According to a new report by DappRadar, Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, continues to dominate the NFT market, accounting for nearly 35% of all NFT trading volume over the six-month period from October 2022 to March 2023.
Yuga Labs acquired the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT project IP from original creator Larva Labs in 2022, in addition to the Bored Ape Yacht Club and its associated collections, including the Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Otherside metaverse game land deeds.
According to the report, Yuga’s created or owned projects generated more than $2 billion in trading volume over the last two quarters combined, accounting for 34.6% of total market volume during that time period.
DappRadar praised the $4 billion startup for its support of its projects and associated communities, speculating on possible reasons why people would continue to invest in the projects through secondary sales.
“While some projects have ‘rug-pulled’ their communities, abandoning development or reneging on promises made to holders, or simply failing to live up to high expectations,” according to the report, “Yuga Labs has emerged as a leading example of commitment to providing value and nurturing its NFT holder community.”
The NFT profile picture (PFP) market is led by the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which has a floor (or low-end secondary market) price of 51.45 ETH ($99,000), followed by CryptoPunks at 49.49 ETH ($95,150).
The “blue chip” Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), which will be launched in April 2021, is a collection of 10,000 profile pictures minted as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. It quickly gained traction, reaching a peak floor price of 152 ETH (approximately $429,000 at the time) in April 2022, just before the launch of Otherside land plots.
According to the report, BAYC generated $504 million in NFT sales over the last two quarters, Mutant Apes generated nearly $483 million, and Otherside land deeds generated over $322 million.
In addition to the Ethereum network, Yuga Labs launched TwelveFold in February, a collection of 300 generative “NFTs” on the Bitcoin network that use Ordinals Inscription. The first auction netted $16.5 million in sales.
The popularity and value of NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club have even spawned a cottage industry of borrowing money against NFTs, which is now worth $1 billion.
While Yuga Labs is well-known for allowing NFT holders to create and even sell derivative projects and products, the company has also successfully defended its intellectual property (IP) in court.
Yuga Labs won a “landmark legal victory for Web3” last week when a federal judge ruled in its favor against artist Ryder Ripps and ally Jeremy Cahen. The pair had created RR/BAYC, a parody of Yuga’s project, as a copycat collection of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
“Investors and enthusiasts should take note of Yuga Labs’ approach, seeking out projects with a track record of fulfilling their promises and a doxed team to ensure accountability,” DappRadar continued.
A BuzzFeed investigation revealed the identities of two of the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s pseudonymous creators early last year. Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano have gradually become more public since then, and they discussed it on Decrypt’s gm podcast last October.
“I kind of view us as a garage band that made it,” Aronow explained. “We’re still just trying to keep that authenticity, and to be honest, I’m a little protective of it.” We don’t do a lot of PR, we don’t do a lot of interviews, we’re pretty picky about that—just because that’s a little too rock star for me.”