In brief

  • Ethereum-based NFT collections, Bored Ape Yacht Club and Pudgy Penguins, sell for millions of dollars.
  • But developers on Ethereum-rival Solana have released their own, very similar collections.
  • Not everyone is happy about this.

NFT collections inspired by Bored Ape Yacht Club and Pudgy Penguins are spreading fast on Ethereum rival Solana—and selling for huge amounts of money. 

London-based blockchain advisory firm Moonrock Capital yesterday bought a Degenerate Ape Academy Solana-based NFT for $1.1 million. Others in the collection are on the market for as much as $1.7 million.

The unofficial NFT collection was inspired by the hugely popular Ethereum-based Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection—a collection of 101 Bored Apes sold this week for $24.39 million at auction house Sotheby’s. 

Another collection, Solanapes, which mints NFTs with “Randomized trait combinations unique from the ETH apes,” dropped first. 

The Degenerate collection, though, has a different design and is only based on the same animal. The Degenerate collection is distinct from the first Ethereum-based collection of apes and only shares the same animal. 

SolPenguins, which look a lot like Ethereum-based Pudgy Penguin collection, are also spreading on the Solana blockchain—but not selling for as much money: the floor price is 1.6 SOL, or $281. 

Right now, most of the lucrative NFTs projects, like tokenized artwork, sound clips, videos or chat bots, are housed on Ethereum. 

The projects are spreading on Solana to make the most of the blockchain’s low transaction fees. “The low tx fees probably mean we could afford to live in Manhattan,” tweeted Degenerate Ape Academy on September 7. 

And Solana’s blockchain is popular, too—SOL is the sixth biggest cryptocurrency by market cap—a spot it’s nabbed surprisingly quickly since its launch last spring.

But not everyone thinks that Solana will continue to have success in the NFT world. One NFT trader told Decrypt that Solana is “less mature” and is “not going to be the landing spot for high-end NFTs” in the future. 

NFTs are unique: since they are stored on the blockchain, they can’t be counterfeited. But according to other big NFT traders, designers using Solana’s network are able to rip off cheap variants.

Gmoney, a pseudonymous NFT investor, told Decrypt: “There’s nothing original about them. I think if Solana wants to be taken seriously for NFTs then they should encourage people to make new and creative projects. Not copy/paste.”

So far, the biggest (and most expensive NFTs) are Ethereum-based. Who knows whether Solana will overtake Ethereum in the NFT world—but it sure is trying.