Yuga To Be Kidding Me

Market Meditations | May 3, 2022

Since Yuga Labs launched the mint of the Bored Ape Yacht Club just over a year ago, the founders have been building an empire and the holders have enjoyed a rocket ride in price and perks – but not everyone’s happy:

  • Yuga Labs are aiming for the ecosystem trifecta: NFTs, governance token, and metaverse. After launching ApeCoin six weeks ago, their latest step was to open the public mint for land plots in “Otherside”.
  • The metaverse is being developed with Animoca Brands, the developers of Sandbox. A teaser video was released in March, which suggested compatibility with a range of other (pricey) NFT collections, such as Meebits, World of Women, CryptoPunks and Cryptoadz.
  • Land plots were sold at 305 ApeCoin each, equivalent to ~$6000-7000. Based on the mint price and secondary market trading Yuga Labs raised about $300 million in 24 hours!
  • There was naturally a surge in ApeCoin purchases at the end of April, with the price peaking at ~$26. It has since crashed 40% post-mint, leading to this wry observation from Cobie.
  • Minters also paid ~$100 million in gas fees due to network congestion, leading to an apology and a promise to refund users whose transactions failed. One commentator noted that three simple gas optimsations in the minting contract could’ve saved ~80% of fees.

Having generated a lot of attention this past year, Yuga Labs are no doubt doing great things for the space. But the biggest winners are the original BAYC holders, with mints like this reinforcing the notion that it is mainly the already-wealthy that continue to reap the benefits.