Scrolling through my Twitter feed last night it occurred to me all of a sudden, that many of the accounts I follow have now replaced their once standard profile pic with a colorful Ape avatar.
For those that haven't been following so closely, these bright, funny-looking Ape’s are from The Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.
Launched back in April 21 with NFT’s (Non-fungible token’s) being the talk of the town at the moment, the project is akin to Pokemon or sportscard collecting.
Only 10,000 exist (nice perceived scarcity there..) and each Ape shares different characteristics, expressions and accessories, with many owners choosing Ape’s with a vague similiarity to themselves.
In what is quickly becoming perhaps a vulgar demonstration of disposable income, celebrities, sports personalities and even rappers have quickly jumped on the trend.
The crazy, albeit sign of the times part is, these things are trading for millions of dollars. That's right, seven figures.
It is worth mentioning to any prospective buyers reading this, you cannot simply open your account and pay in dollars. That would be too archaic, no instead you trade with Ether, hundreds of Ether.
So what are fans actually buying?
The truth is, the value of your cute little Ape is massively subjective.
Influencer/celebrity involvement certainly helps to grow interest levels and there is also the community. Organized international meetups have brought collectors together, which I guess makes the whole movement more tangible for attendees too.
Connections with the fashion world have also already begun, with Adidas collaborating to launch their own NFT project.
It might easily be argued by pessimistic outsiders that this is all just another ‘Greater Fool’ fad, and whilst beauty is most certainly in the eye of the beholder with respect to Art, this could be short-sighted here.
In an ever-increasing digital world, like many things in life, value is determined as such because the general consensus agrees it to be that way.
So if owners with influence continue to purchase more of these Ape’s and should the movement grow even larger, who is to say what kind of a status symbol an avatar might ultimately end up being in the future.
Could a goofy Ape with aviator glasses be the new Rolex Daytona or Rembrandt? Scary thought.
An extraordinary thing also crossed my mind when I was researching NFT’s for this article.
That is that, here we are debating the intrinsic value of an Ape avatar, which has been purchased by a means of currency/exchange to which the value is also massively disputed — Ether.
Crazy yet very interesting times we are in right now.
So whilst I confess, I might be very very bored of the sheep mentality (being ever the ambitious contrarian) I refuse to dismiss The Bored Ape Yacht Club movement and prefer to be excited by what this might mean to perceived luxury in the future.