Yuga Labs, the brains behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), announced today that it had acquired two NFT collections powerhouses—CryptoPunks and Meebits. They now have control of three of the biggest and most valuable NFT collections to date.
The BAYC is touted as one of the most influential NFT projects in existence, with its 145,487 Discord members and 685,353 Twitter followers. They come in at close second to CryptoPunks when it comes to profile picture projects (PFP). It spearheaded the 2021 NFT avatar craze and has since given plenty of collectors not only a vibrant community they could call home but also an affordable alternative to CryptoPunks.
Based on data retrieved from OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, the value of BAYC NFTs traded to date has exceeded more than $1 billion. The project is the second-largest NFT collection ever based on trading volume. CryptoPunks, launched in June 2017 by Larva Labs as one of the first NFT collections to land on the Ethereum blockchain, takes first place with $2.2 billion, and Meebits, which Larva Labs also launched in May 2021, have traded close to $227 million.
Purpose of the Acquisition
According to Yuga Labs, the goal behind the acquisition is to foster a “community of builders” that creates derivative works around the CryptoPunks and Meebits projects. Similar to what they have done with their BAYC collection, they will move IP, commercial, and exclusive licensing rights to individual NFT holders, allowing them to create products and artwork based on their NFTs.
Under the deal, Yuga Labs acquired 423 CryptoPunks and 1711 Meebits. However, when asked what they would do with these, two of its pseudonymous co-founders, Gordon and Gargamel, said, “We’re not in a rush to do anything but give people their IP, see what they build, and listen.”
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, it is likely worth more than $100 million, considering the value of the NFTs they received. As per DappRadar, the average selling price of CryptoPunks NFTs is about $179,880, while Meebits sell for $12,300. Yuga Labs will also own rights to the brands and logos of the two projects, which they can use in marketing and merchandising endeavors.
As far as the decision to move forward with the acquisition, Larval Labs co-founders Matt Hall and John Watkinson disclosed that it was due to how well the BAYC brand is managed. They believe that moving forward, Yuga Labs is best equipped to steer their projects.
“Yuga Labs are the best in the world at what they do and are the ideal stewards of the CryptoPunks and Meebits. In their hands, we are confident that they will continue to be vital, thriving projects in the emerging decentralized web,” they said.
What Lies in Store for BAYC and CryptoPunks?
Collectors of BAYC NFTs have apprehensions about the acquisition, considering it comes at a period when the NFT market is slowing down. From January’s massive $4.3 billion total trade volume, it has gone down to only $2.6 billion this month. Moreover, total NFT sales have decreased 29.46% compared to the previous week.
Nevertheless, the CEO of Yuga Labs, Nicole Muniz, quelled the fears of BAYC collectors, saying, “We’re honored to take on the stewardship of these brands and the communities behind them and are very excited to build alongside CryptoPunks and Meebits holders as we step into this new world. That said, we want to make it abundantly clear to Yuga’s existing community that the BAYC ecosystem will always stay at the center of our universe.”
Currently, the BAYC team takes a cut every time a Bored Ape is resold, which Larva labs didn’t do with CryptoPunks and Meebits. Yuga Labs has said they have no plans of changing that, but they also didn’t offer much detail on what they plan to do with the collections.
While it remains to be seen how the acquisition will play out, one thing is sure—this significant consolidation in the NFT community can be a sign of good things to come.
Get more news updates at OmniMint News. For more information on OmniMInt, and details on how to join our community, please follow our Twitter, join our Discord, or subscribe to our Telegram channel for more updates.