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Bored Ape Yacht club’s latest creation

4 min reading

Bored Ape Yacht club recently created a replica for mainstream adoption but this doesn't promise any sudden success for them.


The technology behind NFT, or irreplaceable tokens, has not changed much since the development of the ERC-721 standard, the encryption framework on which most popular crypto collectors are based. This is because the NFT is mostly a particular curiosity for crypto enthusiasts until 2021. Even with the advent of CryptoKitties in 2017, the NFT doesn't question any cultural or aesthetic reference point outside of the wider crypto ecosystem - despite it being a media link. With the success of the Bored Ape Yacht Club - a collection of crass cartoon-themed monkey images that spawned a thriving media empire over the past year - that dynamic has changed.

When digital artist Beeple helped kickstart the current NFT craze last winter, most popular NFTs on the market like Nifty Gateway and SuperRare nodded to the standard cryptomems dictionary: bitcoin, rocket ship, bull, and pepe frog. Things started to change when CryptoPunks appeared on physical billboards across America and at Christie's. We are now in the "Bored Monkey Yacht Club Era" in NFT art history. The success of BAYC led to the emergence of another collection of "10k" NFT-level themes (so named due to the limited supply of 10,000 procedurally generated images) that took the formula and started it; Lazy Lion, Cool Cat, Penguin Pudgy, and Doge Pound are some of the more expensive projects with this in mind.

Visually, everything is very similar: the shot is at a three-quarter angle, from the shoulders up. They are often duplicated as head style profile photos on social media. Post Malone, Jimmy Fallon, Lil Bab, and Steph Curry are among the most famous monkey owners today, thanks to clever celebrity promotion programs from crypto platforms like MoonPay. Last weekend, rapper Future picked up Bored Ape (also via MoonPay) and received an NFT "Doodle" from the collection's co-founders. He even tweeted, to accept, “WAGMI” or we will all be successful, the general crypto craze.

Also read: 101 Bored Apes NFT auctioned at Sotheby’s

So far it is NFT culture. Mass users with peripheral NFT knowledge don't think about Folia's generative art experiments, or Hic et Nunc's relatively diverse digital art collection, or even Meebits, a 3D NFT project by creators of CryptoPunks focused on digital minimalism. Monkeys tired of their flashy aesthetic identity and a very important aspect of their community is the plan, as has been the case for almost this year. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to doubt whether BAYC will stay on top. Crypto markets tend to move in cycles; When things suddenly collapse, a new NFT paradigm can emerge. 

Add to that the fact that Bored Ape style NFTs are almost always unattractive to look at (especially lazy lions - cool cats get passports, I think they're pretty cute). A spin-off collection from Bored Ape, called Mutant Ape Yacht Club, takes these incredible visuals to whimsical extremes. It looks like they dared to make fun of them, wondering how to spend so much money on these photos. The fact that the BAYC template creates a real cultural impact outside of crypto is why it remains so successful, and as such, will always have a place in the canon. But there is no reason to continue to dominate, to the exclusion of everything else.

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