Exclusive interview with the founder of bayc: the biggest success story of NFT in the world

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Original title: "NFT player must read" interview with the founder of bayc boring Ape: the biggest success story in the NFT world "

Interviewee: Greg Solano, co-founder of bayc; Wylie aronow, co-founder of bayc

Author: Jessica Klein

Compiled by: old yuppie

On the evening of February 4 this year, Greg Solano, 33, and Wylie aronow, 35, got some shocking news together with their important partners in their respective homes.

They just learned that buzzfeed news will publish a report to disclose their identity to the wider world. Before that, they had been carefully hiding their true identity (they thought they were hiding well).

Earlier this month, Solano spoke at a hotel in downtown Manhattan. He recalled, "we received a 20 minute warning.".

As Solano and aronow did when they made major or even small decisions about their business, they immediately made a phone call, everyone got angry, and then planned the next action. "Frankly, we have very real security concerns," aronow said. He sat on a bench in the hotel courtyard restaurant next to Solano. Bad guys may try to break into their accounts. People may appear in their homes or do worse to them. They both said, "we don't know what will happen.".

They began to delete personal information from the Internet. Aronow recalled that he stopped his instagram, worried that it might contain clues about the location of his home, and then they warned their families about what was going on, lest they also become targets.

Aronow: J Lindeberg jacket, T-shirt; Solano: rag & Bone T-shirt

Although aronow's immediate family members fully understood why the upcoming article would attract such attention, Solano had to explain the specific situation to his father. He and aronow are the founders of boring ape Yacht Club, which is the most popular NFT project on the Internet. They launched the boring ape yacht club through Yuga labs in April 2021, and the company is currently valued at $4billion.

Boring ape is an ape composed of 10000 unique digital head and shoulder paintings. Each ape has a unique combination of characteristics, ranging from ordinary ("boring" mouth) to extremely rare ("pure gold" hair). Last October, a rare ape was sold at Sotheby's auction for an astonishing $3.4 million. In the same month, guy Oseary, a senior artist manager representing Madonna and U2, became a business partner of bayc.

Today, boring apes can be seen everywhere in pop culture, from T-shirts sold by Old Navy to VMA nominated music videos shot by Snoop Dogg and Eminem. Celebrities like Steph curry, Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, post Malone and Seth Green all have boring apes. Other high-profile holders include Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton, who had a controversial exchange on their apes at the tonight show in January this year. (Solano and aronow said that they didn't know Fallon's words in advance, and they thought the discussion on the program was "very surreal".)

YouTube-The Tonight Show

Despite the collapse of cryptocurrency and NFT markets this year, boring ape is still considered as a "blue chip" investment in this field. At present, the floor price of an ape is about $140000, lower than the peak of about $434000 in April. Yuga labs can get 2.5% of the patent fee for every second sale of NFT.

Solano's father knew that his son was working on a project in the field of NFT and cryptocurrency, but he didn't know the details until he received a call from his son that night in February. Solano, who is of Cuban descent, explained, "I didn't tell my father because he would tell everyone. He would tell the woman in La carreta -" my son is the creator behind the scenes! ". Who else wants to know, who else wants to know? "

This was originally a problem, because before the buzzfeed article was published, most people only knew the account name they used online - Solano used gargamel, which was taken from the villain wizard in the Smurfs, and aronow was Gordon goner, a punk inspired name, and their corresponding ape head.

The same is true of the other two co founders of bayc, who are responsible for technology. Zeshan Ali, 32, whose name was no sass, was later referred to as sass for short (his profile on the bayc website said "for orangutans, not sass"), and Kerem Atalay, 31, also known as emperor tomato ketchup (whose name came from an album of the British and French independent pop band stereolab).

And all four of them want to maintain this state. In their view, Solano and aronow are cornered. (the identities of Ali and Atalay were not disclosed in the article.) Katie notopoulos, senior technical reporter for buzzfeed news, who wrote this article, disagrees with this assessment. Notopoulos told input, "I will characterize it as news. Many other rational people will think so." As she explained in her untangled Podcast in June, "we don't know" the operators of a multibillion dollar company, which seems to violate all social norms.

