Yuga Labs’s 2 Million ETH non-fungible token collectibles market leadership (and beyond)

On OpenSea, the world’s first and largest NFT marketplace, CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), the 3, all-time, highest-ranked, NFT collections across all categories based on volume, collectively surpassed 2 Million ETH end May.

Back in 2017, Larva Labs’s, CryptoPunks, was considered an early movement leader within the crypto art space, while Yuga Labs, fairly recently entered the market, initially, with BAYC in April 2021, followed by the MAYC offshoot in August 2021, quickly climbing up the ladder.

Despite, all characters being digitally auto-generated, each collectible, is considered ‘unique, just like its NFT owner/collector’. The total, of the 3 market leaders, equaled just over 39.400 different characters, each, with its own properties, resulting in different ‘rarities’.

For example, CryptoPunk #9998 has 3 ‘unique’ accessories with ‘Black Lipstick’, ‘Clown Eyes Green’, and ‘Wild White Hair’. This, while Bored ape #4591 and mutant ape #1393 differ in background, clothes, eyes, fur, hat, mouth, and grin, all, having ‘rarity’ percentages.

With limited, ‘one-of-a-kind’ NFT availability, such ‘exclusive’ characters are publically traded on peer-2-peer marketplaces, such as OpenSeas, from one NFT owner to another, often, in an attempt to ‘flip’ characters for a higher selling price than the original purchase price.

Especially, during the ‘2021 NFT craze’, those trading prices spiked massively; where a BAYC NFT costed $190 when BAYC launched in April 2021, just a year later, went for well over $400,000, being sold, as the more exclusive, high-end segmented type of digital ownership.

Within less than a year, BAYC surpassed $2 Billion in all-time Sales, faster than NFT market leader CryptoPunks could, and following the footsteps of CryptoPunks and BAYC, MAYC joined the ‘$1B club’ as the 5th NFT collection in March 2022, only 6,5 months after launch.

That same month, Yuga Labs, managed to acquire the IP rights and collective holdings to CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections for an undisclosed sum from Larva Labs, thereby claiming complete market leadership with the top-3, highest-ranked collections on the market.

11 days after, news spread that Yuga Labs closed a $450 Million seed round, with a $4 billion valuation, and the month after, again, made headlines, by launching Otherdeed for Otherside, which claimed the top 4, all-time NFT collection spot, instantly after going live.

Otherdeed for Otherside, rapidly outpaced Yuga Labs’s remaining non-top-3 portfolio (Meebits and Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC)), moving on from purely collectibles, into the extension of virtual land and towards the idea of turning NFTs into actual playable characters.

The Otherdeed for Otherside collection drop, sold off 55.000 parcels of land, which traded for $561 Million within just 24 Hours, thereby becoming the largest NFT mint in history; the demand was even so high, that the event ended up crashing the entire Ethereum blockchain.

Due to the scarcity-driven congestion, gas, the fee, that buyers pay to verify transactions and secure the network, hit a record high, yet, as transactions failed, various interested purchasers lost out on their NFTs, while still being charged those fees for their purchase attempts.

Yuga Labs received a lot of negative media coverage because of it and the company afterwards identified the “need to migrate to its own chain in order to properly scale”, encouraging the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to also think into the same direction.

Scarce availability, and individuals willing to spend big money on it, sadly, also opened-up capitalization opportunities for scammers. With the Otherdeed for Otherside launch, a fake Yuga Labs website managed to trick collectors into handing over $6.2 Million worth of NFTs.

On April 1st, Yuga Labs dealt with their first compromised webhook on Discord, end of April, an Instagram phishing hack, where $2.8 Million worth of NFTs got stolen and this month, another discord server hack, now stating the need for “a better platform that puts security first”.

What do you think of NFT trading and the prices they tend to go for? Do you understand the hype about Yuga Labs’s NFTs and beyond? With Yuga Labs criticizing the security of leading blockchain systems and social platforms, what could then be(come) (alternatives) solutions?

What is your opinion? I would love to hear your thoughts below!



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Enver Vetter

Enver Vetter

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As a HU lecturer, I publish free, quick-insight publications of a maximum 5-minute read, to spark ethical, sustainable, commercial & futuristic thinking