The Rise of NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club and Racism Accusations

By CoinJoy | CoinJoy Magazine | 23 Jan 2022


Bored Ape Yacht NFT

At this point, you probably have heard of The NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club, and if you haven’t – it is a collection of unique NFTs based on the Ethereum blockchain. The BAYC has partnered with A-list celebrities, famous brands and even been featured on the Wall Street Journal. What makes BAYC so contagious, who is behind the project, and what we should expect from one of the most successful NFT projects in the future? Let’s find out together.

What is The NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club

First and foremost, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is a limited collection of 10,000 street art-inspired algorithmically generated avatar NFTs. All collectibles are unique, and despite having no specific value in the real world, some of them are worth millions of dollars. Launched in April 2021 by Yuga Labs on OpenSea (the largest NFT marketplace), BAYC avatars have been getting a lot of hype recently due to their uniqueness, scarcity, and overall appeal. Shortly after the launch, all 10,000 collectibles were sold out. The Bored Ape Yacht Club mint price equaled 0.08 ETH.

What are some of the Bored Ape Yacht Club benefits? When purchasing a BAYC NFT, holders are granted access to a members-only club, which offers various perks and benefits. One of them is the so-called Bathroom, where owners can draw one pixel once every 15 minutes on a virtual bathroom wallet. Such features, as the community drawing board mentioned above, help creators maintain the popularity of the project and keep holders interested.

This is not the only beneficial feature that can be found once you purchase your Bored Ape. The project, developed and created by a bunch of talented artists, led by the leading Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Seneca, is set to change the way people look at art. While it can be hard for artists to make it big in the real world, their digital creations may receive appreciation and even set the tone for the future development of the art industry. 

Bored Ape Yacht NFT: 3 Apes

As mentioned before, there are 10,000 unique Bored Apes, and obviously, with this range of possibilities finding the one that you’d like to purchase is pretty much guaranteed. Avatars have several attributes (or possible traits) that let us distinguish them from one another: background, clothes, earrings, eyes, fur, hat, mouth. All Apes are styled differently and have diverse facial expressions. Some Apes are bought by celebrities and big brands, others are used in marketing and advertising or purchased by regular people.

Celebrities Mania Over BAYC

The NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club recent sales turnover surpassed $1 billion, thanks to the craze surrounding the project when A-list celebrities started showing interest in the NFT marketplace. 

For instance, Eminem reportedly paid $462,000 for an ape that somewhat resembles him, making it one of this one of the Bored Ape Yacht Club most expensive deals.

Eminem bayc

After purchasing the soldierly looking Ape, Eminem has also acquired the commercial rights to the said NFT. In fact, all Bored Ape NFTs collectors are free to use their digital assets for all kinds of commercial purposes. 

Rapper TakeOff has also recently joined the BAYC family. On January 7th, Migos’s member announced that he had purchased a Mutant Ape (The MUTANT APE YACHT CLUB is a collection of up to 20,000 Mutant Apes that can only be created by exposing an existing Bored Ape to a vial of MUTANT SERUM or by minting a Mutant Ape in the public sale”). Although it is unknown how much he paid for the NFT, an entry to the Bored Ape Yacht Club alone costs 71 ETH at the minimum rate. 

 

In December 2021, TakeOff launched his own NFT project ‘Apes in Space’. Initially, each of the 9,999 space-themed apes was sold for 0.3 ETH. Although the NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club price does seem a bit too high compared to other projects of the same kind, each purchase comes with an incentive. In the future, the rapper hopes to host the biggest hip-hop festival in the Metaverse, while also choosing one lucky collector to go on a space trip with TakeOff.

Jimmy Fallon is among the A-list celebrities interested in BAYC. Back in November 2021, he purchased a Bored Ape inspired by the ‘sea captain’ aesthetic at the price of $220,000.

Currently, Snoop Dogg is one of the biggest BAYC collectors. On December 21st, 2021 he tweeted:

The rapper has purchased the entire NFT package, including a Bored Ape Kennel Club NFT, which is part of another collection by Yuga Labs. Ape collectors are able to mint Dog NFTs with different attributes to add to their digital assets collection. All royalty fees made from secondary sales were donated to animal charities (2.5% royalty fee was implemented for a limited time).

In December 2021, one of the largest sportswear corporations in the world Adidas announced the brand’s partnership with the NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club. 

Bored Ape Yacht NFT

The Germany-based company purchased an ape NFT back in September for 46 ETH (roughly $156,000 at the time). The funny ape in a yellow tracksuit and heart-shaped glasses has now received the name of Indigo Herz and become a symbol for Adidas’ goal to introduce their sportswear in the digital world. Moreover, Adidas is planning to release the yellow tracksuit in physical form later this year. BAYC is part of the Adidas NFT Metaverse, and the brand says ‘this is just the beginning’ of their Metaverse journey, so fans can expect more fun projects and collaborations from BAYC and Adidas coming soon.

