The remarkable rise of the Bored Ape Yacht Club can be attributed to the overwhelming acceptance and subsequent buying of collections owned by the club during the course of the previous year. Celebrity figures such as Eminem, Steve Aoki, Gunna, Jimmy Fallon, Post Malone, and Snoop Dogg all own different collections of BAYC NFTs. Should the current trend in record sales continue, it is estimated that BAYC might overtake CryptoPunks in total sales volume this year. However, collections owned by the club do not come cheap, and there has been a general increase in prices over the years. Presently, the minimum cost of entry into the club is set at 71 Ethereum or $267,000 in its dollar equivalent. This increase has made membership of the club unattainable for the general public.
However, despite enjoying increased popularity, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has been plagued with several issues: the theft of NFTs belonging to the club. Since December last year, there has been a growing number of cases of BAYC NTFs being stolen. The thefts are usually carried out by hackers who scam owners of bored ape collections via email phishing and gain access to their crypto wallets.
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According to news reports from ARTNews, one of the victims, Todd Kramer, the owner of an art gallery in New York, reportedly lost 15 NFTS valued at $2.2 million, four of which were Bored Apes on the of 30th December. The fraudster has since proceeded to resell Mr. Kramer’s NFTs. However, with the assistance of OpenSea’s crew and other concerned buyers, some of the stolen NFTs have been tracked and returned to Kramer.
This current trend has once again raised concerns over the regulation of the NFT space to avoid thefts and other vices within the space. Owners and fans of NFTs and cryptocurrency have since turned to centralized entities for assistance, in a move considered ironical given that the crypto and NFT spaces were introduced to serve as viable alternatives to centralized financial institutions.