a Liquidity Pool for those who need to sell to get liquid assets.

The project not only airdropped 5 BAYC NFTs to random Ape holders but also did a free airdrop of Mutant Ape NFT and another 10,000 Bored Ape Kennel Club, a collection of companion dogs to Bored Apes.

These airdropped NFTs have also grown popular, with Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) recording more than $1 billion in sales so far, while Bored Ape Kennel Club has done about $227 million.

Owning an original BAYC basically puts you into a social club, the same as celebrities like Justin Bieber and Stephen Curry. These NFTs have also become a way to flex on social media by using BAYC as your avatar on Twitter. 

Being early to BAYC also made its holders influencers of sorts, and they have enjoyed immense value appreciation on them. 

Moreover, BACY entered the market early on the right time when the NFT and PFP NFT mania was reaching heights. It was around this time that traditional auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s also entered the NFT market.

Ongoing Developments 

Already in 2022, BAYC had a busy start of the year. Most recently, the BAYC collection donated $1 million in ETH as well as a BAYC NFT to Ukraine’s official crypto wallet address.

Meanwhile, Yuga Labs, the creator of the much-hyped NFT collection, has acquired the intellectual property rights of two of the most popular NFT collections in the market, CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. 

Yuga now “own the brands, copyright in the art, and other IP rights for both collections” and announced that they are “giving full commercial rights to the NFT holders,” it said.

In March, BAYC announced a new partnership with Animoca Brands, which is behind the virtual world The Sandbox. This collaboration, however, will require users to undergo Know-your-customer (KYC) verification. 

Last year, Yuga Labs, which was founded in February 2021, made $127 million in revenue. This figure is projected to reach $455 million in 2022, mainly in part from the proceeds from the company’s plan to sell off virtual plots of land. Yuga is actually looking to raise funds at a valuation of $5 billion. 

With this virtual land sale, the company is starting the first phase of its metaverse initiative that will help it diversify revenue as well as “build something that expands the universe of the BAYC, but also invites the larger NFT community (and those priced out of BAYC membership) to join.”

Yuga Labs is further planning to build a gaming-focused metaverse named MetaRPG with an “in-game app store” that will allow players to create characters using NFTs they own or from scratch, outfit them, and use them in games. APECoin is rumored to be the currency of this proposed world which will be used to make purchases in the app store. 


As we saw, there have been several factors that contributed to the success of BAYC. Besides the timing, its team has been hard at work to make these BAYC NFTs the talk of the NFT world. Yuga Labs also continues to expand its ecosystem and provide BAYC holders with many ways to enjoy their NFTs and showcase their Apes to the world. 

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