Bored Ape mania engulfs NFT market as corporates move in
Over the past few months, nothing has been the same as it once was.
Whether it is the change in the business and private lives of those who have had to adapt to come to terms with lockdowns and the ensuing move online of pretty much every aspect of life from social circles to business meetings and from buying groceries to ordering consumer durables.
Nowadays, for example, 96% of all new cars are bought online without a visit to the showroom, let alone a test drive.
It is fair to say that everything is different these days, and perhaps one of the most notably different dynamics is that which has engulfed the art scene.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) got off to a steady start, and were regarded as outlandish and bizarre, however a new direction has come about recently, and it is catching the attention of senior executives in large fintech companies.
We have seen the meme stock short, which back in January caused the traditional financial markets participants to look closely at what they can do to accommodate a new wave of influencers who have been able to move entire markets via discussions on community boards and Reddit subgroups, mostly to no avail, and we have seen the huge influx of new companies onto stock exchanges, mostly the tech-friendly NASDAQ via Special Purchase Acquisition Companies or SPACS as they are known.
Influencing has been part of the attraction to cryptocurrency investing and trading since its dawn over 10 years ago, so whilst the meme stock short with GameStop and AMC back in January 2021 was a shock to the conventional financial markets companies and stock brokers, that type of community-led environment is part and parcel of the attraction of decentralized finance (DeFi) and in particular, cryptocurrency trading.
In the summer, cryptocurrency’s theme-driven moment appeared in the form of NFTs, favored by artists who put reproducible digital figures into these tokens which allow unique and non-interchangeable units of data stored on a digital ledger.
At first, some of these artworks were for sale at high values, but the NFT world had remained a fringe area until now.
The amusingly named Bored Ape Yacht Club is now becoming an almost institutional NFT, which perhaps would seal the future of NFTs as something that can be bigger than just a speculative method for artists to sell their wares.
Over the weekend, one of the Chief Executives of a large, multi-million dollar financial services institutions changed his Twitter profile character to a cartoon of the ‘Bored Ape’ figurine from Bored Ape Yacht Club, and tweeted that he had bought in by purchasing one such token with attributes including Gray Background which is as per 12% of all Bored Apes, a Smoking Jacket as worn by 2% of all Bored Apes, Coin Eyes, sported by 5% of all Bored Apes, Brown Fur, depicted on 14% of all Bored Apes and the Horns Hat as per 3% of all Bored Apes.
Given the popularity of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and that it is a relatively large collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs which are digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain, it could almost be considered a meme in its own right.
We all remember the ‘Crazy Frog’ videos back in the days when nobody owned a smartphone let alone had even dreamed of digital currencies. The difference is that back then, those internet themes were just a method of gaining a small amount of advertising revenue, or to create some revenue by influencing the mood of society.
Nowadays, NFTs with figures such as Bored Ape are being looked at in the same way that expensive art is viewed, only from the perspective of successful entrepreneurs, fintech moguls and leaders of multi-national technology businesses.
Once again, the finite number of collectibles available and the on-chain structure has given these items massive appeal, demonstrating that once again, it is clear that DeFi is the way forward in many areas of how today’s world operates.