Bored Ape Yacht Club and its creators Yuga Labs have been criticized harshly and repeatedly. They go on regardless ?
The most successful NFT collectibles project not only became the first target for all NFT sector attacks (price of success ?), it also got caught into some very Ape-specific controversies.
Among other things, BAYC has been accused of:
– getting too corporate by raising $450 million with A16z;
– getting greedy and supporting ApeCoin and ApeDAO as a way to get easy money;
– poorly handling of Otherdeeds mint, which has made Ethereum fees spike sometimes as high as 2ETH (Yuga Labs reimbursed users who spent gas on fees, but couldn’t mint);
– using the minting controversy to push for the creation of its own blockchain;
– poorly protecting its Discord channel, hacked on two occasion and scamming people out of hundreds of ethers ;
– hiding Nazi symbolism into its artworks (vehemently denied)…
Most critics, however, narrow down to one question: do BAYC NFTs have a real utility, or is the project built on pure speculation and hype?
This question is difficult to answer, especially considering that hype is one of the value propositions of a BAYC NFT, which could be used by its owner not only to get to fancy Yuga Labs parties, but also to receive some very concrete commercial profit coming from the notoriety that goes with BAYC image.
? The examples include an Ape-themed restaurant, a brewery, lending out an Ape for a virtual music band… even though they are still quite marginal and most BAYC owners are believed to be there for speculation.
With the future metaverse that Yuga Labs is building, a wider range of possibilities can open to the owners of BAYC and its ecosystem NFTs, mostly in the gaming domain. Until then, however, the brand must stay relevant and cool, and it can do so thanks to celebrity Ape owners.
Last week saw another piece of quality Ape content, and not just from anyone: Eminem and Snoop Dogg released a music video featuring their Ape avatars ?
However one might feel about the ageing rap icons (and rap in general), these two artists are followed by hundreds of millions of fans, and they have just boosted the BAYC exposure, adding to the value of its image.
It might be too early to say with a 100% certainty whether BAYC is an elaborate way to lure people into spending money on useless Jpegs, or a far-reaching project building the future of crypto entertainment.
We do enjoy the music video though.