What Bruce Lee is to the action cinema, Bored Ape Yacht Club is to the NFT space (really the bored apes have turned into the Dragon). And anyone who hasn’t heard of the big cheese like the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), is literally missing their IQ- internet quotient.
However, one thing that intrigued NFT enthusiasts about this club, was how nobody knew who the bored ape yacht club founders were. Yes, the ultra popular BAYC’s founding members’ names were kept unidentified until a report ‘doxxing’ came out in February.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a collection of simian avatars developed by four anonymous founders, has swiftly become a highly profitable venture in a burgeoning field. The founders have spoken with publications such as Rolling Stone and the New Yorker about the origins of the concept of a bunch of elite apes living in a swamp clubhouse.
BAYC: A Cultural Phenomenon
Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection for 10,000 simian cartoonised bored ape NFTs.
The extraordinary apes are ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, and their metadata is stored in the InterPlanetary File System.
Bored Apes soon turned into a cultural phenomenon with the involvement of celebrities in the club as these NFTs have taken the ‘expensive’ shape of status symbols for many.
As mentioned above, the popularity of Bored Apes grew so rapidly that media houses started feeling the need to dig out the personal information of founders which had been redacted due to security reasons.
As things came to be, the identities of bored ape yacht club founders were revealed as ‘Greg Solano’ and ‘Wylie Aronow’. The identity revelation was confirmed by none other than Nicole Munitz, CEO Yuga Labs. This was followed by the self-doxxing of other bored ape yacht club founders.
Wylie revealed in an interview that he met Greg decades ago, at a bar and soon became friends while arguing about David Foster Wallace’s books. Later, Greg got Wylie to crypto in 2017. Following this, they had then begun to explore unique ideas for capitalization together.
In the first half of 2021, both the bored ape yacht club founders started scouting out NFT platforms. After scouring many medias, they stumbled upon the idea of ‘blending virtual art with community membership’ via gamification.
They contemplated the ‘rich ape idea’ for a long time. As, Greg and Wylie weren’t technophiles, so Greg invited No Sass and Emperor Tomato Ketchup into the team and also hired the freelance illustrator, Seneca to put the idea into effect and boom, BAYC was born! Just like that!!
Let’s finally meet the BAYC founding members
Striding a step further in our BAYC chronicle, we’ll bring you closer to all the four bored ape yacht club founders.
1. Greg Solano aka Gargamel
One of the main bored ape yacht club founders, Greg Solano was born and brought up in Miami. The 32-year-old is a former editor and a book critic, who attended the University of Virginia and studied MFA.
He co-authored a book about ‘World of Warcraft’ with one of the game’s designers.
In 2017, his brother-in-law was just buying a little bit of ethereum and that’s when he got introduced to crypto. Later that year, he got Wylie to crypto. They had then begun to look for unique ideas for capitalization together.
2. Wylie Aronow aka Gordon Goner
Like Greg, Wylie Aronow too was born and brought up in Miami. He too shared literary aspirations with Solano.
Gordon Goner enrolled in an MFA program but later dropped out for health reasons.
The 35 year old resided in Chicago for a brief period and was once interviewed for a “Readers of the Week” feature by the Chicago Tribune.
Wylie believed that NFTs had to have a purpose other than becoming virtual treasures. He wanted to provide some utility and significance to the token’s purchasers. He was also a part time day-trader.
So, Wylie came up with the concept of establishing a club in BAYC for like-minded folks to crack jokes and conduct crypto-centric discussions, and Greg agreed. What transpired after that is historical!
In May 2021, Bitmex, a crypto firm took Wylie to arbitration over a disputed domain name. Wylie had reportedly bought the domain name bitmex.guru in 2018, which as per Bitmex’s argument was created to trick people looking for the real Bitmex website.
Wylie did not appear, and the judge commanded that the domain name be transferred after his default in the matter.
3. Kerem aka Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Kerem is an engineer who helped the main bored ape yacht club founders breathe life into their abstract idea by creating NFTs. He graduated in Computer Science from Greg’s university.
He self doxxed his identity a few days after the identities of the BAYC main founders were revealed. Thus, Emperor Tomato Ketchup spilled the beans when he tweeted out his picture alongside the caption.
4. Zeshan aka No Sass
Zeshan was approached by Greg and Wylie for giving a shape to their bored ape idea. He was a computer science graduate from the University of Virginia along with Kerem and Greg.
No Sass tweeted out his picture in a typical cat-out-of-the-bag fashion.