The deal is the first major consolidation event in the NFTs space. It makes Yuga Labs now the sole owner of arguably the three biggest non-fungible projects. Anyone following NFTs even remotely would be familiar with these names. For those new to the NFT world, it is like Burger King buying Wendy’s to expand their brand’s reach.
Yuga Labs now owns the brands, logos, copyright in the art, and I.P. rights for both projects. They also acquired 1,711 Meebits and 423 CryptoPunks as a part of the deal. Although the involved parties did not disclose the financial terms, we can still make a good guess. According to DappRada, the average price for CryptoPunks is $177,450, and for Meebits, it’s around $16,000. So, the deal is most likely worth more than $100 million, taking into account the total value of the NFTs alone.
According to the officials at Yuga Labs, the deal “came about in a very organic way from conversations between our partner Guy Oseary and the Larva Labs founders.” Guy Oseary is an Israeli-American talent manager who joined Yuga Labs and BAYC for representation.
The deal took place at a time when the NFT market was cooling down. Overall, the NFT market was in an extremely hot rally throughout much of the last year, as the sales kept on growing in terms of both value and volume. Since the holidays, the market started moving down and hasn’t picked up yet.
However, this news has injected momentum into the floor price of all three projects. Meebits, especially, saw the biggest spike, rising 32% to 5.6 ETH ($14,500). CryptoPunks jumped 11% to 75 ETH ($195,000), and BAYC rose about 30% to 97 ETH ($250,000).
Now, let’s take a closer look at all three NFT collections to have a better understanding of this deal.
CryptoPunks is one of the earliest NFT projects in the world. Two Canadian “creative technologists,” John Wattkinson and Matt Hall, launched the project back in 2017. The project is developed on the Ethereum blockchain. It is basically a collection of 10,000 individually unique 8-bit pixel avatars, each of which is generated by a custom-designed algorithm.
Many experts say that CryptoPunks is the first-ever project to utilize the NFT technology in its true sense. Each character is entirely different from the other, and its value depends on its rarity. On release, the creators gave away 9,000 CryptoPunks for free, allowing everyone with an Ethereum wallet to get one.
Over the years, the price of these collectibles gradually increased. According to data provided by the NFT marketplace, the total trading volume is now hovering around $2.2 billion.
Bored Ape Yacht Club
Started by Yuga Labs in April 2021, Bored Ape Yacht Club is the true successor of CryptoPunks. Yuga Labs is a Miami-based company started by two crypto enthusiasts, Greg Solana and Wylie Aronow. BAYC is a collection of 10,000 algorithmically unique characters, and everyone who buys one of these gets its ownership and I.P. rights.
The craze for the Bored Ape Yacht Club picked up very soon after the release. The total worth of these NFTs traded to date sums up to about $1 billion today.
The Meebits is a much-appreciated project launched last May by CryptoPunks founder Larva Labs. Previous successes were enough to create hype around this project. According to OpenSea, Meebits has traded around $227 million.
The acquisition event marks a milestone for the entire NFT industry and indicates that the industry is headed in a professional direction.
The founder of Larva Labs said that they believe the deal is beneficial for both companies and Yuga Labs are the better stewards for them. “Yuga Labs are the best in the world at what they do and are the ideal stewards of the CryptoPunks and Meebits,” Matt Hall said. “We felt like we were less and less suited to this as a couple of software developer experimentalist kind of people.”
Larva Labs clarified that they are not planning to make any changes in CryptoPunks or Meebits. They would only transfer I.P. rights to all the owners of the NFTs, as they did with BAYC and MAYC (Mutant Age Yacht Club). They will be sending the new terms and conditions to the NFT holders soon. Moreover, transferring I.P. rights will be free of cost.
The Yuga Labs team doesn’t intend to create a “membership club” around these. “What we don’t plan to do is shoehorn these NFT collections into the ‘club’ model we’ve developed for BAYC. We’re not in a rush here. We’ll be listening to the community before we decide what comes next.”
Karishhma Mago, a crypto expert and the CEO of Digital Nod, expressed her views on this industry-defining deal. “This significant acquisition comes at a time when the NFT market buzz has cooled. Yuga Labs is betting on the market’s long-term viability. Only time will tell if this was the right move.”