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WTF?! Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs as they're better known, don't make as many headlines these days, but that doesn't mean people have stopped handing over huge sums of money for them. A collection consisting of 101 NFTs depicting computer-generated cartoon apes just sold for $24.4 million.
The images, sold through an online sale at Sotheby's auction house, are part of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a set of 10,000 semi-randomly generated apes created by Delaware-based Yuga Labs. According to the BAYC website, each ape is unique and programmatically generated from over 170 possible traits, including expression, headwear, clothing, and more.
Part of the ape collection sold by Sotheby's
The apes are stored as ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and hosted on IPFS. Buying a single ape for 0.08 ETH gives owners access to the club, bringing members-only benefits, which so far have been limited to exclusive pieces of merchandise and NFTs, and access to The Bathroom, an online graffiti board. Buyers also receive the intellectual property rights for the images; that's not usually the case with NFTs.
#AuctionUpdate 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs just sold for $24.4 million and 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs achieved $1.8 million in our Ape in! auction - the most significant #BAYC sale to date. Congrats to all the apes out there 🐵🐶 pic.twitter.com/e7UghlgtKy— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) September 9, 2021
The lot containing 101 apes, which comes with the option to generate six new "mutant" apes, sold for $24,393,000. The sale also included a lot of 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs—designed as pet dogs for the apes—that fetched $1,835,000, bringing the total to $26,228,000
The sale is one of the most expensive in the NFT space, beating a set of nine CryptoPunks that sold for $16.9 million earlier this year. An NFT of the world wide web's source code, meanwhile, went for $5.4 million. They're all a long way off the record holder: auction house Christie's and artist Mike Winkelmann, known professionally as Beeple, made $69 million with "EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS" (below).