The original title ：《 Why did ape avatars sweep twitter ？ Look at what the project founder said 》
Ape as Cryptopunk After that, the hottestAvatar project , Sweeping twitter , Recently officially confirmed , About to go to Christie's auction . Why can a picture sell at a sky high price , It's art ？ Or financial speculation ？ still ？
BAYC Founder gegwu （Gargamel） say , The sense of community has been missing on the Internet .” We hope your ape is your digital identity ”. It's a collection , Not on the wall or on a shelf , Instead, it is filled in small squares or circles in the screen space , This should represent your self .
Co founder gunner （Goner） say ：” Anything people create with their apes will only make the brand grow . Just as Silicon Valley startups are obsessed with “ Scalable software ”, Serve more users with exponential growth ,NFT The goal of the club is “ Scalable culture ”; Like open source software , Their cultural creation can be organically expanded through the efforts of many users , While maintaining identifiability , Form a myth of user production .
The author of this article recorded the creative process by interviewing the project Creator , At the same time, he wrote down a number of BAYC Collectors' collection motivation and feelings , It can intuitively show us the story of the first civilian global tribe in the meta universe .
Source images courtesy Bored Ape Yacht Club
Bored Ape Yacht Club（ abbreviation BAYC, Boring ape Yacht Club ） On 4 Month launch , It's a strange combination , It is an online community with a threshold , Another stock holding group , Art appreciation Association .
NFT The club's popularity in the domestic foreign currency circle is rising , They are just another gimmick of getting rich , It also represents the direction of cultural progress ？
On social media , The agreement is fragile , The alliance is short-lived . It's good to be as sensational as possible – Conflict brings more traffic than politeness or cooperation . however ,5 At the beginning of , Orlando, Florida 25 Kyle, a 20-year-old clothing dealer - Swenson （Kyle Swenson） Notice that the tone on Twitter has changed . He watched more and more accounts and replaced their avatars with cartoon apes ： An ape with sunglasses or rabbit ears , Apes with leopard print or rainbow fur , An ape smoking a cigar or with laser eyes . Many people are indifferent , Or show your teeth , Some people still have cigarettes in their mouths , Or red eyes , It's like being drunk with ecstasy . stayIn the chaotic jungle , The apes huddled together , Greet each other , Emotional calm . These avatars come from a man named Bored Ape Yacht Club Website . This site is located at 4 month 30 Officially launched on , Provide 10000 unique cartoon primate images as NFT sell , Each price is about 200 dollar , With ETH Payment settlement . An ape NFT” You can be a member of your ape Club ”, The website advertises under an illustration of a dilapidated wooden building that , There are strings of colorful lights hanging on it .
Within one day of release , Ten thousand ” Boring ape Yacht Club ” All the pictures are sold out .5 month 3 Japan , When Swenson decided to buy one , He was in NFT market OpenSea Paid about 1700 dollar . His ape has an avant-garde appearance – Sailor hat 、 Plaid Shirt 、 Down vest –“ Similar to the way I like to dress ” Swenson said . A few weeks later , He bought another one . He has traded before NBA Top Shots, namely NFT Form of basketball game highlights video , But this time it feels more meaningful .” This is a kind of FOMO psychology ,” He told me ,“ I observed , A lot of things I care about very much NBA Top Shots Old players changed their twitter avatar into an ape .” matt - Garrigan is a family called XMTP Co founder and CEO of cryptocurrency information network , He successfully purchased four apes during the initial sale , He told me ：“ This becomes a symbol of some kind of identity , It's kind of like wearing a fancy watch or a rare pair of sneakers .”
Source images Bored Ape Yacht Club
Compared with the previous NFT Avatar project ,BAYC Created rich and detailed images , These images come from the personal taste of its founder .
BAYC The first batch NFT Sales revenue exceeds 200 Thousands of dollars . thereafter , The transaction volume of this series has almost reached 1 Billion dollars , The cheapest apes often sell for nearly 14000 dollar . In recent months , The project has inspired a wave of similar club projects and encryption enthusiasts to NFT Avatar mania . Collectors can Cool Cats The company buys cute cartoon cats , The company is in 7 month 1 Thousands of their own NFT, And sold out soon .( Boxer Tyson has a head as his own ). They can learn from Fame Lady Squad Buy angular science fiction girls , from SupDucks Buy punk ducks , from BYOPills Buy pills for 3D rendering , from The Doge Pound Buy your own MEME Firewood dog , And from Zenft Garden Society Buy bonsai trees . New projects are launched every week , Promote their products on twitter , Twitter is the main public place for cryptocurrency speech , All hope to sell all NFT.“ Everyone saw the success of the ape , And quickly give up their original projects ”, London based curatorial consulting firm Electric Artefacts The founder of Aleksandra Artamonovskaja（ He has bought and sold some NFT Head portrait ） say ,” I trade on the Internet jpeg Pictures to pay my rent . This is what I told my parents .”
