A non-fungible token is, at a minimum, a bit of code that lives on a blockchain that you can “own.” When I put it like that it isn’t very appealing. When I add that the code can point to a web server that hosts a JPEG image, it … doesn’t sound that much more appealing? You “own” the JPEG in some very specific blockchain-y sense, but you don’t actually own it, and anyone else can look at it or download it.
But this is dumb and trivializing, and really what an NFT is is a symbol of membership in some sort of online (or offline) community. The best and most valuable NFTs offer their owners real social benefits; owning an NFT in a popular series like CryptoPunks or Meebits gives you a sense of community, perhaps some intellectual-property rights, and a way to socialize with like-minded, uh, venture capitalists.
Owning an NFT in the Bored Ape Yacht Club series gives you a particularly valuable social experience: You get to have your Bored Ape stolen and then complain about it online, which lets you feel a sense of kinship with Seth Green and a bunch of venture capitalists who have also had their Bored Apes stolen.
Here, for instance, is a New York Times story about apes getting stolen on the NFT trading platform OpenSea. And here is the latest ape theft:
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Discord server was hacked on Saturday, with the attacker making off with 200 ETH ($360,000) worth of NFTs, according to Yuga Labs.
The hack took place after the project’s community manager, Boris Vagner, had his Discord account compromised, which the attacker then used to post phishing links in both the official BAYC and its related metaverse project called Otherside’s Discord channels.
Yeah one lesson here is that there is absolutely no link that the members of the BAYC Discord server won’t click. They just love clicking links! “Maybe this is the link that will get my ape stolen,” they hope, and this weekend they were right.
Look, this is what Bored Ape Yacht Club is! Bored Ape Yacht Club is a way to spend a lot of money to become the victim of an online theft that you can then complain about! You are not getting some other utility from pretending to own a picture of a monkey! But once it is stolen you can commiserate with Seth Green or whatever.