In the world of NFTs, the name Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) continues to make headlines for innovations in both the nature of non-fungible token art as well as the crypto experience in general.
BAYC has mutated–literally as well as figuratively–after a fashion and now in addition to the Bored Apes, you also have the ability to compete to buy NFTs as part of the project called Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC).
A Very Brief History Of Bored Ape Yacht Club
Bored Ape Yacht Club started in 2021 by four people offering a Bored Ape NFT (the sale price then was .08 ETH). That happened in April. By the time September 2021 rolled around Bored Ape NFTs were selling to the tune of more than $24 million.
That’s not the only indicator of how popular Bored Apes became; some 10,000 of them were listed for sale at one point. All of them were sold out about an hour later for roughly $100 million.
What Is The Mutant Ape Yacht Club?
Mutant Apes were, apparently, always part of the Bored Ape Yacht Club plan. It’s just that their release was dependent on sales of the BAYC NFTs–once they reached a pre-determined point, the mutations would begin selling, too.
MAYC NFTs are basically a variant of the Bored Apes, which are digital cartoon renderings of characters with ape features. Think about the U.K. cartoon band Gorillaz and you will get a basic idea of what the art looks like in terms of the overall style and technical approach to the artwork.
That said, Mutant Apes and Bored Apes alike have their own distinctive visual style and are not copies of that band’s look.
MAYC NFTs are different–there’s an innovation happening here that makes these digital collectibles rarer and more lustworthy even if it’s just for the novelty of what we’re about to explain below.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs are different because they require some specific things:
- You must own a Bored Ape NFT and “mutate” it with another NFT (the “serum”) to create a new NFT OR,
- You must either mine or mint one without using “serum”
Not all Mutant Apes use or require serum–some are released already mutated, while others must be “treated” with the serum to create a new hybrid or mutant NFT made from owning a Bored Ape NFT, purchasing a serum, and using the serum to create the new Mutant Ape NFT. When the serum is used, it is essentially a burned NFT at that stage and cannot be reused.
That creates a level of scarcity and demand for the serum and for the mutated NFTs that serum produces. And some entrepreneurial types may choose to buy Bored Apes and Serum but never use the two together–you can always sell or trade them individually among other collectors.
How Much Does Serum Cost?
Remember our discussion about the original Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs selling for millions? The serum you need to mutate a BAYC NFT has sold in the past for nearly $6 million. And that purchase had some competition–it wasn’t a case of a single person being willing to part with just shy of $6 million in real money for a digital cartoon.
The next highest bid? It came in at $5.76 million.
The serums available for sale are described as “rare” and have a high price tag as we have explored above. But it’s important to remember that the definition of “rare” in this case simply refers to something that is produced in low quantities compared to the high price point assigned to the commodity.
Demand, Scarcity, and Risk
The rules of scarcity and demand apply in the purchase and collection of NFTs as well as any other collectible such as vinyl records, Beanie Babies, Magic: The Gathering Cards and others.
The public at large won’t have the same level of interest in a Beanie Baby or an individual vinyl record. Even though among collectors these items may fetch absurd prices, the average shopper won’t stop on the sidewalk to pick up a rare Magic playing card–they might not even know what it is.
Compare that to a coin made of gold or silver; there is inherent value in these objects due to their materials. A silver dollar’s silver content (depending on when it was minted) will be worth whatever the equivalent amount of silver is on the market.
Not so with an NFT, which is literally only worth whatever the buyer is willing to pay. That is the major difference in NFTs compared to collecting coins, for example, If the bottom drops out of the NFT market, it might drop out for good. Precious metals, not so much.
We mention this because it’s easy to get caught up in a collector’s frenzy, but it is crucial to make informed choices about your investments and collections.
It’s true that a physical painting may be as ephemeral where it comes to investor demand as non-fungible token artwork, but unlike NFTs, some physical artwork DOES have more inherent value due to age, materials, demand, and other factors and some of that is impressed on the artwork by central authorities who appraise and value such physical work.
There are no physical appraisals possible with an NFT nor is there a central body or a group of entities that has a gatekeeping function for the artwork.
NFTs are pure supply and demand. Those who don’t have an issue with this reality are free to make informed investments and purchases–but those who do NOT understand this aspect of buying and selling art (and NFT art) can’t make a truly informed choice at transaction time.
Mutant Ape/Bored Ape Tracker & Map
Curious to find out if a Bored Ape has been mutated or where a Mutant Ape came from? Use bayc.fungibleswap.com or mutants.fancyrats.io to map back to the original Bored Ape that a Mutant Ape originated from and vice versa.
Joe Wallace has covered real estate and financial topics, including crypto and NFTs since 1995. His work has appeared on Veteran.com, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and many print and online publications. Joe is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.