When making action plans on the phone, Solano and aronow decided that it was best to post their photos on twitter first to "flesh them". Solano exclaimed, "aronow quickly found a good picture of themselves. Instead of rushing ahead of the buzzfeed report, they disclosed their true colors to the Internet within an hour after the report was published."

Four days later, Ali and Atalay followed suit, posting their names and their photos on twitter. Atalay said, "we want to have more control over the narrative and make it a more celebratory event than Greg and Wylie."

A few months later today, Solano and aronow are trying to regain control of their own narratives. Therefore, this meeting, accompanied by their public relations personnel, finally told their story completely for the first time, and publicly resolved the major disputes that had plagued them for more than a year.


In the process of getting along with us, Solano and aronow exuded a brotherly but alert atmosphere. Solano said, "we are the most superstitious people in the world.". He wore a tan T-shirt for the interview because aronow thought he needed "yellow energy".

Aronow wears an amber bracelet that he thinks is "positive" and hardly eats his cheeseburger. Once, Solano kindly made fun of his friend's eating habits. He said, "Wylie only eats cheeseburgers and chicken rolls. We joked that he has a baby mouth."

I later learned that this was caused by a debilitating disease that made aronow bedridden for most of the decade, starting in his 20s. He can control the disease now, but the situation is still unstable. Even for him, salad is a threat, which will lead to the recurrence of his disease (he won't say what it is).

Solano: Sunspel Hoodie and T-shirt, Versace jacket, jeans and glasses; Aronow: Vintage shirts, T-shirts and jewelry.

Pressure is like this. As Yuga's current public face, this seems to be nerve racking. The company is growing: in March, it purchased two other most popular NFT series, cryptopunks and meebits, from creator larva labs. Shortly thereafter, Yuga launched its own cryptocurrency apecoin in essence.

In the first few days of our conversation, Yuga will host a large-scale demonstration of otherside, an immersive game that it has developed together with the British studio improved. However, this is not just a game - it is the beginning of the Web3 metauniverse, which is open to the public outside the boring ape community. Yuga will compete directly with big companies such as meta.

However, what is more stressful is litigation. In June, Yuga sued concept artist Ryder ripps (which is famous for its cooperation with artists such as Kanye West and brands such as Gucci) for trademark infringement and other complaints because he created the same NFT series as boring apes in May. According to artnet, the project is estimated to have made a profit of $1.8 million. (opensea, the mainstream NFT market, deleted this series).

But ripps' Shanzhai project (known as rr/bayc) is only part of the problem. (ripps told input that he worked with three other people to develop rr/bayc, including Jeremy Cahen, the founder of NFT market, who was also prosecuted.). Since the end of last year, ripps has been very publicly accusing bayc of being full of symbols of racism and Neo Nazism. The founders of bayc denied these claims, saying they were all part of a plan to stimulate people's interest in ripps' fake apes.

Solano said, "for anyone who knows our history, this is extremely obvious, and how ridiculous it is. That said, but the persistence and malice of the troll, frankly speaking, how fucking evil the whole thing is, it's hard."

Aronow's face flashed a serious look, and he described the impact of online hatred they had received because of these allegations. He said, "it's like this every day."

Eccentric partner

Aronow said, "in terms of background, we are really a strange pair of partners." He refers to his friendship with Solano. This is obvious. The first thing you notice is the huge height difference between the two business partners: aronow is 6 feet 2 inches tall, taller than Solano.

Aronow has thick black hair and is covered with tattoos (he is embarrassed by the vivid portrait of writer Charles Bukowski on his right arm, which he tattooed as a teenager). His voice was deep and resonant. He is the human incarnation of NFT fans' assembly number "LFG" (let's fusing go). Solano, a bald man with a goatee and a gentle voice, called aronow the perfect motivating "fitness partner".

Aronow said: "We will fight on every idea, whether it's simple twitter or the whole NFT project. In fact, our friendship begins with a battle. About ten years ago, we first met at a diving bar in Miami during our university vacation home, where they began to debate the advantages of David Foster Wallace's infinite jest. Solano didn't even read this book, but he reflexively hated it because The students greatly appreciated his creative writing. They maintain long-distance contact, debate books, movies and ideas, and play worldofwarcraft online together. "

A few years later, in 2017, the two began to talk about cryptocurrency. Like others, they try to make some money in the bull market. But what they are most interested in is the possibility brought by Ethereum blockchain. On this basis, people have established decentralized applications, including gamified collections such as cryptokitties. You can buy, trade and breed unique cartoon cats to create more kitties.

