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How Four Friends Sold $2.8M Worth of Bored Apes In Less Than 24 Hours on the Blockchain
After the whirlwind arrival, is The Bored Ape Yacht Club here to stay?
The universe works in mysterious ways, but the metaverse takes things to a whole new level.
Two days later, I kicked off campaign Space Cowboy:
Eleven hours later, a Space Cowboy Bored Ape arrived in my mentions:
Thirteen minutes later, I had seen enough:
NFT Twitter proceeded to do its thing. Forty-eight hours later, the Bored Apes started ferociously rattling their cages:
In need of a late night snack, he kicked things over to the Walmart of NFTs. It was 2:38a ET on Saturday, May 1st and things were getting spicy:
Just 117 minutes later, the final Bored Ape was released into the wild:
10,000 Bored Apes sold in the primary sale for a total of 800 ETH or ~$2.8M:
As of Thursday May 6th, secondary market sales have crossed 3,500 ETH or ~$12M:
Q&A With the BAYC Team
With help from my fellow apes, I put together a list of our most burning questions. The Bored Ape Yacht Club team was kind enough to answer them for us. What follows are their answers in their entirety, with minor edits for clarity.
TSF: Congrats on the incredible launch! Is there anything you’d like to say to get us started?
BAYC: THANK YOU to everyone in the community. As we write this, the Yacht Club is at over 2.5k members. We were shell-shocked after how insane Friday night was, and barely got a few hours of sleep all weekend. Seeing how the community has continued to grow has been amazing.
We put everything we have into making the BAYC, and even so, couldn’t have imagined the level of reception we’ve received. We thought doing this Q&A would be a great way to get more communication out to the community all at once. We’ve tried to be as active as possible in the Discord and Twitter, but we’re also crunching hard on the roadmap.
TSF: Tell us, who exactly is the team behind the Bored Apes?
BAYC: We’re four real-life friends. Garga and Gordon have been in crypto since 2017. NoSass and Tomato have only come into the fold more recently. Garga’s background is in media, and Tomato and Sass are software engineers. Gordon claims this is his first job.
TSF: What is the Bored Ape origin story?
BAYC: Gordon and Garga have been in crypto since 2017—Gordon as a trader, Garga just as a holder—and have been fascinated ever since. We knew about NFTs like CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties, but honestly didn’t think about them too much. It was only with the advent of Hashmasks that we realized there might actually be a space for us, as crypto fans without technical backgrounds, to actually make something that would add value to the space.
From the start we wanted to do something a bit different. One of the first thoughts was, what if people could collaborate on their own NFT? Or rather, what if we had a two-layer NFT—on one side, you had the actual token you held, the NFT you’d purchase, and then once you owned that NFT, you could collaborate with all other token holders to draw something together.
We loved this idea because it meant every token in the collection would have extra utility. If you own a token, any token, you’re now part of this exclusive club . . .
TSF: And what about the design aesthetic?
BAYC: Honestly, we started off on the wrong foot. We started thinking about what we imagined other people wanted to see, instead of what we wanted. We thought about making the tokens almost Mondrian in style, with color-blocking and line-drawn characters over the tokens. The art board would be this painterly, cream-colored canvas, where people could get together to draw something incredible together.
And as we started to work on this we just kind of realized, who the fuck are we kidding. This isn’t us. We’re kids who grew up skating, making zines, and going to hardcore shows. Plus, no one is going to draw fine art on this canvas together. They’re going to draw a bunch of dicks. Immediately. (This is exactly what happened.) And finally, the best thing about crypto and crypto twitter is the joyful, irreverent meme-ing. The best-selling artist in the scene renders AT-AT’s humping each other in 3D.
We realized the ‘art canvas’ we were imagining was more like the bathroom wall at the dive bar Gordon and I met at, filled with graffiti. And we thought, OK, that’s cool. This is a bar—an exclusive bar, actually, since the bathroom is only accessible to members. But not a fancy, luxurious bar.
And honestly it all came together very fast from there, as we started to imagine the sickest dive bar we could. We started on this idea of a ramshackle building in the Everglades, surrounded by mangroves, frequented by these punk-looking apes.
TSF: But wait, why are the Apes bored exactly?
BAYC: The story we started to imagine for ourselves is that this NFT is set ten years in the future. We imagined that everyone who “aped” into crypto became wealthy beyond their wildest dreams—but now that the yield farms have dried up, and all the Doge coins have been mined . . . they’re bored. So now what’s an ape to do? Our answer: Hang out with fellow apes at a secret club in the swamp.
And so that was the origin of The BAYC. There was still a ton of work to be done from there—working with a team of artists, trying to find our perfect ape. Figuring out what this fantastical looking club would look like. But it was incredibly fun. We really started to feel like, OK. Even if we go broke making this, this is going to be hilarious. We knew we’d be proud of this shit even if it never moved a single ETH.
