Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital assets built and stored on the blockchain representing anything from art, music, and other physical items. As cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology gained traction and popularity in 2020 and into 2021, the NFT market started gaining recognition because of their main selling point: their uniqueness.
Consequently, artists and blockchain enthusiasts created thousands of NFTs within several months and sold them via NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea. One of the most popular NFTs is the Bored Ape collection built by Yuga Labs. Collectively, the Bored Ape collection has sold for millions of dollars.
This article will examine the history, features, and sale of the most expensive Bored Ape NFT, the Bored Ape #8817. Read on for more details.
Quick Facts About the Most Expensive Bored Ape
|Collection Number||Bored Ape #8817|
|Sale Date||October 26, 2021|
|Mouth||Bored party horn|
Unique Features of the Most Expensive Bored Ape
As noted, NFTs became popular for their uniqueness. However, the Bored Ape collection consisted of ten thousand unique NFTs, which presented a dilemma to its creators: how do you ensure the items in the collection grow in value? The Bored Ape collection developer decided to add a layer of complexity to the NFTs.
Each Bored Ape NFT contains the image of an ape. However, they all have different features that help guarantee their uniqueness and ability to maintain and grow in value. The features include the background, appearance, clothes, eyes, mouth, earrings, fur, and hat.
More than one Bored Ape NFT can share a single feature; however, no two Bored Apes share all seven features. Consequently, the system created unique NFTs, making some NFTs rarer than others.
Bored Ape #8817 is not the rarest NFT in the collection. However, some of its traits are rare within the collection. Rarity Tools, one of the more popular NFT ranking tools, considers Bored Ape #8817 the sixteenth rarest NFT in the Bored Ape collection, with a rarity score of 272.92.
Firstly, Bored Ape #8817 has seven features similar to 18.83%, or 1,883, other NFTs in the collection. The features include an orange background which it shares with 12.73%, or 1,273, other NFTs in the collection, and a silver hoop earring, like 8.82%, or 882, other NFTs in the collection. Bored Ape #8817 also has sleepy eyes, like 7.51%, or 751, different pieces of art in the collection, and wears a wool turtleneck similar to 2.4%, or 240, other Bored Apes.
The NFT’s rarer features include wearing a spinner hat like 181 other Bored Apes and having a bored party horn in its mouth, similar to 0.88%, or 88, other Apes in the collection. Lastly, Bored Ape #8817’s most unique feature is its solid gold fur which it only shares with 46 other Bored Apes, equivalent to 0.46% of the collection.
History of Its Creation
Bored Ape #8817 and other pieces in the collection were created in early 2021. The creators then used the company Yuga Labs to launch the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection. The Bored Ape collection began as an idea shared by friends who initially used their aliases: Gargamel and Gordon Goner.
They wanted to create a digital canvas where buyers could sketch their art. Given their lack of programming knowledge, they brought in two programmers who used their aliases: No Sass and Emperor Tomato Ketchup.
The programmers would be responsible for building the Bored Ape Yacht Club on the Ethereum blockchain, despite having minimal experience writing blockchain codes. The next step was determining the appearance of NFT avatars. Eventually, the team settled on the image of an ape to portray the NFT collection.
According to Gordon Goner, the group agreed on the ape because of its relative significance in the NFT or cryptocurrency world. NFT and crypto traders use the phrase “aping in” to refer to spending a substantial amount of money to buy a crypto asset without regard for the inherent risks associated with the investment.
The next step was looking for talent to design the unique appearances of each Bored Ape. Among the first people hired was pseudonymous artist All Seeing Seneca, who became the lead designer.
She designed the Ape’s body and oversaw a team of illustrators, who created other aspects of the Apes, including the backgrounds, clothing, accessories, and facial expressions. The result was 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs, including #8817.
About the Bored Ape Creators
As noted, creating Bored Ape NFTs was a team effort that brought together founders, programmers, and graphic designers. However, the founders were responsible for the original idea and deserve special recognition.
The four BAYC founders were Gargamel, Gordon Goner, No Sass, and Emperor Tomato Ketchup. For the club’s first year, the founders went only by pseudonyms. However, in February 2022, the public learned the government names of Gargamel and Gordon Goner.
Gargamel’s real name is Greg Solano, while Gordon Goner’s real name is Wylie Aronow. In addition, No Sass and Emperor Tomato Ketchup were later identified as Zeshan Ali and Kerem Atalay, respectively.
Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow have known each other for over ten years, having met at a bar. They both grew up in Miami, Florida. Greg Solano’s background in the public domain is scarce; however, we know he is a writer and editor.
On the other hand, Wylie Aronow is the son of Donald Aronow, a well-known boat designer and builder in the 1980s. Wylie intended to join an M.F.A program; however, he became sick before enrolling and shifted his focus to the crypto world.
The founders have maintained control of BAYC’s parent company, Yuga Labs, Inc. They have expanded the brand by introducing other NFTs and buying established NFT collections.
Auction Process of the Most Expensive Bored Ape
Before we delve into the details concerning the auction that saw Bored Ape #8817 sell for a record price, let us look at the NFT’s transaction history. The Bored Ape collection officially launched in April 2021. Initially, there was little interest in NFTs.
However, the situation changed after personalities known to be bullish about the NFT market started buying huge chunks of the collection and announcing the purchases via their social media accounts. They included the mysterious NFT collector Pranksy and Jimmy McNelis, who uses the pseudonym j1mmyeth.
Both collectors’ involvement sparked the general public’s interest, resulting in the collection selling out in less than a day. After the launch, j1mmyeth owned numerous Bored Ape NFTs, including the one highlighted in this article, #8817.
As digital art gained more legitimacy among collectors, traditional art marketplaces like Sotheby’s and Christie’s wanted to share in the NFT boom. As a result, Sotheby’s became the preferred auction house for Bored Ape NFTs. The auction house hosted several bidding sessions in 2021, including selling 101 Bored Ape NFTs in September 2021.
The auctioning of Bored Ape #8817 was perfectly timed by the piece’s owner and the auctioning house. Two other Bored Apes, #2087 and #8585, had just sold for over $2 million in September and October 2021, respectively. That meant there was a high chance #8817 would fetch a similar price due to its rarity.
The auctioneer and owner were proved correct when, on the 26th of October, 2021, an anonymous collector, Rhincodon, bid $3,408,000 for #8817, making it the most expensive Bored Ape in the world. Rhincodon would then reveal himself to be crypto investor Brandon Buchanan in an interview with HypeBeast about a month after putting in the winning bid.
NFTs are a relatively young asset class in the financial system. However, they have quickly grown to become some of the most sought-after investment opportunities globally. NFT creators have seen the opportunities and are tapping into the demand by creating unique offerings that will attract investors and retain value.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is one such offering. Initially selling for several hundred dollars per NFT, today, each Bored Ape costs hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars depending on their level of rarity. That is a sign that NFTs and NFT collections are here to stay, despite the legitimacy questions thrown around by critics. Crypto asset investors must keep track of ongoing developments in the industry.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©mundissima/Shutterstock.com.