Although he is very interested in digital collections, Solano did not buy his first NFT until early 2021. Shortly thereafter, in February, Solano sent a text message to aronow, saying that they would start their own NFT project. Aronow said, "we immediately began to conceive. One of the ideas is the public digital canvas. Aronow shared this idea with his old friend Nicole Muniz, who is now the CEO of Yuga company. She sensitively predicted that someone would draw a little brother on it."

These people did it. Aronow said, "I thought, where would you draw a penis? The answer is: on the bathroom wall of a diving bar. What kind of people will go there?" The kind of people he knows on cryptocurrency twitter, who have gained wealth from cryptocurrency, still only want to play MMORPG online, rather than living the luxurious life of multimillionaires as expected.

Aronow sent Solano a "whole article" to plan the idea, in which the name "born ape Yacht Club" appeared. Aronow recalled, "as a great editor, Solano said," that's it. That's it. " This concept evolved into - in cryptocurrency, millionaires are real ape people. The word "ape people" means that people living in 2031 will forcibly invest in a new project without doing too much research. Aronow said that he and Solano founded a limited liability company the next day. (the information used by buzzfeed reporters to identify him with human flesh is mainly related to Solano's address at that time)

"I really want to talk to others. They suddenly created something very popular. It's incredible surrealism."

They were not artists. At that time, Solano worked in the publishing industry, while aronow did not work, so they hired a team to implement their ideas. Muniz, the founder of a brand consulting agency, introduced them to a visual artist called Seneca, who created the original bayc concept art based on the directions of "ragged punk rock" and "diving bar in the Everglades". Four other artists helped design the first 10000 apes.

In a brief introduction to rolling stone earlier this year, Seneca said her compensation for the project was "not ideal". The two said that they compensated her for four to five days' work, about the same as Solano's five figure salary at that time, and paid Seneca and four other artists $1million each at the end of last year. (Seneca did not respond to input's request for comment).

Meanwhile, Solano made contact with his friends Ali and Atalay, who met when they studied computer science at the University of Maryland. (Solano met Atalay first. At that time, they were both at the University of Virginia -- Solano was a master of Arts and Atalay was an undergraduate). Ali grew up on the west coast. Her parents are immigrants from Guatemala and Pakistan. They met in English class. Atalay's parents are also immigrants from Turkey; He said he had a "normal, suburban growth process", mainly in Washington, D.C.

Solano is not a programmer. He asked them if they knew JavaScript, which is not the relevant coding language of blockchain. The technical duo soon learned the correct programming language - solidity. Atalay said, "this is the simplest part." Because the erc-721 token standard for NFT programming has long been published, it is easy to use as a template.

The complexity lies in managing multiple components of the project: websites, smart contracts, token gated community spaces, and connecting them. Ali said, "there are only two of us, especially those who have just learned blockchain programming. It is a great challenge to do this."

From left to right: Zeshan Ali (SASS), Kerem Atalay (emperor tomato ketchup), Nicole Muniz (CEO of Yuga labs), Solano, and aronow in apefest 2022matteo prandoni/courtesy Yuga labs in New York.

But they did it. Pre sale and coinage were launched on April 23. On the evening of April 30, 2021 (the date of Hitler's death), as Ryder ripps and other bayc conspiracy theorists will point out - the group of four released these monkeys, which cost $200 each. Then they went to bed.

At about 3 a.m. on May 1, Ali received a call from Atalay. He said that Ali thought there was a "big problem", but on the contrary, he and Atalay watched these collections sell out in real time in the early morning. (facts have proved that the news of bayc has spread all over the fanatical NFT community). At that moment, they knew they had created something big.

This happened almost exactly 15 months ago. Shortly thereafter, all four co founders began working full-time at Yuga labs. Yuga added a new NFT to the ape family. In June 2021, he gave their dog (airdropped through the boring ape Club) and in August, he gave it to the mutant ape; The latter series sold $96million within an hour of its launch. Steph curry, one of the first celebrity holders, bought his ape for about $180000 in the same month.

