Character-based NFTs have become a status symbol for owners who regularly use their animated creatures as avatars on social media.

NFT avatars blew up in 2021, commanding up to millions of dollars apiece for individual images that could be collected and used on social media, and driving billions of dollars’ worth of collective trading volume in the process.

Among the more recent crop of projects inspired by CryptoPunks, there’s none larger than Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Bored Ape NFTs have now generated more than $750 million worth of trading volume, including subsequent variant sets, per data from CryptoSlam. And they are increasingly the Twitter NFT avatar of choice for athletes, musicians, and more. Buying a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT grants access to the titular “club” of sorts, and membership has benefits.

Thinking about “aping in” and buying one? Here’s what you need to know about the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Bored Ape Kennel Club, and how to buy them.

What is the Bored Ape Yacht Club?
Developed by Yuga Labs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 profile pictures minted as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. An NFT, or non-fungible token, acts like a deed of ownership for a digital item, allowing buyers to prove that they own the one-and-only version of that image. In this case, buyers own an illustration of a disinterested-looking ape with randomly-generated traits and accessories. No two images are exactly alike.

What’s so special about them?
As the name suggests, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is billed as an exclusive society or social organization, and owning one of the coveted NFTs unlocks that membership. It earns users access to an exclusive Discord server, for example, where fellow owners—including celebrities—hang out and chat. And Apes tend to flock together on social media, where the increasingly familiar avatars have united a digital brotherhood of sorts.

How to buy Bored Apes
Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are available through secondary markets, most notably OpenSea. To purchase a Bored Ape Yacht Club, Bored Ape Kennel Club, or Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT on OpenSea, simply visit the project page for each to view the entire collection.

Some may be listed for sale at a fixed price, while others can be listed for auction. You will need an Ethereum wallet, such as MetaMask, to purchase an NFT on the site, as well as enough ETH to cover both the purchase price and Ethereum gas transaction fee.

The future
In terms of name recognition, Bored Ape Yacht Club is arguably the most well-known profile picture NFT collection, jockeying with CryptoPunks for the top slot. In December 2021, the floor price of Bored Apes flipped that of CryptoPunks for the first time, signaling changing sentiment around the rival NFT projects.

Gradually, a growing list of prominent people has taken to using Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs as their social media avatars. Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry bought one for $180,000 worth of Ethereum in August 2021, joining a list of athlete owners that includes fellow NBA stars Josh Hart and Tyrese Haliburton, as well as NFL players Dez Bryant and Von Miller. Musicians including Eminem, Steve Aoki and Timbaland also own Apes.

Brands have also followed suit; in August 2021, Arizona Iced Tea bought a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT and used it in marketing materials. In December 2021, Adidas bought a Bored Ape as part of a wider metaverse play that included the launch of a comic starring the character.

PFP NFTs got another big boost in January 2022, when Twitter introduced NFT profile picture verification for users of its Twitter Blue subscription service.

But with new PFP series launching every day, and trends coming and going according to the fickle whims of fashion, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s position as the celebrity NFT of choice could yet be usurped. For the time being at least, though, Bored Apes are top of the PFP heap.