BAYC on the Rise: Ex-Barclays Traders join the Digital art Frenzy

  • Former Barclays employees collected 70 BAYC NFTs in a bet.
  • The NFTs are said to be valued at around $24.4 million.
  • The NFT industry will be worth $30 billion this year and $80 billion in 2025.

The BAYC was in the news earlier this month regarding the hack of their discord channel and it is yet again making headlines as two Barclays Plc traders have traded junk bonds for one-of-a-kind computer art, accumulating a collection of nonfungible tokens from the Bored Ape Yacht Club in a gamble on the growing appeal of digital collectibles.

Former high-yield cash and derivatives traders Ovie Faruq and Mike Anderson, who left Barclays and started collecting NFTs, have amassed 70 photos of apes in varying degrees of boredom, as well as three Damien Hirst NFTs and other digital photographs. They wouldn’t say how much their collection is worth or disclose individual ID addresses because of security concerns, but a Sotheby’s auction of similar photographs in September gives an approximate amount. A batch of 101 Bored Ape tokens was sold for $24.4 million, and their value has subsequently risen.

“It’s an illiquid market with large price swings, so much of the same discipline and skill around trading high-yield and distressed assets are transferable,” the latter said.

In recent years, non-fungible tokens have risen in value, attracting venture capitalists like Andreessen Horowitz to invest. According to Stephanie Wissink, an equity analyst at Jefferies, the NFT industry will be worth $30 billion this year and $80 billion in 2025.

NFTs produce a digital signature that makes them one-of-a-kind using blockchain. They’ve lately been under investigation when a slew of NFT projects failed and practically perished, bringing back memories of the ‘Initial Coin Offering’ (ICO) bust of 2018, when thousands of digital tokens lost value swiftly.

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Vidhi Narula