Bored Ape Mutation Madness! ⚗️

BAYC introduces Mutant Apes, leading to a fun NFT mutation frenzy!
William M. Peaster William M. Peaster Aug 31, 20213 min read
Bored Ape Mutation Madness! ⚗️

Dear Bankless Nation,

Ever since Bored Ape Yacht Club launched in late April 2021, the popularity of the NFT collectibles project — whose 10,000 NFTs double as “Yacht Club membership cards” — has simply exploded.

Indeed, in four short months since going live BAYC has surged into the ranks of the top 5 most-traded NFT projects of all-time. That achievement’s impressive any way you slice it, and it speaks to how BAYC rapidly joined CryptoPunks, Axie Infinity, and Art Blocks as among the most iconic NFT projects to date.

Yet if that quick ascension isn’t wild enough for you, how about the BAYC team’s blockbuster rollout of the Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection over the weekend?

MAYC rewards BAYC’s early community members and opens the project’s doors to more newcomers, and in a matter of days the series has already entered the top 10 most-traded NFT projects ever! Let’s catch up on all the excitement in today’s Metaversal 🦍


Rise of the Mutant Apes

Last week the BAYC team announced a surprise airdrop of 10k “mutant serum” NFTs on a 1:1 basis with Bored Ape holders and in doing so unveiled the arrival of the MAYC collection.

Shortly thereafter, BAYC revealed up to 20k new Mutant Apes would be possible: 10k from mutations via mutant serums, and 10k from mints during a public Dutch Auction sale. As BAYC’s website explained:

The MAYC is a way to reward our ape holders with an entirely new NFT—a “mutant” version of their ape—while also allowing newcomers into the BAYC ecosystem at a lower tier of membership. Mutants represent the final tier of membership; everything going forward occurs with the intention of accruing utility and member’s-only benefits to Bored Apes foremost, but also Mutants, and to a lesser extent, Bored Apes with BAKC companions.”

M1, M2, & Mega Mutant Madness

Using Chainlink VRF technology, BAYC randomly airdropped three different tiers of mutant serums: M1 serums, M2 serums, and M3 “Mega Mutant” serums, with each level up providing holders with wilder mutation possibilities.

The idea, then? Once the aforementioned Dutch Auction was complete (and that didn’t take long courtesy of extreme demand), serum holders could start applying their serums to their Bored Apes to generate new Mutant Ape spinoff collectibles. The main caveat? Apes can only be mutated once.

After the conclusion of the public sale, a frenzy of mutations began as excited holders started exploring the unlocked possibilities, and secondary trading activity around mutant serums and newly-created MAYC collectibles on OpenSea quickly exploded. Altogether, nearly 15k of the 20k possible Mutant Apes have been created so far.

For visual context, here are some mutation examples from community members:

What’s next for MAYC

Regarding the future of MAYC, BAYC’s builders (who are currently hiring for multiple roles) noted in the project’s Discord over the weekend:

Mutant Apes are definitely part of the club and come with a lower tier of [BAYC] membership benefits. What that means is that some utilities will be exclusive to Bored Apes while other utilities will include both, or be tiered [...] in the case of limited merch drops, some items may be accessible only to BAYC members, some items to both BAYC and MAYC.

We also wanted to take a moment to give a quick roadmap update. There’s only one more item left on Roadmap 1.0—The Treasure Hunt (note: this is BAYC only). The hunt will be launching shortly […] after that it’s all about Roadmap 2.0. We have some ambitious plans for the utility we plan on offering across the BAYC ecosystem and will be unveiling the full Roadmap 2.0 in the coming weeks, but wanted to tease one Roadmap 2.0 item—

Every single Bored Ape and Mutant Ape will receive a free, fully rendered and rigged 3D model that they can use in the metaverse. We’re working with Polygonal Mind to accomplish this, and given the sheer number of traits it’s going to take a few months, but we’re really excited.”

Bigger things on the horizon?

With BAYC collectibles being auctioned through both Christie’s and Sotheby’s next month, it seems that the Bored Ape takeover is only just beginning to heat up.

Yet if we zoom out, what’s the big picture?

Perhaps it’s BAYC steamrolling its way to Hollywood and beyond and becoming a mainstream brand. After all, today we did just see CryptoPunks creators Larva Labs sign a major deal with the powerhouse United Talent Agency to bring Punks, Autoglyphs, and Meebits to the bring screen, games, and more. Maybe the BAYC community will eventually follow suit? That remains to be seen for now, to be sure, but it’s now decidedly in the realm of possibility!

Action steps

In this article

William M. Peaster

Written by William M. Peaster

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William M. Peaster, Senior Writer, has been with Bankless since January 2021. Immersed in Ethereum since 2017, he writes the Metaversal newsletter on the onchain frontier, covering everything from AI projects to crypto games, as the team’s lead NFT analyst. With a background in creative writing, he writes fiction and publishes art on Ethereum in his free time. He lives in Washington.

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