Muniz joined as a partner in September 2021 (a month earlier than Oseary) and became CEO in January this year. In March, 2022, Yuga labs raised $450million in a round of financing led by a16z. Today, the company has about 70 employees. Aronow said, "I really want to talk to others. They suddenly created something and soon became so crazy and popular. It's really incredible surrealism."

The four founders insisted that they did not live a gorgeous lifestyle. They all bought houses all over the United States, and they refused to disclose (except Solano, who lives in Miami). But Solano and aronow said that they spent most of their time at home and worked in their home office for at least 10 hours - Solano's office was not decorated, and aronow's office was covered with bayc items and children's wallpapers, which he said came with the house.

From left to right: Solano, digital artist beeple and bayc partner guy Oseary at apefest 2022 Ben rosser/courtesy Yuga labs.

But they do meet celebrities, such as Snoop Dogg and Colin kaepernick. Aronow said, "sometimes guy will introduce us to someone on a hands-free phone. Oseary will hold his mobile phone up to the screen. He will have facetim with someone I completely admire." Aronow's favorite celebrity is primatologist Jane Goodall (Yuga labs contributes 1% of the total supply of apecoin to her foundation). Solano said he enjoyed meeting with digital artist beeple.

For Solano, perhaps the biggest change is that he is now indifferent to answering celebrity business calls. He said that in the past, he was also so introverted: "I don't want to call to order pizza hut."

A strange character

Solano and aronow both grew up in Miami. They lamented that Miami has become less cool because of their industry. Their Miami is not the concrete jungle of cryptocurrency brothers living in high-rise buildings in the city center. Aronow said his Miami was particularly "lush, beautiful and full of very strange people".

As a child, he met many such characters - the powerful "handsome guys of the Miami wind and cloud era in the 1980s", who were old friends of his father. They would take him out to lunch and tell him the story of his father don aronow, who was murdered in 1987 when Wylie was a baby.

Aronow said: don aronow is the son of Jewish immigrants born in Brooklyn. He made a fortune in the construction industry in New Jersey in the 1950s, and later became a leader in the power boat industry, and became famous in this process. He witnessed the "emergence of the industry" there, selling ships to "movie stars, kings and queens" and dealing with them.

Later, President Bush Sr. was a friend who owned don's power boat. U.S. border security personnel use his ship - just like the drug smugglers they chase. John Travolta played don in the 2018 film speed kills, which aronow described as "terrible", rogerebert Gave half a star. Www. 68mn.

In 1987, Don was shot in his car in Beitan. He was 59 years old. About ten years later, two people (a former competitor in the power boat industry and a killer allegedly hired by him) expressed "no objection" to his murder. However, there are still many conspiracy theories surrounding the death of the businessman, including gangster relations and the jealous partner of a so-called mistress. According to online speculation, Don is also a CIA agent.

No matter what the real situation of Don's life and death is, aronow said that the stories he heard from his father's friends often conflict with the stories of his mother (Lillian aronow, a former model of Wilhelmina agency), and his death has deeply affected Wylie's childhood. He grew up in coconut groves with his mother, stepfather and a brother eight years older than him. His brother is a "bar hero" in Miami punk scenes.

Aronow said he didn't want to offend his parents, but described his family environment as "inferior". He spent a lot of his childhood in video games, such as final fantasy. By the age of 12, he often ran away from home and participated in local punk rock shows like his previous brother. There aronow found a "second family" composed of people with similar problems.

By the age of 15, aronow was an alcoholic and addict. He would run away from home for a few months at a time, sleeping in construction sites and mangroves with other young runaways. He said that he had been to the same "court compulsory treatment" institution twice. He added, "the head of an organization said that I was the most serious case of alcoholism among teenagers he had ever seen."

He was sent to a second "very chaotic" institution. He said: like the place Paris Hilton went to, they kidnapped you at night and took you to the desert. The people who run the Utah center don't let him read anything except the Bible or popular science books, which are basically the bibles of anonymous alcoholics. Aronow chose the latter. He said he read it about 50 times when he was in Utah, and this book changed his life.

He said, "the moment I returned to Miami, I became captain A.A., trying to help other alcoholics see the same message I felt in the desert. At that time, he was only 15 years old. He smoked and drank black coffee with alcoholics who were decades older than him (aronow occasionally drank alcohol these days, but did not take drugs)."

