NFT Roundtable | Bored Ape Yacht Club vs CryptoPunks
Welcome to the weekly NFT Roundtable, where members of the Lucky Trader team weigh in on some of the most pressing questions, news, and events in the web3 space. This week we're discussing Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks.
The commentary below is purely opinion —not financial advice!
Before diving in to the commentary, catch up on the latest Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks' news below:
- Apes Back on Top
- Trial of Jimmy The Monkey Coming on Christmas
- ApeCoin Staking Platform Updates Include GeoBlocker on United States, Canada
- Bored Apes vs CryptoPunks
- The Trial of Jimmy The Monkey
- Bored Apes Dominate Volume
- ApeCoin Geo-Blocks Staking
- If Not Yuga, Who
- This Week's Roundtable
Question 1: Bored Apes vs CryptoPunks
We saw Bored Apes re-flip CryptoPunks this past weekend after a huge surge in Yuga ecosystem prices. Over a year time horizon, choose your fighter — Ape or Punk? Why?
Ghost: My heart says Ape, but my brain says Punk. It boils down to execution risk for me — Punks have cemented their place as a desired piece of art, regardless of what Yuga does with the project. Apes have so far relied on utility to rise to the top. While they may enter that ‘historically significant’ conversation eventually, right now Punks feel like the safer play in an inherently risky market.
Tyler: Punks, but it’s likely going to be a back-and-forth battle in the near future. I like Punks on any time horizon over every other PFP because they are the OG and there’s no execution risk. Apes will rally around roadmap events but will dip in lower attention periods, and this whole looming ApeCoin scenario is a potential ticking time bomb.
Logan: Dare I say Apes? On a longer timeframe I much prefer Punks, but over the course of just one year, and the next year at that, I actually think Apes have an opportunity to outperform. Yuga founders continue to suggest “big things” are around the corner, and while execution risk will remain a dominant factor in keeping prices high, the anticipation and speculation of events are what determines prices in the NFT market. I think Yuga can keep that anticipation high enough over 12 months to leave Apes on top.
Jason: CryptoPunks is the premiere NFT collection. Regardless of the time horizon, Punks beat Apes. Bored Ape Yacht Club is built on culture and utility, which means its community has to be continuously fed new announcements, partnerships, and money-making opportunities. That is increasingly difficult in a bear market, while CryptoPunks rely exclusively on history and collectibility. Punks are a leverage bet on Ethereum, and Ethereum isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
John: I play devil's advocate to the other team members here. I think Apes are truly the stronger play over the next year. Yuga has admitted to not wanting to change or tamper with the historic value of CryptoPunks. I think the value added for the Yuga ecosystem really only benefits Bored Apes. For strictly fiscal reasons, I think Apes will continue to have pressure on their floor as Yuga develops games, IP, and other utilities for their collections. Although if we spread the time horizon to 5 or 10 years, I think Punks might have a better chance if Yuga flounders on execution.
Question 2: The Trial of Jimmy The Monkey
Yuga recently dropped a teaser for ‘The Trial of Jimmy The Monkey’, coming on Christmas. What do you anticipate for this roadmap update, and what impact do you think it will have on price action?
Ghost: I think its going to be some sort of game, similar to the mobile BAYC/MAYC one — and it sure seems like people think Kennel Club dogs will play a significant role. Maybe an advantage or power-up? I also like the speculation that the Trial could incorporate the old polygon NFTs (if you know, you know) — which was where we first saw the character ‘Jimmy The Monkey’. I think there is a huge story that will finally come together, and assets across the ecosystem will continue to rise as Yuga ramps up their activity after a relatively dormant stretch of time.
Tyler: I don’t think it’s going to be an airdrop. They need to pivot and show something new, and this is still a terrible market for expansion. They have been working on this for a full year and it has to be good and new. My guess is some kind of game or story that the Yuga NFT holders can participate in, with some kind of twist from 10KTF (perhaps upgradeable traits of some kind).
