Analyzing the decline of an NFT giant

Industry giant BAYC is reportedly on the verge of collapse. This comes after BAYC declined from 150Ξ to 8Ξ. A total of two factors have been identified as core reasons behind this decline: minting at a bonding curve price and the departure of Gordon Goner, the original founder of the NFT collection.

BAYC sold out all its 10,000 units in May 2021. Every unit went out for 0.08Ξ. The unique monitoring process was necessary because minting NFTs at the end was becoming increasingly costly. BAYC decided to rectify that by introducing a fixed mint price. Thereby, reinforcing the 10K model. Bored Ape Yacht Club had taken to X to announce that they were all sold out by May 1, 2021. Kelano, a prominent figure in the NFT segment, believes that this marked the beginning of BAYC’s decline.

Several prominent personalities backed BAYC in its initial phase. The likes of Jimmy Fallon, Faze, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, and Gary Vaynerchuk all got a piece for themselves. As a matter of fact, Gary bought 6 apes in 2021, with the first 3 apes on June 8, 2021, and the remaining 3 apes bought in December.

Gordon Goner stepped down from his position in late 2022 due to health reasons. He was replaced by Daniel Alegre, who shifted the focus of Yuga, the parent company behind BAYC, to turning it into a gaming company.

A shift to becoming a gaming company gave birth to the idea of launching Otherside as early as possible. The company did not mention a tentative release, but published the first glimpse in June 2022. That satisfied the community’s curiosity, telling members that something was underway. What followed was a series of delays, as the teaser only came out in January 2023. The teaser faced backlash from the community for being on a low frame rate. Community members based their expectations on the teaser launch and concluded that the game was not quite ready.

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The acquisition of Moonbirds in the following month added fuel to the decline. Additionally, there were numerous discussions about insider trading. They were gripping the ecosystem to add fuel to the fire. The most recent goof-up was when the team launched a limited airdrop of CryptoPunks, a collection from Nina Chanel. Many members called it a woke collection and began losing faith in Yuga.

Yuga Lab certainly had its share of fun while it was on top. It is still credited with being able to craft Blue Ocean for itself. Yuga Labs was uncontested for a long time in the market, allowing them to introduce key concepts such as celebrity endorsements, the formation of a core culture and community, differentiation, and value innovation.

Innovation is essential in the NFT market; any halt at any point is likely to lead to a decline. Transitions are generally well-received within the industry; however, it is crucial to determine whether the community is amenable to them and what the timeline for a new launch should be.

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