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Published on January 31, 2023

A Complete Guide To Yuga Labs and the Bored Ape Yacht Club

Everything you need to know about Yuga Labs and the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) ecosystem — Mutants, Kennel Club, $APE.

9 min read

How can a digital monkey be worth so much money? It’s a question that’s been asked countless times since Yuga Labs launched the hyper-successful Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection in April 2021.
Since then, the cartoon apes have surged to be one of the globe’s most famous and well-known NFTs.
Even amid a sustained crypto slump that dragged on for many months, one BAYC NFT sold for $609,000 in mid-January 2022. The first BAYC NFT game costs more than $2,300 for three weeks of play.
Here’s how Yuga Labs and BAYC became some of the crypto world’s most prominent players.

What Is Bored Ape Yacht Club?

BAYC NFTs are the brainchild of Yuga Labs, a blockchain technology company founded in February 2021.
Incorporated in the state of Delaware, Yuga launched the BAYC mint on April 23rd, 2021, with an initial mint price of just 0.08 ETH. During the initial mint, buyers purchased mystery boxes with an NFT ape and did not know what design they bought. Despite the mysterious element, the initial mint netted Yuga Labs around $2,000,000.
Subsequent hype propelled the collection to immense popularity.
By August 2021, the NFTs were selling at a 44 ETH (about $137,000) floor price. Prices continued to rise as BAYC sparked a cultural renaissance that attracted those previously unfamiliar with crypto. In November 2021, Jimmy Fallon announced a BAYC purchase on Twitter and asked followers to “name my ape.” Weeks later Eminem purchased a BAYC NFT for around $462,000.
Overall, the entire collection features 10,000 digital works depicting apes in various creative and unique designs inspired by elements from the punk, hip-hop, and hardcore music scenes mixed with the vibe of Miami, Florida.
The fictional saga of Bored Ape Yacht Club begins in the year 2031, a decade after crypto devoured the world economy. In this fictional narrative, investors who “aped in” or bought digital assets a decade earlier, found themselves wildly enriched. But with too much time (and money) on their hands, these ‘Bored Apes’ desperately ached for community and purpose. Ultimately, the yacht club was born: a swanky, swampy place for these crypto billionaires to come together.
In fact, a real-world ‘yacht club’ is one of the main reasons BAYC grew to be one of the NFT world’s most famous projects. NFT buyers gain exclusive access to an exclusive online community, limited edition BAYC merch, and special real-world events.
Late October 2021 featured BAYC’s first-ever ‘Ape Fest,’ with an exclusive party for NFT holders on a 1,000-person yacht. Featuring celebrities like Kygo and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, tickets were free for Bored Ape and Mutant Ape (MAYC) holders on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Glimpses into some of BAYC merch drops reveal an array of shirts, hoodies, blankets, and soccer jerseys that are available for BAYC and MAYC holders to purchase with the native $ApeCoin.
BAYC holders maintain full commercialization rights to their NFTs, meaning they can leverage the digital asset as a monetization tool, and have access to ‘The Bathroom,’ a collaborative crypto-focused art experience.

Who Created The Bored Ape Yacht Club?

Yuga is the creation of two friends originally known by their pseudonyms ‘Gargamel and Gordon Goner.’
In February 2022, BuzzFeed News reported on the identities of two key founders, Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow. The news outlet said they uncovered how Yuga Labs’ incorporation information was linked to an address associated with Solano. A University of Virginia graduate, Solano has a background as an editor and book critic.
Aronow also reportedly had literary aspirations, but the duo decided to work together to build an NFT collection after partnering with two engineers to launch the BAYC collection. Other BAYC co-founders, like engineer ‘Emperor Tomato Ketchup,’ (Kerem) and ‘No Sass’ (Zeshan Ali), started to self-doxx.
The move by BuzzFeed news to report on Solano and Aronow was not without controversy. The lead journalist behind the story, Katie Notopoulos, asserted the article helped promote transparency for an entity worth billions of dollars in an evolving field. However, Yuga CEO Nicole Muniz argued the opposite, asserting that remaining anonymous did not signify a lack of accountability.
After launching BAYC in April 2021, Yuga Labs unveiled two other highly-successful NFT collections, Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) and MAYC.
The company collected $127 million in net revenue across 2021 and used some of the funds to acquire CryptoPunks and Meebits (created by Larva Labs) in early 2022. Yuga Labs also secured $450 million in a March 2022 funding round. Leaked financials revealed the company made $137 million from NFT sales from the April 2021 launch to the end of 2022.
Yuga’s board of directors is composed of CEO Nicole Muniz and a16z general Chris Lyons, who joined after the March 2022 funding round. The cryptocurrency (ApeCoin) used in the BAYC universe was introduced by ApeCoin DAO.