Logan: The easy answer is some sort of game, perhaps with Bored Ape Kennel Club inclusion. But I don’t think it’ll be the type of simple battle game many are expecting. I think we’ll see something new, perhaps with new NFTs. Dynamic NFTs have been all the rage lately (see Jenkins The Valet, Cool Cats FC)....and we haven’t seen Yuga utilize them yet. Perhaps now is the time? The item has been on the roadmap for more than a year, leaving tons of time to execute something grander than “point, click, battle.” Plus, Yuga Labs just hired a Chief Gaming Officer, has major ties to Animoca, and needs to inspire some confidence in the continued possibilities of The Otherside.
Jason: Tyler’s response feels right. The imagery and language selection definitely hints at a game or story about a battle between two camps. How exactly the different Yuga Labs’ ecosystem members can participate is pretty wide open for speculation. Regardless, the price action will likely follow the same standard bear market path: up on rumors, down on official announcement.
John: I think it is clearly a development of their gaming ecosystem. How exactly that plays out I am unsure but lean toward some sort of treasure hunt among teams within the Otherside Meta realm. Speculation can go any direction, but I believe there will be a use case for $APE introduced, which subsequently will induce sales, FOMO, and price gains before settling off as people either enjoy or hate the game.
Question 3: Bored Apes Dominate Volume
Yuga assets (excluding Punks) made up over 30% of the total ETH NFT volume over the last seven days — is that market share dominance bullish, bearish, (or neither) for the overall NFT market?
Ghost: I think it’s both — bullish as Yuga sales trickle down into liquidity for the broader market, bearish as it sometimes feels as the entire space is propped up on their shoulders. Which brings back in the execution risk — if Yuga stumbles, does the entire market?
Tyler: Both. It’s bullish because we almost always see some rotation of funds from Yuga trickling down to other sectors (typically mid-tier PFPs), and we have seen some evidence of that in the past few days. It’s bearish because they are the only project ecosystem that can attract this type of sustained volume right now, and everyone sees it. Thus those on the sidelines are most likely to enter Yuga or nothing at all right now (perhaps similar for newcomers as well).
Logan: Neither. Yuga remains one of “our” (if I can speak for the broader NFT collective) best chances at gaining additional market participants. Would I prefer if volume was spread to more NFTs (my bags)? Yes. Am I overly concerned? No. Wake me up when we stop trading Yuga NFTs. Until then, I’ll stay medium bored.
Jason: It isn’t inherently bullish or bearish without context. Month-over-month, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s volume is up. Other NFT projects aren’t dramatically dropping in price over the last few weeks. That leans bullish, as the money going into the Yuga Labs’ ecosystem right now doesn’t seem to be stolen from other NFT projects and could trickle down when Ape holders take profit (you do take profit, right? RIGHT?)
John: I think it's honestly bearish for the rest of the market. Although Yuga is THE NFT company at the moment, sucking liquidity and providing little in return has been the standard since The Otherdeed drop. Although more volume promotes more interest in NFTs, I think it drowns out other viable options at times.
Question 4: ApeCoin Geo-Blocks Staking
ApeCoin dropped the news that $APE staking would be geo-blocked in the US and other select countries the day before “The Trial” announcement, and the market seems to have shaken off the news. Is this a non-issue or should $APE holders be worried?
Ghost: I think it’s a big red flag — and the workarounds provided by the community don’t exactly inspire legal confidence (especially given the SEC probe). I think the entire ApeCoin saga has been a bit of a sh*tshow so far, and am definitely feeling uneasy as a holder. While Yuga has the benefit of the doubt from the community, the legal concerns surrounding $APE are real.
Tyler: This is a huge issue, and I can’t believe it’s not being talked about more. All of the risk has been essentially passed on to the $APE holders in this scenario, and we are in a very uncertain macro crypto legal environment right now. ApeCoin is a very important part of the whole Yuga asset foundation right now, and if its value is impacted, all the NFTs get hurt pretty greatly. If $APE goes to $0, what is the value of MAYC and BAKC? I’m giving BAYC a pass as it may have reached collectible status (versus utility NFT), but the others are much more at risk.