Every avatar club is a strange combination , It is an online community with a threshold , Another stock holding group , Art appreciation Association . When an ape （ Or cats or pills or aliens ） When bought at a high price , This set of NFT The value of all 10000 genuine products increases , Just as the record price of a painting at auction may increase the value of an artist's overall work . When a buyer puts his Twitter The avatar becomes a new NFT Club pictures , This is an identification mark , It's also a signal , Let other buyers of the club follow him on social media .(“ I changed the picture to an ape , There were hundreds on the first day Twitter fans ”, Swenson said .) The center of most clubs is Discord, That is, a real-time chat application .BAYC Of Discord Server has more than 13000 people – Fans and NFT holder – And in #crypto-talk and #sports-bar And other channels continue to initiate various discussions . Through this social and financial joint investment , Club members have formed a unique connection in the endless noise of the Internet .
Drew - Austin （Drew Austin） Tell me ：” When everyone participates in the game , There will be a new dynamic balance mechanism , Not everyone can express what they want at will 、 Criticize everything but bear no consequences ”. He is a technology investor , Have three apes , And share two other .BAYC The founder said , This sense of community has been missing on the Internet . Contrary to their reputation for superfluous sex ,NFT Can help fill this gap .” We hope your ape is your digital identity ”, One of the founders, gegwu, told me in a recent video chat . It's a collection , Not on the wall or on a shelf , Instead, it is filled in small squares or circles in the screen space , This should represent your self .
Gegwu and his co-founder Gordon - Gona （ Both use pseudonyms ） It's unlikely to be a technical manager . Founder BAYC Before , Gegwu is a writer and editor . Gunner is planning to take a master of Arts Course , But I'm sick , Switch to cryptocurrency day trading . These two people in their thirties , yes ” Literary nerd ”, According to gegwu , He wears wire frame glasses , With a carefully trimmed goatee . They grew up in Miami , I met when I was drinking in a bar ten years ago . Gunner has a tattoo on his chest , He told me ,” We're David - Foster - Wallace's problem made a big noise ”.
At the beginning of the year , When gegwu and gunner start brain violence NFT Project time , Avatar club is a new trend . Gegwu and gunner are right CryptoPunks Familiar with , This is a group of 10000 pixel characters , stay 2017 In, a company named LarvaLabs After the release of the company , Become NFT Blue chip art in the market .CryptoPunks, Now each can be sold 20 Thousands of dollars , It wasn't the foundation of the social avatar club at first , But some collectors （ Include Jay-Z） Use them as avatars — Will a NFT Set as profile avatar or ”P.F.P.” To show off , It's the number NFT The ultimate symbol of .” Austin, who has two apes, said ：” It was like NFT There is a Harvard degree in the world ”. Gegwu and gunner also noticed Hashmasks The success of the , This is an art enterprise , Sold in January 16,384 Zhang NFT Images , The total value exceeds 1600 Thousands of dollars . Both projects are closed systems , Their developers didn't promise in the initial 、 There are no extensions beyond limited releases . Gegwu and gunner seek a solution that they can develop over time . Gegwu said ：” We see the opportunity to make projects with a larger story arc .
One of their early thoughts was CryptoCuties, A group of NFT” Girl friend ”, But it makes them feel too vulgar , Not to mention creepy .( The male dominated crypto world sometimes feels like a brotherhood ; The creator of a recent project has blackened his eyes 、 The image of a woman whose mouth is sealed with tape has attracted criticism , Then he apologized ) Another concept is a shared digital canvas ： Anyone can draw on it . But it seems easy to be used as the toilet wall of a small bar . Gegwu said ：” The first thing some people have to do is draw a chicken ”. however , The image of the small bar deeply attracted the couple , And thus formed a science fiction story line . This is a year 2031 year , Early investors in cryptocurrencies have become billionaires .” Now they're just fucking bored . What are you doing? , Your wealth is beyond your wildest dreams ？” Gunner said ,” You're going to play with a group of apes in the club , Funny .” Why ape man ？ In cryptocurrency , Risk a lot of money to buy a new currency or NFT, go by the name of “ape in”.” We happen to like apes, too ”, Gunner told me .
Source images Bored Ape Yacht Club
BAYC Members get the commercial rights of their avatars .” cofounder Gordon Goner say ：” Anything people create with their apes will only make the brand grow .
Until then , Avatar projects tend to use low resolution , Usually a pixelated image , have 8 The style of grid animation game . Whether it's people 、 Monkey or ghost , These images are quite common . by comparison ,BAYC Starting from the personal taste of the founder , Created rich and detailed avatars .Bored Ape YachtClub（ An ironic title ） It's set up to evoke places like Churchill's bar , Churchill bar is an old Miami music place frequented by gegwu and gunner .” We are deeply influenced by the hard core of the 1980s 、 punk rock 、 Inspired by hip hop in the 1990s ,” Gunner said .” We always call ourselves NFT Of theBeastie Boys”. From the end of the world on its website tiki From the scene of the bar to the cheerful style of the ape itself ,BAYC It feels more like a 3A Class video game , Not an isolated one NFT Combine . Complex visual effects 、 Subculture fashion accessories （Hot Topic Shadow ） Description of literature and art , send BAYC To some extent, it has become the statistical group image of the encryption circle .“ We learn from Hemingway's Iceberg Theory ”, Gegwu told me ,”10% Visible at the top , All scaffolds are built below ”.
