Yuga Labs, the developers of Bored Ape Yacht Club, has acquired the CryptoPunks and Meebits IP, making them owner of two of the most valuable NFT collections.
Yuga Labs, the creators of the highly popular and most valuable NFT collection
by market capitalization — Bored Ape Yacht Club, has made an announcement that shocked the NFT
space. It announced on Saturday, March 12 that it has acquired the original NFT PFP collection, CryptoPunks
, and Meebits from Larva Labs. Some CryptoPunks holders were unhappy with Larva Labs lack of communication and guidance on IP rights issue. Yuga Labs has made it clear from the onset that full commercial rights belong to the holders.
The acquisition of the IP for these two significant NFT projects is part of a multi-pronged approach
by Yuga Labs. Granting commercial rights to the community is the first step, as the new owners control the brands, art copyright, and other IP rights. Moreover, Yuga Labs acquired 423 CryptoPunks and 1,711 Meebits, putting a sizeable portion of both collections in their hands.
Yuga Labs built Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), those other massively successful NFT projects in the profile-picture collection section. As the team now owns the IP to four of the most successful and popular NFT collections to date, it becomes crucial to look forward.
Following the revised commercial rights for Meebits and CryptoPunks holders, developers can incorporate these collections into their Web3
offerings. However, they will not get the "club" treatment of BAYC, even though they will gain extra utility. What level of utility that will be will hinge on community feedback and figuring out what each project needs specifically.
It is logical to ask oneself how Yuga Labs will handle the freshly acquired CryptoPunks
and Meebits assets. Both projects note a substantial increase in sales volume over the past 24 hours, although that may be due to the acquisition by Yuga Labs.
CryptoPunks has a price floor of nearly 76 ETH, an 11.71% increase compared to a week ago. For Meebits, the floor has risen to over 6 ETH, a 101.6% increase for the week.
With those strong price floors, one may think Yuga Labs has a good opportunity to cash in by selling the acquired assets. However, the team plans to incorporate both collections into its long-term plans. That will, most likely, mean the team will not sell [all of] their acquired assets in the foreseeable future.
When companies or IP gets acquired, there are usually some crucial changes on the horizon for those with skin in the game. In this case, however, there will be no immediate change for CryptoPunks or Meebits holders. More specifically, everyone will maintain access to their assets, which will not change. Nor will the collections disappear from OpenSea or other NFT marketplaces
, as that would be detrimental to their popularity.
However, CryptoPunks and Meebits holders can expect a new direction to give both collections more utility and enhance their versatility. There may be a price increase for these collections in the short term, as there is now a broader sense of long-term purpose. While CryptoPunks and Meebits have strong communities, Larva Labs was never entirely clear on their long-term viability or purpose.
Yuga Labs aims to probe the community for ideas on how to give these two collections more purpose. They will not merge with Bored Ape Yacht Club
or Mutant Ape Yacht Club, as CryptoPunks is a "historical" collection, and Meebits has a much broader potential for the Metaverse than these other collections.
The acquisition of the IP for CryptoPunks and Meebits by Yuga Labs is an intriguing development. Larva Labs has made a name for itself in the NFT space over the past five years. CryptoPunks remains the all-time leading NFT collection for all trading volume, and Meebits is an online identity avatar solution for the Metaverse
. Both concepts remain very popular today, which explains why Yuga Labs took a strong interest in these IPs.
However, Larva Labs also acknowledges they are creators, not project operators or community management. Having a creative vision requires different skills and talent than managing public relations and day-to-day management of projects like Meebits and CryptoPunks. Yuga Labs and Larva Labs have several similarities yet complement one another well. Therefore, Larva Labs decided to hand over the reins of the CryptoPunks and Meebits operations to a new team.
That acquisition includes the IP of both projects, including most of the developer-owned Punks and Meebits. NFT holders will receive commercial rights to their assets, and both collections will play a prominent role in the future plans of Yuga Labs.
However, Larva Labs remains a separate entity and will continue to operate its Autoglyphs project. Moreover, the team will work on new ideas, although no details are available on what that might entail.
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