THE MAYC DROP
It’s been a crazy few months in the swamp, apes.
On April 30th, 2021, after a slow week-long pre-sale, the 10k Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection sold out over the course of one wild night. Now, four months later, we have over 5,333 unique members, making us one of the most distributed NFT collections of our kind. There’s been songs (1, 2, 3), there’s been thousands of sick derivatives, million-dollar-apes, streetwear collabs, metaverse hangs and IRL meetups . . . we made it to Forbes and The New Yorker, introduced companions, and donated nearly a million dollars, causing one charity to change their profile picture to an ape on Twitter. And we’ve had so many celebrities and athletes ape-in to the club that it’s beginning to feel like we could field entire NBA and NFL teams.
The power of the Bored Ape Yacht Club is in its members and how relentlessly creative, supportive, aligned, and fucking funny our community is. It’s what has made it possible to go from inception to the biggest auction houses in the world in just four months. We’re deeply thankful to everyone who has been on this wild ride with us. We’re excited to introduce the MAYC.
THE MUTANT APE YACHT CLUB
From the moment we launched the BAYC, the culmination of Roadmap 1.0 has been clear—the introduction of Mutants. We have always envisioned Mutants as a second (and final) tier of club membership. They are a way for us to reward ape holders with an entirely new NFT—a “mutant” version of their ape, with traits corresponding to the original—while also allowing a fresh generation of newcomers into the BAYC ecosystem at a lower tier of membership. We wanted to take a moment to explain our thought process behind the dynamics of the MAYC drop, and the role we see Mutants playing in the BAYC’s future.
We all know that the key to our success has been in bringing in new members and making them feel welcome. Each new member is one more person integrated into the hivemind, building the future of a web3 club with a bunch of other apes. As interest in the Bored Ape Yacht Club has grown over the past few months, we have repeatedly been asked by seasoned BAYC holders and new club members alike, “How will you get new folks into the club?”
Bored Apes have soared since mint. We’ve seen extremely active, giving, and honestly quite diamond-handed community members who have been with us since launch go on to sell their apes, because, well—they were finally able to achieve life-changing financial goals, such as paying off medical debts, student loans, or buying their first home. The only trick was, they had to leave the club in the process. Similarly, we’ve heard from countless members of the broader NFT community who regret missing the chance to ape-in before the floor price became as high as it is today (currently 60 ETH or ~$200,000).
This is why we’ve created an entry point for new members in the form of a public sale of the MAYC.
We wanted to give both of these groups of people the chance to enter (or re-enter) the BAYC family in some capacity, albeit at a lower, more limited tier of membership than the Bored Apes. We’re confident that the club will be strengthened with them in it.
Mutants represent the final tier of membership to the BAYC ecosystem. Everything going forward occurs with the intention of accruing utility and member’s-only benefits to Bored Apes foremost, but also Mutants, and to a lesser extent, Bored Apes with BAKC companions. We have ambitious goals for the utility we will offer across the ecosystem, but it’s important to be clear: Apes are, and will always be, the top tier of BAYC membership.
FINDING AN EQUITABLE MINTING STRUCTURE
BAYC token holders are airdropped serums which they can use to mutate their Bored Ape for free (just gas). For the public sale however, we needed to find a minting structure that would allow for the best chance of a fair distribution; in our opinion, that’s a Dutch auction.
It’s important to note that when the BAYC launched, almost no NFT collections were selling out; but now the landscape has changed. It’s not uncommon for the majority of an NFT collection’s mint to be snagged by a small proportion of wallets using bots and/or enormous gas fees, effectively bribing Ethereum miners for the privilege of minting.
The best minds in crypto have been wrestling with this problem (here’s Vitalik’s take). Rather than encourage a race-to-the-bottom gas war that would inevitably exclude most would-be minters while grinding the Ethereum blockchain to a halt, we wanted to find a way to automatically identify the market-clearing price for a Mutant. With a Dutch auction, we start the sale at a price that, by our estimation, far exceeds the market-clearing price—3 ETH. The price declines from that point and minters gradually buy-in as the sale approaches market-clearing price—no mad rush, no gas war, and rather than encouraging flippers, we encourage long-term club members, committed to growing the ecosystem for everyone in it. It’s worth noting we’re not alone in opting for this minting structure—Art Blocks has begun utilizing a Dutch auction at a 5 ETH starting price, and has floated the idea of in fact raising this to 10 ETH.
There are two final components to the minting structure that we felt would help ensure a fair distribution. The first was by doing the MAYC public sale as a “stealth drop”, meaning the public sale was not announced beforehand. While we alerted community members that something would be happening, the broader crypto community—and all the bots that entails—would not be prepped for this sale. The second component to consider is that Mutants would not be revealed until after the sale has concluded. This eliminates the possibility for users to mint a few tokens, examine them for rarity, and then immediately list them below the floor in order to mint more mutants in hopes of scoring a rare.
NOTE: Another pricing scheme that has gained traction recently is the mintpass model. We don’t believe mintpasses are an effective solution to the problems described above with our particular drop, as they would simply shift demand away from the NFT being sold to an intermediary asset.
SERUM-TYPE GENERATION AND ASSIGNMENT
We’d also like to take a moment to explain for those interested the details of how we achieved a random distribution of serums for our airdrop. All of the metadata for the Bored Ape Chemistry Club (BACC) Serum NFTs are stored on-chain on our SerumMetadata contract. This is how we generated and distributed BACC Serums:
- Off-chain, we wrote a script to generate an array of 10,000 Serum type IDs that fit a predetermined distribution (7500 M1, 2492 M2, 8 MEGA). We shuffled this array in place 600,000 times using the Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm. This represents the original, pre-offset collection of serum types.
- We wrote these types to our Serum Metadata contract in their original order (these values are held in the serumTypes array on the metadata contract).
- We used Chainlink VRF to generate a verifiably random number, and applied the following transformation to it to generate a random starting index that we could use to assign the serum types: (randomNumber % 10,000).
- With the starting index, the type for a given Serum ID can be computed using the following: (serumId + startingIndex) % 10,000 = corresponding index in serumTypes array.
- We batch-minted 10,000 Serums on the BACC contract, according to the type-distribution above.
- We took a snapshot of all ape-holding wallets, including the list of the BAYC IDs held by each.
- Finally, we airdropped the Serums to those wallets such that each wallet received Serums with the IDs matching their owned Apes (e.g. a wallet that owned Ape 500, 501, 502 would have received serums 500, 501, 502).
Why does this work? Because the Serum type metadata was loaded onto the contract before we used Chainlink VRF to generate the random starting index for the collection, nobody—including ourselves—could have known which Serum types would end up corresponding to which BAYC IDs once the starting index was computed. The record of what metadata was written to our contract, how many times that data was written (once, in three batches), and what starting index was generated via Chainlink VRF are all publicly available on-chain.
There’s only one more item left on Roadmap 1.0—the Treasure Hunt, which has prizes currently valued at over $200k for the winner. The Treasure Hunt will be launching shortly (after the Sotheby’s auction, but before the Christie’s one). And after that, it’s all about Roadmap 2.0. We can’t wait to share with you more on what we have planned for the BAYC ecosystem. Thank you, apes. Come hang with us in the Discord until then.