There was a buzz going on in the backend of the crypto world – whispers of a merger that will change the game. Well, it has happened.
Bored Ape Yacht Clubmakers, Yuga Labs, has acquired the entirety of the CryptoPunks NFT collection – creating the world’s largest (and the most expensive) collection of NFTs.
Jointly breaking news of this “merger” on Twitter, Yugalabs tweeted:
“Yuga has acquired the Cryptopunks and Meebits collections from Larva Labs, and the first thing we’re going to do is give full commercial rights to the NFT holders. Just like we did for BAYC and MAYC owners.”
The result of this acquisition has created an NFT market whose tokens are near the worth of a whopping $3.6 billion – a figure that has been slowly getting all too common within the NFT world.
With this merger, Larva Labs has completely pulled their hands back from CryptoPunks and Meebits, with Yuga Labs now owning 423 CryptoPunks and 1711 Meebits.
But what is the purpose behind this merger? For all intents and purposes, Larva Labs had been bullish – and successful – in creating market worth NFTs that have gained the attention of not just hardcore enthusiasts but also the crypto-novices.
Expansion beyond Comprehension
The CryptoPunks project, when first launched in 2017, took the NFT world by storm with its unique approach of giving away 10,000 NFTs for free. Being the earliest and arguably, the most influential NFT project, CryptoPunks’ rarest pixelated portrait is worth millions. On the OpenSea, even the lowest priced NFT is worth USD 200,000. Building upon the foundation laid by CryptoPunks, Larva Labs launched Meebits back in 2021- selling NFTs worth millions within the first few hours of its launch.
However, with this merger, both CryptoPunks and Meebits leave the control of the Larva Labs and make the Yuga Labs the primary head honcho of the NFTs.
Even though the news of this acquisition came as an “expected” shock to the NFT enthusiasts, people have still wondered why Larva Labs took this step.
In response, ex-Cryptopunks IP holders, in their blog post, admitted that their expertise has always lied in the early-stage projects, creating a buzz around pixelated arts in which people can find value.
“However, the Profile Picture Projects (PFPs) evolved into its own industry, it was time to let go because we found ourselves less suited for the project” – the blog post reads.
Admitting that there are several aspects of the NFT market that they are still novices at – community management, day-to-day operations and public relations – Larva Labs thought it was better to take a step back from CryptoPunks and let BAYC – the kings of the crypto world — handle the reins of the CryptoPunks.
Does that mean the end of Larva Labs?
No. It does not. Despite backing on from CryptoPunks – the company’s flagship NFT project – Larva Labs is working hard on its new Autoglyphs project.
And this merger takes care of one aspect that has been a pain point of most holders of CryptoPunks and meebits – owning the full commercial rights of the NFTs.
Previously, even though the holders owned their NFTs, the intellectual property rights of the same were owned by Cryptopunks – limiting the utility of the NFTs for the holders.
It will finally give wings to the NFT holders, who will now be able to creatively utilize the NFTs – all because of the absolute commercial and ownership rights they now own of their tokens.
This merger creates one question – why Bored Ape Yacht Club? To many, it might be seen as an aggressive acquisition within the NFT space.
Why did the Bored Ape Yacht Club decide to merge with the CryptoPunks?
Within the realm of NFT space, there are hardly any tokens more ubiquitous than Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks. However, when it comes to exclusivity and utility, no one has made a mark quite like the BAYC.
Sporting a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club carved its own space within the NFT space with its Profile Picture (PFP) Projects.
Soon, the NFT holders found out that each ape is unique, rare and impossible to replicate. That realization created a chain reaction that made the NFT community, as well as the celebrities, watch out for the Apes. From Paris Hilton to Jimmy Fallon, many celebrities are more than happy to inform the masses about their cute apes. It further inflated the prices of each ape – making BAYC the most exclusive collection of NFTs in the space.
It seems that Yuga Labs will leverage that prevalence to push the community even further. And that is one reason behind their ownership of Cryptopunks.
“We are happy to take on the responsibility of these brands and communities. We are excited to work alongside CryptoPunks and Meebits holders – who now have full commercial rights to their NFTs.”
Stating that this doesn’t redirect their focus away from BAYC, The Yuga Labs confirmed -” We want to make it absolutely clear that the BAYC ecosystem is still the center of our universe.”
Why is it crucial to completely transfer the commercial rights to the NFT holders?
Despite what the marketing hype says about the worth of NFTs, it is the community that gives NFT its value. The Larva Labs might have started to gain ground with their initial release of CryptoPunks; it was not completely ready to let go of its commercial rights – severely handicapping the very aspect that makes NFTs worthy to the crypto ecosystem.
Full commercial rights to the NFTs give the holders more ways to leverage the tokens in profitable ways. For instance, the Ape owners have used the monetization rights of their NFTs to spin their own NFT collections.
And taking many steps further into the metaverse, these owners have also signed their apes with record labels.
Simply put, the transfer of commercial rights of the NFTs to their respective holders gives them more reason to work towards the success of the NFTs. And it will bring around newcomers who are yet apprehensive about the space to buy NFTs.
The acquisition of Cryptopunks collection by Yuga Labs will help redefine the value of tokens for the CryptoPunks NFTs. Even though the new terms of this acquisition have not been disclosed, it is safe to say that it will bode well for the NFT space.
And the effects have started to take root. The CryptoPunks Meebits acquisition by the BAYC creators has caused the floor price of all three NFTs to rise, and it may help the NFT market as a whole to resume their bull market.
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