Bored Ape Creators Buy IP and Commercial Rights to NFT Rival CryptoPunks

Yuga Labs, the creator behind popular non-fungible token (NFT) project Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), has just acquired commercial rights to two of the most popular collections on the market, CryptoPunks and Meebits.

Rivals No Longer

After rumours spread like wildfire, Yuga Labs confirmed on the weekend that it had acquired the intellectual property rights, as well as all commercial rights, to CryptoPunks and Meebits.

This means that we now own the brands, copyright in the art, and other IP rights for both collections, along with 423 CryptoPunks and 1711 Meebits.

Yuga Labs announcement

The deal was said to have originated “organically” in conversations between one Yuga Labs partner and the Larva Labs founders. Apparently “one call led to another and here we are at this historic moment”.


The Larva Labs co-founders highlighted their view that Yuga Labs would be the ideal custodian of their creation, saying:

Yuga Labs are the innovators of the modern profile picture project, and the best in the world at operating these projects. They are the ideal stewards of the CryptoPunks and Meebits. In their hands, we are confident that they will continue to be vital, thriving projects in the emerging decentralised web.

Matt Hall and John Watkinson, co-founders of Larva Labs, CryptoPunks and Meebits

Two Different Approaches

In tracing the stories of the two most valuable NFT projects, it’s clear that BAYC and CryptoPunks chose very different paths. Whereas CryptoPunks took a more hands-off approach, the BAYC has come to resemble an exclusive membership club with an ever-increasing array of perks.

Aside from exclusivity of holding the NFT itself, BAYC holders seem to believe that part of its value lies in its ability to commercialise the Bored Ape image. This has translated into real-world events, partnerships, and even a play-to-earn game. And despite the proliferation of copycat projects, high-profile associations with the likes of Adidas have seen the BAYC take some of the shine away from the NFT OGs, the CryptoPunks.

Last month, CryptoPunk #5822 sold for US$24 million. Source: OpenSea

While some holders of CryptoPunks will no doubt be concerned about the direction of the project post-acquisition, others may well be looking at it as an opportunity to not only commercialise, but increase the exposure and publicity of the NFT OG. One prospect that appeared to gain support on Twitter was @Gee_Gazza’s take:

Dale Warburton

Dale Warburton

Dale is a former attorney turned passionate Bitcoiner with an interest in investments, macro, geopolitics, innovation, tech, nature, wildlife, MMA and Bitcoin (of course).

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