BAYC NFTs: The Power of Generating Value From Digital Assets

Intellectual property is a powerful tool to give a sense of ownership to the original creator. Hence, intellectual property has to be well protected in the law. Oftentimes, small ventures lack the resources to effectively protect their intellectual properties or, in short, IPs. Even if the modern concept of intellectual property has evolved since the 17th century, primarily in Europe, intellectual property law could date far back. In medieval Europe, for example, guilds or associations of artisans were granted authority by the governors to regulate their respective industries. 

NFT.NYC in late June was a great success. NFT.NYC is the largest and most respected conference for the NFT (non fungible token) industry. Amid a crypto currency crash, the NFT.NYC conference could have been a disaster. But, it received over 20,000 attendees. As some said, NFT.NYC grew into the Super Bowl of NFTs. 

Out of the flood of party invitations for NFT.NYC, ApeFest, in its second year in the row, received the most attention. ApeFest only allowed people to enter, who hold Mutant and Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. the hottest NFT project in the world. From Times Square to Pier 17, where ApeFest was physically held, many familiar monkey faces bombarded on digital signages, posters, and social media platforms. ApeFest showed the true fandom culture of the NFT world. ApeFest was independently organized and could surpass the popularity of NFT.NYC soon. 

The Bored Ape Yacht Club, or in short, BAYC, is a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs. They are digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain. BAYC is one of the most successful NFT projects building upon the strongest community in the NFT space. BAYC is the brainchild of Yuga Labs, a venture-backed Web 3 marketing firm. 

Yuga Lab is wickedly clever as it has created such a unique sense of exclusivity with 10,000 programmatically generated Bored Ape digital collectibles without any traditional marketing mixes. There was no advertising, search marketing, or extensive social media promotion. 

Instead, BAYC harnesses the power of the community by connecting people together. Yuga Lab makes a BAYC brand to become a badge of honor and a clear symbol of social status in the crypto and NFT frenzy. BAYC NFT is an only pass for those who were brave enough to get on it early on and continues to possess it, which opens up a door to the exclusive community.

BAYC is a new threat to Disney as it is growing its influence as a global power house of new intellectual properties. BAYC was collectively worth $25 billion or about 12% of the market capitalization of Disney in May 2022. If someone purchases a BAYC NFT, then he owns the intellectual property rights that are tied up with his possession of NFT. 

NFTs are yet highly speculative investments, but BAYC could be a good investment opportunity, not only due to the perks that come with ownership, but also a promising road map of its utility as a widely applicable intellectual property. Smart contracts could further accelerate its usage beyond the fandom community.  

In only a few months since the initial BAYC release, BAYC soared. Many famous athletes have acquired BAYC NFTs. Soon after that, it was followed by multiple merchandise drops, including a collaboration with long-standing streetwear brands like the Hundreds. There have been many prestigious appearances of BAYC NFTs across multiple media outlets and also top art auction houses like Christies and Sotheby’s. 

Now, BAYC characters are in the comic books, animations, soft drinks, coffee and ice cream franchises. It is yet hard to estimate the full valuation of licensed commercial activities of BAYC, but all we can tell now is that there shall be more monkeys popping up here and there in the coming years. 

A NFT with character brand recognition will have future utilization across multiple mediums. When we think about a potential buyout of the intellectual property, BAYC’s insanely high price tag can be justified as it is valued based on projected revenue, not its so-called scarcity score card. 

In June, the floor or entry-level price for a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT fell below $100,000 for the first time since August 2021. It was down by 70%+ after Bored Apes launched and had approached nearly $429,000. It could further downplay for a while amid a crypto volatility, but directionally and emotionally, BAYC is heading toward long-term growth trajectory as its NFT commercial value continues to accrue. 

Earlier this year, Yuga Labs, the creators of the BAYC and spin-offs the Mutant Ape, announced that it had acquired the intellectual properties of Larva Labs, which invented CryptoPunks. Yuga Labs also bought Meebits NFT collections. IP licensing models could greatly differ between different NFT projects. Yuga Labs’ licensing model allows a broader commercial use. Yuga Labs now encourages the third party and the community of creators to incorporate CryptoPunks and Meebits into their Web 3 projects. 

Ultimately, the potential of what can be done with NFTs will be stated in the terms of licenses. Existing brands are likely to have longer and more complicated licensing processes to protect their most valuable core intellectual properties and maximize their bargaining power. Getting permission from Disney, for example, could take months to years. That’s how license business has been done for decades in the name of brand control. 

Generative and new creative projects like BAYC are far more likely to have broader rights granted to their NFT holders powered by rapid contractual process under the original creator’s governing protocol. This concept would create a sea change in the world of intellectual properties. 

Pairing the global recognition of the BAYC with individual NFTs that have their own recognizable characters and brands, could outpace the value of existing intellectual properties that are owned by large media companies. Fueled by its community fandom power, it won’t take too long to catch up with what decades old media companies have done. 

