On Friday, Arizona Iced Tea announced that it purchased an NFT in the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club collection—a series of 10,000 randomly-generated profile pictures that has surged in value since launching in April. Although the Bored Ape Twitter account shared the news and welcomed the brand into the community, its creators later told Decrypt that the drink brand actually overstepped its commercial limits.
Yuga Labs, the developer behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, told Decrypt on Sunday that it had not collaborated with Arizona Iced Tea on the purchase of the NFT and its announcement. “We’ve never interacted with Arizona prior to the tweet,” the team said in an email.
Yuga Labs grants commercial license to Bored Ape NFT owners to use the image(s) they own as they see fit, even to create or promote products. That part is fine. Where Arizona Iced Tea went wrong, according to the developer, is in the use of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and logo with the announcement, which does not count as authorized use.
Welcome to the yacht club, @DrinkAriZona.
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) August 20, 2021
Bored Ape’s commercial rights policy ”has led to a lot of creative projects in our community, many of which have been successfully monetized,” the team told Decrypt. “Owning one of our NFTs does not give any rights to our name, logos, or branding however; that was inappropriate usage and we’ve messaged them about it.”
Arizona’s tweet actually refers to one of those unofficial commercial products: a community-run project called Bored Ape Comic. Decrypt also reached out to Arizona Iced Tea about its Bored Ape NFT purchase and promotional plans ahead. We will update this article if we hear back from the company.
An NFT acts like a deed of ownership for nearly any kind of digital item, as verified by a blockchain. In the case of Bored Ape Yacht Club, buyers gain ownership of an avatar that depicts an ape with various traits and accessories, as randomly generated upon its minting on Ethereum. High-profile owners include social media personality Logan Paul, NFL player Dez Bryant and rapper and YouTuber KSI.
Bored Ape Yacht Club has been one of the most popular NFT collections of late. The collection has generated more than $241 million worth of trading volume since launching in April, according to data from CryptoSlam. August has been the collection’s biggest month to date in terms of volume, with $139 million recorded so far this month.
In fact, Saturday was the collection’s largest single day to date, with more than $17 million in trading volume, and Friday was the second-highest date with $13.5 million. Today’s trading volume so far, as of this writing, nearly matches that of Friday.
The Arizona Iced Tea announcement could have had an impact on sales over the weekend, much as today’s announcement of Visa buying a CryptoPunk NFT preceded that collection’s largest-ever day of trading volume. CryptoPunks is one of the earliest NFT projects ever created. It launched in 2017 on Ethereum and actually predates the blockchain’s official ERC-721 NFT token standard.
CryptoPunk prices have shot through the roof this year, with the lowest-priced NFT on the secondary market priced at more than $225,000 worth of ETH as of this writing. Comparatively, the most affordable Bored Ape NFT available for purchase right now on secondary market OpenSea is listed at about $91,400 worth of ETH.