TSF: What was the process like pulling together the art?
BAYC: In terms of the process for the art, we worked with a bunch of different work-for-hire artists for a couple months. Garga and Gordon did early sketches of things, then we’d work with someone to help explore and flesh them out further. Finding the right ape took a while, and then finding the right expressions was next. Then we had different artist do passes at different headwear, clothing, etc.
Once we had the art completed, we used an algorithm to put together all the pieces to generate the 10k Bored Apes. The algorithm gave us the ability to program-in different rarity for each trait. We thought about the rarity of traits a lot. We wanted to make sure that no matter what ape you got, it was still dope.
TSF: Why no price ramp?
BAYC: What we’ve seen with other projects is a few accounts will buy up the lowest tier of a price ramp, and then go cold waiting for retail users to join in at a higher cost to entry. Having 10k apes all at the same flat price of .08 ETH felt like the best possible way to promote fairness and equality among our members. We were lucky enough to be around rescuing MoonCats with the rest of crypto twitter weeks (was it only weeks?) ago, and wanted to capture some of that same magic with the BAYC.
TSF: Jimmy and Pranksy REALLY like the apes. What are your thoughts on their involvement?
BAYC: We’d never communicated with Jimmy or Pranksy until they aped in and joined our Discord, and haven’t communicated with them privately at all except for a single DM with Jimmy saying how floored we were by what was going on.
Obviously them joining the club gave us an insane boost on Friday night, and they aren’t the only high-profile NFT collectors to have joined up. Our reaction to Pranksy announcing his buy was basically, “Holy shit.” Having several legendary creator/collectors see value in our project is obviously amazing.
TSF: Okay, so what exactly are we allowed to do with our Bored Apes?
BAYC: We want to promote an active, creative community. Part of that means making sure that if you own an ape, you can throw it on a T-shirt, make a print, or create your own derivative NFT using your ape, and sell it. We give a full worldwide license only to the NFT holder to use, copy, and display the purchased art, as well as use it to make any creative, derivative works based upon the NFT.
And if you wanted to hire a 3D artist to make a version of your ape, for example—dope. We’d ask that anyone doing commissions for ape holders to make sure they’re working with the owners. What’s not cool is people using other people’s apes without permission to create bootleg collections, or straight scam artists trying to convince people that their knockoff apes are official parts of the BAYC.
TSF: How are things progressing with the roadmap?
BAYC: We’re working on all the roadmap activations as fast as we can, while also making sure that we’re not sacrificing quality anywhere. We’re posting roadmap updates in our FAQ channel in Discord if anyone wants to get up to date info.
As of writing, we’ve got liquidity pools launched on NFTX and NFT20, some quality-of-life Bathroom renovations incoming soon, artwork for the YouTube channel almost completed, and the first merch item off to production. We’re working with a really high-quality studio on the merch and so stoked for people to see the final product there.
TSF: What about breeding?
BAYC: We know breeding is a hot topic, and that people are worried about this affecting scarcity of their apes. We can’t get too specific about The Mutant Ape game right now, but we’re building with the community in mind. It’s our intention to make something that expands this world and rewards ape-holders, not detract from them. We also think this is something that’s important to get done right rather than get done fast, so please be patient.
TSF: Sounds like great things ahead for the Bored Apes. Any final thoughts?
BAYC: THANK YOU. We just want to say thank you again to the whole BAYC community, and to everyone who has helped out answering questions and started creating (with their own ape, or with permission from the apes owner) in the community. It’s under a week since the reveal happened and the number of contributions people have already made is staggering.
We also want to give a special shout out to NBA Top Shot. It’s been amazing to see the apes bring so many different parts of the crypto and NFT scene together, and so many key members of the Top Shot community have welcomed apes with open arms.
And, finally, want to thank Kiwi and Chase from the Waifusion team, who have helped a TON in so many different ways in the Discord, putting together the Dune analytics dashboard, and just giving awesome advice as we navigate things. Zariat from Rare Pizzas has also been amazing. It’s been three months of very little sleep for us, and we couldn’t be more stoked to continue expanding the BAYC.
Big thank you to the BAYC team. Appreciate them taking the time to speak with the Space Cowboy. Until next time, I’ll see you crazy apes in the metaverse.
But not if I can’t tell you apart! Use this thread to help clear up the confusion.
Reply with two pictures:
Old Twitter profile picture
Your preferred Bored Ape
Respect the come up and be sure to check out The BAYC:
Full disclosure: I immediately loved the BAYC project, but originally only minted one ape. Then Pranksy entered the fray and all bets were off. I minted ten more, have sold six, bought two more, and given two away. Making me the current proud owner of five apes and one honorary ape.