The emergence of the NFT world at the mainstream level about a year ago has now caused confusion and anticipation in equal measure. Or, to be fair, surely more confusion. For some, the NFT proposal could revolutionize digital art, use technology block chain and ethereal to ensure the proper use of creations on the web. For others, it was a proposal that would only serve to speculate (as it has in many cases) and generate a kind of rage for digital collecting: the new trading cards; as also happened. And there, at this crossroads that surely takes a bit of both sides, bored monkeys appeared: the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection.
One more notch in the gun for those who think this is all nonsense, or a sign that something more can be articulated than selling a digital artwork for big bucks via an NFT. Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), with its monkeys created through some pre-designs by a random algorithm, have been sold for millions of dollars, thanks in part to the FOMO created by personalities and celebrities of all persuasions who acquired them in the spring of 2021, when they were created and went on sale. In total, they are estimated to have moved around $3 trillion in ETH transactions.
By acquiring a copy, its owners have obtained the rights to do with the character in this illustration whatever they want (like using it for another creation, something not available in all NFT contracts), but also gave access to a community in Discord and a space called THE BATHROOM which was explained as a kind of large digital graffiti accessible to everyone. The name of this space, as explained by its creators in an interview with New Yorkercorresponded to imitate those club bathrooms in which everyone wrote something on the wall.
Does this all make sense? that everyone judges. Surely their prices inflated by the impetus of celebrities who have entered the player completely irrational, but you also have to recognize that By acquiring an NFT from this collection, its owners have literally become members of the club. It wasn’t just a ridiculously expensive JPG. It was a pass for something ridiculously expensive to build.
Now the company behind BAYC, Yuga Labs, launched its own token -ApeCoin- in order to continue to swell their pockets and their belongings and to allow people with less purchasing power to have a certain participation in the community. Added to this is an investment of 450 million dollars by the Andreessen Horowitz fund, a reference in the financing of start-ups.
With the money it seems Yuga’s plans, based on their presentations, are to develop what they want to explain as a company based on the web3 and the metaverse, concepts still under construction. Or, perhaps more simply, they now have the money to squeeze out what they’ve finally created: a franchise and characters that some are already comparing to creations that can lead to ventures similar to the one Disney has in their case through video games.
Corn… What is behind the origins of BAYC and Yuga Labs? This is the story of one of the (for some) most profitable nonsense in the history of the internet.
The origin and who are the creators of Bored Ape
Part of Yuga Labs’ success can be attributed to the company’s decision to create a community-driven project to manage the BAYC brand. Its creators were originally inspired by CryptoPunksthe first of many NFT projects that sought to build a library of characters with unique traits and rarity levels.
When we didn’t yet know who was behind it, the only clue was that Yuga Labs was created by two friends, Gargamel and Gordon Goner., the two pseudonyms. The duo remained anonymous until recently, when an article by buzz feed February 2022 revealed their identities as Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow.
Solano is a 32-year-old writer and editor who goes by the pseudonym Gargamel, while Aronow, 35, goes by the name Gordon Goner.
Two “literary nerds” and an anonymous illustrator
Both were involved in the cryptocurrency space as hodlers and traders since 2017. Over time, found that the emergence of NFTs created opportunities for them to show their creative side. To achieve their goals, they recruited two software engineers, namely the pseudonyms Emperor Tomato Ketchup and No Sass, into the founding team of the project. Both set to work, although without much experience. Over time, we learned that the two programmers had written their first lines of code in Solidity, the reference language for creating smart contracts early 2021.
After the publication of the article BuzzFeedthe founders responded to the exclusive with the “Web2 me vs. Web3 me” meme on Twitter, in which they essentially compared themselves to an actual photo of themselves with an NFT or Bored Ape avatar.
According to a profile made of them in rolling stone before their identity is known, Gargamel and Gordon Goner had no technological background.. Before founding the club, Gargamel worked as a writer and editor. Goner had planned to pursue a master’s degree, but fell ill and devoted himself to cryptocurrency speculation. The two, in their thirties, are “literary nerds”, as Gargamel himself defined himself. They grew up in Miami and met, ten years ago, drinking in a bar, “shouting about [el autor] David Foster Wallace.
But there is another leg that is not usually mentioned in the creation of Bored Ape, who then continued to power his slot machine with the launch of parallel collections with versions of his mutant monkeys and the dogs of these nonos . We talk about Seneca, a little-known artist who was the creator of the original sketches that gave rise to the illustrations.
A collection that is becoming a “media company”
On March 11, 2022, Yuga Labs further expanded its NFT ecosystem by acquiring CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. Both collections were two of BAYC’s most significant competitors in terms of value and following. Therefore, it can be said that this move solidifies Yuga Labs’ position at the top of the NFT market. They are, so to speak, a giant.
With this agreement, Yuga Labs now owns all intellectual property rightstrademarks and copyrights from the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections, as well as 1,711 NFTs from Meebits and 423 from CryptoPunks.
Added to this is the launch of its token and the recent investment of 450 million, with which they say that they want to position themselves as a “metaverse and web3” companyfields still to be explored.
Not much is known about his plans at this time, but Aronow said The edge which imagines a multiplayer role-playing game and “an interoperable world” which will be “player-driven”, which according to a leaked presentation on Reddit, would consist of a kind of virtual world where the current owners of one of their NFTs would have certain plots ground. We will see.