Just when the NFT craze seemed to decelerate, an NFT from Bored Ape Yacht Club sold for over $24 million in an auction at the world-famous Sotheby’s auction house.
NFTs are not done quite yet
You would have been forgiven for thinking the sting was out of the air with NFTs. After a record-breaking summer that saw NFTs trade volumes explode across the board, Opensea, the ecosystem’s leading exchange, recorded a 50% drop in volume the first week of September. While this was still a solid increase over volumes recorded before summer, falling bitcoin and ether prices foreshadowed a temporary growth slowdown.
Don’t count NFTs out too early, though. One percent of the entire collection, a unique set of 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs sold for a stunning $24 million at Sotheby’s. The variously coloured apes, which come with a variety of facial expressions and wear different clothing and accessories, are widely considered to be one of the most desirable NFT collections on the market. However, up until now, they did not record such high prices in an open auction. Sotheby’s commented the auction to be the “most significant” Bored Ape Yacht Club sale to date.
Yuga Labs, the creator behind the artwork, started the auction and expected a price between $12 million and $18 million. Commenting on its Twitter account, the Bored Ape Yacht Club called it “a historic moment for the club” while “thanking the whole ape community.” It also addressed the buyer directly: “To the buyer, I think we speak for everybody when we say: WELCOME TO THE CLUB.”
Apes among the most popular NFTs
While the particular price point might have come as a surprise, the general direction definitely did not. The Bored Apes are regarded as one of the top NFT projects, both benefiting from being one of the early movers but also from having strong added benefits and fantastic artwork. Unlike a project like CryptoPunks, considered the top NFT project, the Bored Apes Yacht Club does not derive its value only from being a relic. While CryptoPunks have been around since 2017, the Apes were only created in 2020.
However, buyers benefit from having entry to a literally exclusive club of people. Moreover, purchasing some of the apes also comes with intellectual property rights. The auctioned collection of the 101 Bored Apes included apes with various clothing accessories, solid gold or trippy fur, unshaved faces, pizza hanging from the mouth, and others.
NFT growth unlikely to stop anytime soon
Although the main crypto assets like bitcoin and ether are struggling to cling to support levels, don’t expect NFTs to fade away easily. In fact, the emergence of new layer one blockchains that rival Ethereum in terms of popularity might give the NFT market another growth boost. NFT projects have already been popping up on Solana, Avalanche, and other blockchains. Though the market might be taking a short breather, we are likely still very early when it comes to NFT adoption.