I really want to give everything, because in my mind, I think, maybe I'm sick again.

Aronow went to university and has the hope of entering a top-level master of Arts program, just like the University of Syracuse taught by his hero writer Joe George Saunders. When aronow became seriously ill in his 20s and had to drop out of school, these dreams were shattered.

Similarly, aronow won't say his disease - given his superstitious nature, he doesn't want to give it "that energy". But it kept him in bed for most of the "really dark decade". Because of his illness, his family supported him financially. He traveled all over the country looking for doctors who could help him (mostly to no avail). He learned meditation and wandered in online communities to "muddle through" through Twitter streaming and Youtube. He is engaged in cryptocurrency trading, but has never done a real nine to five job. He somehow managed to get to know his current girlfriend.

Finally, in his early 30s, he found the right expert, the right medicine and the right diet. He is well. Then, at the same time, the rest of the world fell ill. COVID-19 has the upper hand. Because everyone is trapped at home, people look for ways to participate in community activities online, as aronow has done in the past decade. NFT, as an art and collectible, shines brightly on the scene.

Then, in February 2021, Solano sent aronow a text message: "Hey, do you want to be an NFT?"

Aronow said, "at that time, I thought, I want to do everything. I really want to give everything, because in my mind, I think, maybe I'm sick again."

average person

Solano himself admits that his background story is far less dramatic than aronow's. His parents, both Cuban immigrants, came to the United States at a young age. At that time, his mother was a baby, and his father joined the youth vanguard of the Communist Youth group when he was old enough. (Solano first went to Cuba about seven years ago).

Solano's mother lived in Miami all her life, while his father moved there after serving in the U.S. Army Special Forces (also known as Green Berets) in his 20s. His parents divorced when Solano was 11 years old. He lived with his sister and his mother, who worked in a television network. He declined to be named.

Solano wanted to be a writer from the age of 11. After graduating from New York University, he moved to the South and received his master of Arts degree from the University of Virginia. He said that this eventually became "the best time of my life". He can spend all his time writing. He soon made friends. He also met his future wife, who is now a professional landscape architect. She first met him because she likes his poems.

"You see the founder as a bigger role in life on the Internet. Then when you see them, you will think, well, it may really be me."

After graduating from the University of Virginia, he found a job in a small publishing house, engaged in Licensing Intellectual Property Rights - Harry Potter's coloring books and worldofwarcraft manuals. This is not a dream job, nor is it the highest paid job (the price of the cheap bored ape NFT is now twice his salary at that time), but it can be satisfactory. He said, "it's amazing to retire and want to write a physical book."

He realized the ironic fact that his work is now almost invisible. "But at the same time, we have been trying to make it more shaped," he said

Indeed, bayc has real-life benefits (including access to branded goods such as hats and hoodies). More importantly, ape holders own the intellectual property rights of their apes, which opens up a broad world for brand promotion. Actor Seth Green said, "when you talk about people spending $X for any of these boring apes, what this spending includes is commitment, opportunity, and becoming the next Mickey Mouse!"

(in May this year, green lost his boring ape Fred in a phishing scam. Green later managed to regain the ownership of his ape. He said that he reached a "multifaceted" agreement with the NFT collector who bought the ape from a liar, and he told input: "The Los Angeles County Sheriff's cyber crime team is dealing with this case. Once I reach an agreement to take back my ape, I am relieved to be able to look at this market in the eyes of God. Instead of feeling so crazy, it seems that all my plans have been terminated in one button.")

Escalator at pier 17 in New York during apefest in 2022

Pop stars SIA (right) and apefest 2022 companions

In addition to business, there is also fun in the form of IRL activities. Last fall, combined with nft At the NYC conference, bayc organized its first apefest, which culminated in a warehouse party in Brooklyn, with the performances of strokes, Beck and lil baby (an early celebrity ape holder).

At that time, the founders could enjoy the celebration without being recognized by the wider bayc community. Ali said, "I remember last year at apefest, I could play with anyone. No one knew who I was. Once there was a leak, I knew it would be different." The second ape man festival, in June nft During the return of NYC, there were four nights of performances, such as LCD soundsystem, Haim, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and (again) lil baby.

