Why Are Monkey NFTs So Expensive?

Monkey NFTs became an instant fad when the Bored Ape Yacht Club released its first set of 10,000 digital avatars in 2021. A few months later, Sotheby’s $24.4 million worth of auction for a lot of 101 of those artworks made monkey NFTs vogue. So, why are monkey NFTs so expensive? 

Monkey NFTs are so expensive due to the immense demand and enormous perceived value for the finite inventory of unique digital artworks. Since the Bored Ape Yacht Club has some celebrities as its members, its valuation has skyrocketed. 

The stupendous success of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has led to the emergence of other monkey NFTs. However, the likes of OnChainMonkey with a similar inventory size have failed to emulate BAYC’s popularity. Read on to know why monkey NFTs are so expensive. 

Reasons Monkey NFTs Are So Expensive

In April 2021, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s weeklong pre-sale was a largely uneventful affair. Then, the sale through one extraordinary night changed everything for the 4 founders and Yuga Labs. Also, the phenomenal event changed the new owners’ fortunes and the fates of NFTs.

Originally, BAYC priced their monkey NFTs at 0.08 WETH (wrapped ether) per digital artwork. At the time of writing, the lowest price for a BAYC monkey NFT is 85 WETH, or $254,399.05. This dream run is definitely based on reasons, irrespective of individual objectivity and subjectivity. 

Monkey NFTs Have an Inventory of 10,000 Unique Digital Artworks

NFTs are essentially speculative assets. While an NFT’s value isn’t related to real-world economics, the supply and demand factor plays a critical role. 

BAYC decided on a finite inventory of 10,000 unique digital artworks. The initial sale put this entire lot out for the public, except for 30 or so monkey NFTs that were reserved for the creators and founding team members. 

The finite inventory is large enough for many people to get excited about the monkey NFTs. Yet, the numbers aren’t too high to qualify as excess supply. Therefore, these monkey NFTs are undergoing what’s known as digital scarcity. 

Since these monkey NFTs are already popular, the finite inventory propels and sustains the high prices. Also, those owning the NFTs are willing to hold on to their digital assets, hoping for more appreciation. This holding is boosting the perceived value of the monkey NFTs further. 

The Rarity of Some Ape Avatars Boost the Values of Monkey NFTs

According to the Bored Ape Yacht Club founders and creators, every monkey NFT has around 170 unique characteristics. 

Many of these unique factors aren’t rare or unprecedented, such as the background colors, clothes, headwear, etc. However, some combined elements result in rare digital arts, and such avatars have almost instantly attained spectacular popularity. 

For example, some ape avatars of these monkey NFTs have quaint furs, eyes, and expressions. These characteristics fuel their demand and spike the valuation. As a passion or investment option, the traditional practice of art collection is also based on the rarity or uniqueness factors. 

Also, many people or buyers have a subjective way of assessing the uniqueness and relatability of these digital arts. Thus, it isn’t surprising that some celebrities use the monkey NFT avatars as their social media profile pictures. Such acts reinforce and boost the monkey NFTs’ values. 

Monkey NFTs Offer Ownership, Intellectual Property, and Commercial Use

The monkey NFTs of BAYC offer the rights to ownership, intellectual property, and commercial use. While the right to ownership is a given for an NFT you may buy, intellectual property or commercial use isn’t always without riders. 

For example, an artist or creator of an NFT can exercise their right and discretion to include a royalty clause while selling their digital art. 

In effect, a buyer will become the owner of the NFT, but any subsequent sale or commercial use of the digital asset must have some proceeds for the original creator. 

BAYC’s NFT doesn’t have any royalty clause. Also, only the current owner can stake a claim to the intellectual property of these monkey NFTs. Hence, the original creator or artist isn’t in the reckoning, unlike what happens with traditional collectibles, such as paintings or sculptures. 

Consider a painting by Monet or Van Gogh. You can buy one at an auction or from someone and become its owner. However, you’re still not the artist or creator because that’ll always be Monet or Van Gogh. 

In other words, you have the exclusive bragging rights for a monkey NFT you own. Also, you can explore its commercial use without paying anything for its intellectual property rights. You pay no royalty to the original creator or artist if you sell, except sales commission and taxes. 

Monkey NFT Owners Get To Join the BAYC’s Exclusive Activities 

The monkey NFTs are also the default membership access to the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

There’s no separate membership drive, application, ticket, or pass. You become a member and get access to all the exclusive activities. 

BAYC has a digital hub called Bathroom, an exclusive online community on Discord, and there are offline or real-world activities, such as their first annual fest in New York. Also, the members get exclusive access to BAYC merchandise and other privileges, such as Mutant Serum Airdrops.  

There Are Famous People in the Monkey NFTs Community

Throughout history, the perceived popularity and thus public appeal of exclusive clubs has been primarily about the profiles of their members. 

The famous BAYC members include Eminem, DJ Khaled, Mark Cuban, Logan Paul, Stephen Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, The Chainsmokers, Paris Hilton, Meek Mill, Timbaland, Post Malone, and Dez Bryant. 

Unlike the patrons of secret societies, BAYC members don’t hide their membership. Instead, you get tweets from Jimmy Fallon, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marshmello, Serena Williams, Steve Aoki, Mike Shinoda, Rich the Kid, Lil Baby, Neymar Jr., and KSI. 

Elon Musk’s tweets cause seismic swings for stocks and cryptocurrencies. You can imagine the effect of so many celebrities owning and publicly promoting these monkey NFTs. 

Many Owners of Monkey NFTs Believe in Their Speculative Assets 

Last but not least, many owners of BAYC monkey NFTs are probably expecting a significant expansion of their speculative assets and, subsequently, value appreciation. 

One of the founders of BAYC, Gordon Goner (real name: Wylie Aronow), communicates with the members regularly and shares updates about their overall and upcoming plans. The monkey NFTs already have a supplement asset in the form of Mutant Serums. 

Thus, most people following the BAYC journey are bullish about the perceived value or potential growth and expansion of these speculative assets in time. One glimpse of the bids for these monkey NFTs on sites like OpenSea reinforces the public’s perception of popularity and value. 

At the time of writing, the #648 monkey NFT of BAYC is poised at 18,880 ETH or ~$55.7 million on OpenSea. This exorbitant bid is an outlier, but there are thousands of other monkeys NFTs, each selling for what’s a fortune for a supermajority of our species. 

Final Thoughts

The future is unpredictable. But the phenomenally expensive monkey NFTs of Bored Ape Yacht Club will unlikely plunge unless the demands plummet. 

Also, NFTs aren’t a traditional asset or investment backed by the values of real commodities or economic factors. 

Thus, a perceived valuation of monkey NFTs is entirely in the realm of speculation and what people want to pay. 


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