A collection of 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible tokens (NFTs) sold for $24.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction Thursday.
The figure implies an average price of $241,515 per ape NFT and exceeded Sotheby’s initial estimate for the total collection of $12 million to $18 million. A second lot of 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) NFTs – digital dogs designed as companions for the apes – sold for $1,835,000.
“The Bored Ape Yacht Club project is one of the most exciting and creative NFT collectibles since the launch of CryptoPunks, and has become a major force in pop culture,” said Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s co-head of digital art, in an emailed statement.
The collection of digital apes has gained a cult following among the cryptocurrency community, attracting celebrity collectors such as NBA superstar Steph Curry, consumer brands such as AriZona Iced Tea, and a feature in The New Yorker.
BAYC NFTs are currently selling at a floor of 40 ETH on NFT marketplace OpenSea, or approximately $140,000. The sale did not appear to substantially impact the price of BAYC NFTs, which hovered around that level throughout the duration of the auction, which ran from Sept. 2 to Sept. 9.
The online sale at Sotheby’s saw over 40 bids placed from bidders from eight different countries, including a majority who were new to the auction house.
The sale drew largely positive support from the BAYC and broader NFT community on Twitter.
“Congratulations and THANK YOU to the whole ape community,” tweeted the BAYC in response to the historic sale. “To the buyer, I think we speak for everybody when we say: WELCOME TO THE CLUB.”
The million-dollar sale prices of NFTs such as BAYC and CryptoPunks have captured the attention of international auction houses itching to cash in on the boom.
“We actually have a number of other NFT auctions already in the works and have been developing a long-term NFT strategy since this spring,” said Bouhanna.
The auction house has also seen interest from traditional art collectors who are “eager to learn” about the new art category, he added.
The NFT space topped $5 billion in sales volume in August, completing its best month ever, according to a report by decentralized application (dapp) store and data provider DappRadar.