There are also more moderate bayc gatherings held around the world. For example, after our interview, I attended the party with Solano and aronow. It was held on the green leaf terrace of a dark basement bar in downtown Manhattan. About 15 ape man holders, one of whom launched his own boring ape man brand spicy sauce, gathered to drink. Just like the overall situation of NFT scenario, this team tends to be young and male.

The plan of ape man festival in 2023 appeared. Some people said, "I really want to go to Las Vegas. I don't know how many apes live in Las Vegas, but..." others put forward the idea of taking the festival to the desert. Josh ong, a famous community member, replied, "apehella!" The concept of Tokyo ape man festival in 2025 was put forward. Solano suggested going somewhere in "a mountain".

Snoop Dogg performs at apefest 2022

Questlove DJ in apefest 2022

After a quick group photo, the founder's public relations staff sent them back to the hotel. But some people insisted on staying, so I asked them how they felt when they saw the person who created bayc. A young man named Doris Burke on twitter said ("not an ESPN announcer", his resume said): "this is almost surreal, because they are just, for example, ordinary people."

He continued, "you regard them as more important people than life on the Internet, and then when you see them in person, you will think, well, it may really be me."

"Evil Troll"

Not everyone regards the founder of bayc as a "normal person". Many critics on twitter think they are opportunists at the top of the monkey JPEG pyramid scheme, and input has previously investigated this allegation. (the founder naturally disagrees with this description.) Of course, there may also be Ryder ripps, the most vocal critic among them.

Ripps set up a website named gordongoner at the beginning of this year COM, he compared the logo of Yuga labs with the Totenkopf logo used by the Nazis, and claimed that the word Yuga was a hint to the anti rightists. (the company said the name came from a villain in the Nintendo 3DS game Legend of Zelda: the connection between the worlds).

Ripps believes that the pseudonyms of all founders have sinister meanings. Gordon goner is a variant of dragon Negro. Gargamel of Smurfs is an anti Semitic description of a Jew. Sass is a combination of "two main Nazi military departments", namely SA and SS. Ripps pointed out that emperor tomato ketchup was originally the title of a Japanese film, which was widely censored because it was considered child pornography.

Ryder rippsnicholas rhodes/corbis entertainment/getty images in January 2015

In addition, ripps claims that apes themselves are racists - an example of "anthropomorphism", in which people belittle a race or ethnic group by comparing them to monkeys. He also pointed out some allegedly problematic ape features, including the "Prussian helmet" (according to ripps, this is another Nazi whistle) and the "sushi chef headband".

Other people have taken his gun and went further, such as the popular YouTube philion, who recently released an hour long video entitled "boring ape Nazi club" to analyze the image of Yuga. So far, the video has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

Earlier this year, input investigated ripps' claims, talked to the artist himself, and consulted experts from the Jewish organization anti defamation alliance, who expressed doubts about most of the allegations. However, experts from the anti defamation alliance do agree with ripps that there are problems with "hip-hop" features (gold chains, gold teeth) and "sushi chef headbands". However, one of the researchers told input at that time, "it is difficult to infer that the person behind them is a white supremacist."

Aronow compared this dispute with the rumors surrounding his father's death and before his death: "we are all shrouded in a conspiracy filled shit world." He and Solano both became very dignified when talking about ripps, and their words were also very measured. Accusations are an understandable and sensitive topic. (during their photo shoot the next day, aronow noticed a German looking badge on the sleeve of the green army jacket he was wearing. He kept repeating, "this is not my jacket." The photography team promised to edit out this detail).

The founder said that ripps was a "vicious Troll" who was good at "cheating" and making them look bad in front of people who didn't know the situation. They proposed a factional line, that is, aronow and Oseary are Jews, and the other three founders of Yuga are children of immigrants.

Oseary said, "in the early days, I was really offended. I even contacted ripps. I think through my conversation with him, he will know that I will never be associated with such a thing. You know, I am Israeli, I am Jewish."

"This should always be an interesting and rebellious club. It should never go beyond any form of criticism."

The founder added that ripps had always deliberately wanted them to sue him. (in June, Yuga labs filed a lawsuit against ripps in the Central District Court of California, claiming that ripps "deceived consumers to buy rr/bayc NFTs by abusing the trademark of Yuga labs", and "flooded the NFT market by using the fake NFT series with the original image of the born ape Yacht Club, belittling the born ape NFT".