Other NFT Projects In the BAYC Ecosystem

Several other projects exist in the BAYC ecosystem, including:

Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC):

A BAYC offshoot, MAYC is an NFT collection of 20,000 unique ‘mutant’ ape artistic images created from original BAYC traits. Launched in August 2021, half of the collection was airdropped to BAYC holders who exposed their Bored Ape NFT to a vial of ‘Mutant Serum.’ The other 10,000 were sold at a public auction that netted Yuga Labs $96 million. MAYC’s release represented one of the first times an NFT collection rewarded holders with an entirely different and free NFT.

Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC):

Another BAYC offshoot, the 9,602-strong cartoon dog NFT collection is another key component of the entire Bored Ape ecosystem. The digital dogs were offered for free in June 2021 to BAYC owners as a reward for their support. Each of the NFTs features Shiba Inu dogs with a wide range of traits. 2.5% of all BAKC traded within the first six weeks of aftermarket sales were donated to charities supporting apes, dogs, and wolves. BAKC NFTs have also been well received within NFT marketplaces, with the most expensive dog-themed digital asset selling for more than $200,000.

Otherside Project:

Otherside is the name of Yuga Lab’s NFT-focused media empire. The metaverse Otherside project is an interoperable world featuring well-known NFT collections like Cool Cats and World of Women. The 3D MMORPG allows up to 10,000 players to interact, chat, go on quests, own land, harvest resources, and participate in the Agora marketplace and arcade machine.


The Otherside metaverse features 200,000 digital land parcels known as Otherdeeds. Each piece of real estate is tradeable on the OpenSea NFT marketplace and features a resource and sediment type alongside the potential for artifacts and a rare ‘Koda’ creature. Additionally, land owners can participate in special in-person Otherside events, prototype demos, and other activities. Otherdeeds have proven popular, with the original BAYC land sale raising $320 million.


The ApeCoin DAO launched in April 2021 and features Yuga Labs as a community member. Yuga also adopted ApeCoin as the native BAYC ecosystem token. APE holders can participate in the DAO by making governance decisions related to funds allocations, rules, partnerships, and project selection. While PR messaging has long focused on ApeCoin being a project of the DAO, others assert the coin is closely linked with Yuga Labs, especially since Yuga gifted a one-of-one NFT to the ApeCoin DAO treasury.

Sewer Passes/Dookey Dash:

One of Yuga’s newest contributions to the expansive BAYC ecosystem emerged in January 2023. A free mint of ‘Sewer Passes’ for existing BAYC and MAYC holders allows access to the Dookey Dash game. Operating like a key, Sewer Passes are broken up into four tiers based on what Yuga-created NFTs a particular user held during the initial minting. Sewer Passes are also listed on the OpenSea NFT marketplace for second-hand transactions. Dookey Dash users can play the game an unlimited amount of times to try and secure a score higher than zero to validate Sewer Passes and “transform them into a mysterious power source.” According to the Yuga Team, the reveal will “evolve throughout 2023” and can be used in future “battles.”

How The BAYC Ecosystem Is Interconnected

Owning a BAYC NFT entitles holders to all of the entire ecosystem’s airdrops, which to this point include MAYC, BAKC, ApeCoin, and Otherdeeds.
As a result, BAYC buyers can participate in a wide range of digitally-focused endeavors in addition to the real-world benefits BAYC holders can enjoy.
For example, a BAYC holder can pair their NFT with a Serum NFT to mutate the digital asset. A buyer of ‘M1’ Serum might see their BAYC ape lose its fur and acquire additional accessories. ‘M2’ serum buyers might watch their digital ape change with more pronounced mutations that might dramatically alter the entire appearance. However, mutating with Mega Mutant Serum will completely change the core features of a Bored Ape NFT and transform the digital asset into a Mega Mutant.
Approaching from another angle, one interested in participating within the wider BAYC ecosystem can do so in a more cost-effective manner by acquiring a BAKC NFT. As of late January 2022, average sale prices of BAKC NFTs were just under $12,000 to potentially earn rewards and special access to BAYC-related events and activities. BAKC NFT holders also obtain full artwork ownership rights over their assets.
BAYC continues to maintain a notable presence within the NFT and crypto worlds.
The collection has enjoyed immense popularity both in and outside the digital world. It is often heralded as a success story regarding brand building, cultural influence, and creativity to cultivate a strong community.

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