Logan: There are certainly major regulatory concerns for U.S. citizens regarding $APE and any other NFT utility token. I’m not equipped to speak on any of those issues, nor advise on the best course of action as a holder, but I personally would not feel comfortable in holding any non-trivial amount of $APE at this time.
Jason: It certainly is not a non-issue. $APE holders should be paying attention to legal developments regarding the assets they hold. It doesn’t have to translate into worry yet, though.
John: I think the regulatory concerns are obviously being handled properly by Yuga Labs. By geo-blocking, they aren’t strictly prohibiting people from staking in the United States, just deferring the risk to the consumer. Although this isn’t necessarily a good thing, regulations move slowly and at this current time I believe that $APE holders will be hard to target until more standardized laws appear around this subject. But I am just a designer. What do I know about the regulation? Not much.
Question 5: If Not Yuga, Who
Outside of the Yuga frenzy, we’ve seen some positive momentum across the broader market — and even whispers of an impending NFT Bull Run. What non-Yuga NFT/project has caught your eye over the last week?
Ghost: While I consider myself an ETH NFT maxi, the y00ts resurgence has been extremely impressive. Regardless of what you think of him, Frank knows how to get attention — and in the NFT space, that is a powerful talent to have. I vibe with the art, the traits are unique, and the forming of subDAOS/groups has been fascinating to watch. I am excited to be along for the ride, which is a rare thing to say in today’s NFT market. Holdings: 1 y00t, 1 t00b.
Tyler: Before I answer, I have to sadly break the news that there will be no bull run until daily ETH volume is well above 10,000 ETH and trending up. We are still in a major downtrend. With that said, there are projects winning right now and the biggest is The Memes by 6529. I believe it is becoming its own version of Art Blocks, but for memes, and with Punk6529 at the helm as the most trusted person in NFTs, this project has tremendous upside.
Logan: Nike’s web3 double-down with .SWOOSH has me more frequently checking the status of Clone X and related assets. Short term we are likely to see a price decline as Project Animus launches and people offload Clone X after claiming their Eggs, but the Nike attachment is tough to shake. Outside of Yuga and generative art, it’s the only place I really have my eye.
Jason: I can’t honestly offer a suggestion in current market conditions. Yuga Labs and CryptoPunks are the only two projects worth considering right now. Avoid “investing” in NFT projects until the macro bear trend is invalidated. If you’re looking to collect for the sake of collecting, just find something that sparks your own personal curiosity.
John: I think Tyler is right here in that a bull run seems far-fetched for most NFTs nowadays. A complete market rip like last summer is something of the past. Certain projects will pump off of good news, but I doubt that most will struggle to have any substantial runs. With that said, I think Art Blocks continue to be primed to trend upwards as the historic and artistic values will remain in most of their curated projects.
This Week's Roundtable
Ghost is an NFT analyst at Lucky Trader. He has been in crypto since 2017, and entered the NFT space via NBA Top Shot in January of 2021 before minting Bored Apes and degenning into the broader market.
Tyler is a high volume NFT trader, having reached the top 100 in NFT sales revenue using NFTBank’s rankings, a Pengu maxi (in Luca we trust), and a writer for Lucky Trader. Tyler’s writing spans market analysis, news breakdowns, project ecosystem overviews, and web3 opinion pieces.
Logan is a content lead at Lucky Trader and is best known for selling every good NFT far too early. He also maintains an irrational exuberance for clay-based NFTs.
Jason is an NFT lead at Lucky Trader. He has been involved in the NFT space since CryptoKitties in late 2017, and, like most, he lost a lot of money on Top Shot in early 2021. But nevertheless, he persists (with his Series 1 Legendary From The Top LeBron James Block).
John is one of the graphic designers and video editors at Lucky Trader. Getting involved with NFTs after recognizing the value it adds for digital artists, he has learned that maybe timing the market is better than time in this market.