BAYC NFT Racism Conspiracy 

An American designer artist, programmer and, as he likes to call himself “nazi hunter”, Ryder Ripps (@ryder_ripps on Twitter) has accused Bored Ape Yacht Club creators (Yuga Labs) of using racism iconography in their work. Know Your Meme News asked Ripps to elaborate on his findings. 

In his interview with the media outlet, the artist highlights that the idea of comparing a person to a monkey is heavily based on “justify[ing] violence and racism against another group by dehumanizing them, comparing them to apes”. In his opinion, despite the fact that people have been compared to apes for many years and the idea may seem a bit too old-fashioned, Black people are still being compared to monkeys nowadays (Simianization is the special term that he uses). However, experts believe this statement does not warrant any plausible justification as the NFT collection is not specifically targeting non-white individuals of simianization. Yuga Labs proclaims:

 

Now, the next thing Ripps accused Yuga Labs of is the reference to a popular Nazi war code. He says:

“The name “Yuga Labs” seems like a reference to a Nazi/Alt-Right/Boogaloo obsession with the “Kali Yuga,” a topic covered in-depth by Nazi publication The Daily Stormer. Nazi adjacent groups often use the phrase “Surf The Kali Yuga,” code for starting a race war.”

Again, experts are quick to remind that “Yuga” is a commonly used word meaning “epoch”. The “Kali Yuga” word collaboration is reliant on the word “Kali”, which can be translated as “demon”. 

Besides, Yuga Labs founders refer to themselves as nerds and say that their search for the most fitting name led them to a villain character from Zelda:

Ripps also points out the resemblance between the BAYC’s logo and the Nazi Totenkopf emblem.

bayc

Later on the artist adds: “They have the exact same amount of teeth in the skull, I have yet to find another ape skull drawing with 18 teeth.”

In the series of defending tweets, Yuga Labs explains where the inspiration for the logo came from:

Last but definitely not least, the infamous Rolling Stone cover. Take a look:

bayc rolling stones

In one of Ripps’s tweets he wonders if Yuga Labs remembers any historic figures fond of skull hats and quickly compares the said cover to the picture of a Nazi admiral:

e2796f65b98c482250d5ee938cb73ecd8e6ba12e547fcbe03a918a8afcbff3a9.jpg

In a convincing statement, Yuga Labs elaborates on how the founders met. In fact, there are many non-white individuals on the team.

 

While some people have been releasing new evidence of Yuga Labs profiting off of the Nazi iconography, others point out how unreasonable the allegations are. Time will tell if the company will have to defend its image elsewhere or if people like Ryder Ripps are only portraying attention-seeking behavior and taking advantage of the recent NFT craze.

Is BAYC Just a Fad?

The big question everyone has been asking recently still stands - is Bored Ape Yacht club just a fad? Is it going to stay? Do you need to get on it as soon as possible? Well, it is hard to predict what the future holds, but what we are seeing today is a major win for the NFT space. The OpenSea has already generated more than $700 million in sales since the beginning of 2022, mainly thanks to the NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club & NFT Mutant Ape Yacht Club mania. 

According to the recent data by Coingecko, the current BAYC floor price equals $232,602.01 (75 ETH) and the highest sales price reached 769.0 ETH. 

bayc price

It is hard to predict the future of the NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club craze, however, it is highly unlikely that the mania is going to stop any time soon. As the number of the remaining Bored Ape NFTs is getting more scarce, their prices start to surge, which is a natural process in the industry. Brands and celebrities who have already purchased their Bored Apes may want to use them in marketing and advertising, therefore exposing the NFT market to the general public even more, which may result in the growing popularity of NFTs. With new and exciting projects coming out this year, it is important to stay up to date with the latest news on NFTs. 

FAQ

Who owns the Bored Ape Yacht Club?

Many celebrities have shown interest in purchasing a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT. Some of the most famous A-list collectors include:

  • Steve Aoki #118, #1867, #3719, #4190, #5823, #8398, #8716, #9050, #9394, Mutant Ape #17438, Mutant Ape #17439.
  • The Chainsmokers #7691.
  • E11EVEN (Miami nightclub) #11.
  • Eminem #9055.
  • Future #4672.
  • Gunna #2759.
  • Jimmy Fallon #599.
  • Lil Baby #129, Mutant Ape #10259.

What is the cheapest Bored Ape Yacht Club?

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the most prestigious and expensive NFTs on the market right now. The cheapest Bored Ape Yacht Club, according to the data from January 2022, costs 52 ETH. 

How many Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are there?

There are only 10,000 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. The increasing scarcity and uniqueness of each NFT constitute the rising cost of BAYC.

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