Ripps said, "by suggesting that I do things for money, it is a means of diverting attention from the effectiveness of my criticism." He called his series "a protest and imitation of bayc". In a video interview with the defiant, ripps said rr/bayc "may be the greatest work I have ever done.". He added, "it proves what NFT is. It is a provocation to a company. It reveals a very important problem. It is creating an army of educators. ".

When the hotel discussed the dispute with Solano and aronow, I proposed features like sushi chef headband. Solano said, "this should have been an interesting and unrestrained club. It should never go beyond any form of criticism."

Aronow added, "it's hard not to offend everyone in the world."

Enter the metauniverse

Three days after seeing Solano and aronow, I stood in an all white room surrounded by a group of robots that seemed to be made of stone. About 4500 of us (including four founders) gathered together, and Curtis, the great ape in a Hawaiian shirt and captain's hat, explained our trip together. There is a squat alien creature called Koda around him. This person's name is blue.

Curtis announced at the beginning of Yuga Labs' first public demonstration of the new universe: "welcome, travelers, to another world. Or to infinite space, a little like the hall of other worlds."

After some instructions on how to make our avatar dance, we opened a hole below. We were all involved in a whirlpool of rainbow channels, spitting us to a green island. Curtis joked, "Wow, nerds, it's raining!"

Courtesy Yuga Labs

In the next more than an hour, we nerds completed a series of tasks under the guidance of Curtis and blue. We are for a recent nft The people who broke their glasses at the NYC meeting looked for a "new pair of glasses" and worked together to incapacitate the dangerous and drunk Koda (we were told that the "first boss war" of otherside). At the end of the presentation, everyone posed as a group of "self timer".

On cryptocurrency twitter, the response to this demonstration was enthusiastic. A few days later, Solano, aronow and I talked about the demonstration on zoom. "To be honest, this is one of our best press conferences," aronow said They pointed out that although there are tasks to be completed and drunken villains to be overthrown on the other side, the focus of the game is not that it is a game. It is a virtual leisure place where players can simply play with their ape brothers, buy assets in the world with ape coins and own them in the form of NFT.

They explained that this is an "interoperable metauniverse" because people can bring their NFTs into and out of the other side and use them elsewhere on Web3. For example, "fortrite night" makes money by players buying assets in the game, such as the skin of their avatars; Its publisher Epic Games earned more than $9 billion from the game in 2018 and 2019. Aronow said, "all these values are entering the metauniverse, and none of them will come out again."

This is also a collaborative meta universe. Travelers (users who buy with otherdead tokens) get a piece of land in the metauniverse, and they can use it at will (according to the otherside document: "under the informed guidance of the community"). Voyagers can also provide feedback through the discord server, which is likely to affect the shape of the otherside. Aronow explained, "they are iteratively inputting what this will become at every step along the way."

"The ambition and scale of the task we are trying to accomplish here is huge."

He continued that this would help Yuga compete with Internet giant meta in the race towards the ultimate metauniverse. He said, "the ambition and scale of the task we are going to accomplish here is huge."

Solano and aronow believe they are the right people for this job. Aronow said, "in the hands of the wrong people (possibly bad actors), the metauniverse may be a utopian and terrible place. They assume that their metauniverse is lush, beautiful, and full of very strange characters. (although it may be crowded with" many men ", as someone said in the group chat demonstrated by otherside)".

They said that otherside would take years to develop. But when it is ready, people have to wonder, who cares? The cryptocurrency world is developing rapidly. By that time, isn't the ape boom over? In addition, cryptocurrency and NFT markets have been falling recently.

When I mentioned the ongoing cryptocurrency winter in the hotel, Solano told me, "only the games that losers are playing pay attention to the bear market." Besides, they are not worried. They have plenty of money.

Aronow added, "our profits are particularly high. We have a very considerable competitive fund here to ensure that we can survive, not just survive, but build in any bear market for many years. Just keep building, building, and building."

This is a huge challenge. When the founders are just a pair of completely anonymous partners discussing the drawings of the little brother on the hypothetical bathroom wall, they can never imagine this. Aronow said, "we may be the largest company in the field of NFT at present, but we are far from the largest company in terms of establishing the metauniverse. We want to kill some giants."

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