Further relaxing the usage of intellectual property provides immense opportunities. The fandom community’s ability to get more actively involved will ultimately further seed new ideas and creative projects. Now, coupled with CryptoPunks and Meebits, Yuga Lab will further extend its proven marketing tactics to other intellectual properties powered by NFTs so that the use of NFTs could quickly evolve beyond the fandom community to create enormous mass market appeal and commercial success


Longing for Higher Power

Nothing is certain but death. People increasingly respond to their deepest human needs. We have a natural need to feel connected to the world, to others, and religious traditions. Anthropology, philosophy, or neuroscience can’t simply answer the question if the higher power really exists. We tend to look for patterns, structures, and causes for everything. But, there is no single right answer for our divine purposes and our hopes for higher power.

Religious belief has deeply influenced human society. Many people could claim that they have grown out of religion with their accumulated assets, knowledge, and social influence. But, even today there are a lot of people who are not generally content with their life. People do not appreciate the purpose of their limited lifespan on earth. They hardly find profound connections between their life and other societal endeavors. 

The power of religion helps us to shape our vision on the world and actions on each other. Hence, there is an urgent need for a more sophisticated understanding of religion beyond any discipline. The world we live in is facing a stream of shocking events. In times of such uncertainty and crises, more people will look to religions or philosophical wisdoms for guidance and consolation. 

But, in reality, fewer people regularly attend religious services. Theology or philosophy is one of least popular subjects at higher education. Many people claim that religion has no longer significance in their life. Our faith is in flux. Many people leave their childhood family tradition in faith before the age of 24 and oftentimes, they change it more than once. It is such a public myth saying that people do not like change. People don’t resist change. But, in reality, they just resist being changed. 

Failure is inevitable if we are committed to grow. Before any workout or run, it is important to give a few rounds of body stretches to increase the flexibility of our muscles so they don’t cramp. When we try to practice stretches for resilience capability, therefore, we can become more adaptable to any changes and spring back from any failures. 

We all tend to fear failure. That is probably why we often stop giving a try. We are more likely to grow faster toward success if we learn from each other based on our failures, not only success. A willingness to be vulnerable and share our experiences of failure with others, therefore, is such a critical part of being more resilient in any circumstances. This effort could start with self-awareness and our search for authenticity. But, most importantly, being a part of a community can make us feel as if we are a part of something greater than ourselves.

It is not always easy to be 100% transparent on our own, especially in the world where others seem to have a much better life, at least on their Instagram account. We all like to put our best self forward and hide our weaknesses. That is human nature. Though, there is incredible power when we are true to ourselves and share our authentic stories about how we have gained our strength in the face of failure.

Having a sense of community unites us. When we share our vulnerable, but genuine ourselves with others, people in the community can see a part of themselves through the lens of our journey. Then, together, we can move forward, gain confidence, and do something great for the betterment of society. 

Creating positive influence is a full-time job. We can’t always control what could happen to us, but we can certainly control how we respond to that. We should learn how to positively respond to failures and hardships. We should choose to do so. It is important to know that increasing our ability to bounce back from failure is not a one-time event. It is a life-long journey. 

Modern societies are built on public institutions. Institutions are designed to address societal challenges in some form. But, these institutions are under severe pressure regardless of religious affiliations, social affinity, or intellectual origin. The trust and legitimacy is among the most important issues on the societal and political agenda of public institutions. For example, institutions based on hierarchy and control (ex. military, bureaucracy, and the state) often provide the greatest facilitation of evil. 

Learning through religious and moral education will enable us to recognize religion as an important expression of human nature. It is important to learn about and learn from the beliefs, values, practices, and other religious traditions. Spiritual practice could strengthen our perspective for a better future. We always encounter challenges in our life, but we can still stay hopeful during crises and persevere. Spiritual growth is, therefore, our enhanced ability to deal with life and bounce back from any difficulties.

The primary purpose of religious leadership in the public institutions is therefore to ensure spiritual success through process, material, and training improvement for each individual member. It is not about building humongous new temples or legacies. It will be only accomplished through collaboration among different individuals such as teachers, parents, community leaders, and so forth.

Healthy spiritual life gives a sense of peace, wholesomeness, and balance among the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the human-being. The path to spiritual excellence will be full of struggles and suffering. It often includes experiences that are frightening and painful. Compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering. With compassion, you can feel warmth and build desire to help others.

Spiritual values should be a part of education. Children will learn better when they know the purpose of their life and spirituality. That said, it will grow our mind, body, and soul and will eventually form our character. The purpose of spiritual education is, therefore, to fulfill the divine potential of human-being. It prepares them for struggles and suffering by giving them the tools they need to keep on learning throughout the many tough circumstances that will come to them. When we speak of spirituality, please forget about large institutional propertiea or complex procedures to make you feel religious. We don’t need that.

It is strongly recommended that education in values and spirituality is at the core of what we are supposed to teach with the goal of enriching human personality. Voluntary simplicity for spiritual life saves a lot of overhead costs. At the end of the day, it will protect people or institutions from the temptation to add to resources through sometimes unfair or dishonest means.