Gegwu and gunner invited two other friends , They are No Sass and Emperor Tomato Ketchup Named programmer , Handle the necessary blockchain programming . For the art resources of the project , They hired professional illustrators , This accounts for a large part of their upfront costs （ According to the group , About forty thousand dollars ）. Like many avatar clubs , The characteristics of the cartoon ape are then input into an algorithm program , The program randomly generates thousands of unique bodies 、 Head 、 An image of a combination of hats and clothes , Like a doll dressed in numbers . Some of the characteristics – Arcuate hair 、 Laser eye 、 robe – Only a few people , Make apes with these characteristics more popular , Therefore, it is more valuable . Every picture is hidden until the first wave of collectors pay , So buying a picture is a bit like playing a slot machine – Get an ape with the correct arrangement of characteristics , You can make a huge profit by reselling it . It's also a bit like participating in a multi-level marketing plan . Usually , A few cryptocurrency enthusiasts buy hundreds of each NFT, Then sell their stock when prices rise ; We must constantly find new collectors , To benefit former collectors .
a large number of NFT Project failed , Or there is no secondary market at all . The creator already knows ”rug-pull”, Give up Adventure , Abscond with the collector's money .ElectricArtefacts The founder of Artamonovskaja speculation ,BoredApe Yacht Club The reason why we succeed , Because it's relatively easy to get . She told me ：” No one can afford it CryptoPunk”. Apes seem to be the next best buy –“ A cool Avatar , The price is also reasonable ”.Artamonovskaja Soon after its launch, it was about 1500 Bought an ape for $ , She regrets it now ; Same ape （ Wearing BAYC Brand baseball cap , There is a feeling of popular punk ） At present, it is taking up to 12000 It's sold in dollars .
For net income from first sales 200 For the $million founder , Release new NFT It's no different from printing money . The cute and silly image covers up the huge amount of money . Investor Austin told me , The way he buys avatars is like ” Trying to close a risky deal , This is very interesting. , Because what I see is a damn boring ape .” For all that , Gunner told me , He and other founders were reluctant to regard these apes as ” Investment tools ”. He added ：” If you think from the perspective of artists and geeks running hedge funds , That'll give us a heart attack .”
Like many crowdfunding projects , Every NFT The founders of the club provide a copy of the contract to potential buyers before launching ” The roadmap ”, Explain what they will do with the money raised . They promised to provide YouTube channel , Donate to charity , Provide additional... For collectors NFT And physical goods .BAYC Brand baseball caps have been sold , Donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the ape reserve , And provide each collector with a dog's NFT（BAKC）, Provided by the boring ape Dog Club . But it was also one of the first clubs to provide individual buyers with the commercial rights of apes they owned ： Each member is allowed to brand their own projects or products , And sell them independently . Three months after the establishment of the club , Ape owners put these cartoon primates on the production line of refined beer , Created YouTube Series animation , Made painted copies , A skateboard deck is designed . Clothing dealer Kyle - Swenson (Kyle Swenson) We have launched a book called 《 Boring ape 》 The publication of , To cover the community . One holder named their ape ”Jenkins the Valet”, Give him a background story as the main gossip of the yacht club , And is crowding for a novel with an ape theme .(NFT It's not completely safe – Ownership is represented by only one line of code on the blockchain , In theory, anyone can copy an ape image and use it as a head . But the club regulates this misappropriation .” Encryption push has this understanding ： You just don't steal other people's avatars ,”Artamonovskaja Tell me ）
For most brands that produce culture , Whether it's Supreme Street dress 、Marvel Superhero Movie , Or pop music , The free flow of intellectual property is prohibited ; Exclusivity is a business model . by comparison ,BAYC The founders see their openness as an asset .” Gunner said ：” Anything people create with their apes will only make the brand grow . Just as Silicon Valley startups are obsessed with ” Scalable software ”, Serve more users with exponential growth ,NFT The goal of the club is to expand the culture ; Like open source software , Their cultural creation can be organically expanded through the efforts of many users , While maintaining identifiability , Form a myth of user production . Now defunct social networks Vine Co-founder of 、NFT Club Project Blitmap The creator of the Dom Hofmann Tell me ：” This is a bet on an idea , That is, over time , Fans may know , What is best for the universe they care about .” Investor Austin envisioned the boring ape yacht club as the future ” Decentralized Disney ”.
In a way , It is this possibility that makes buying NFT The people at the club are so eager ： Buying a popular new avatar may be like getting a small part of the rights of the next Mickey Mouse . however , For inspiration BAYC Of Cryptopunk Come on , Becoming too expensive is considered a deviation from the original intention . What makes a group cool , What makes it rich , There is not necessarily a unified answer . Garrigan, the founder of the startup, kept two of his four boring apes , One of them is a creature wearing a small hat and heart-shaped Sunglasses , Set as his current Twitter Head portrait .” The more status related it is , The less I want to keep it ”, Garrigan said ,” If the only purpose of a club is ’ Rise in price '”– The cry of cryptocurrency for rising prices –“ that , This is a little inferior .”
author ：Kyle Chayk
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