Meet the Mastermind Behind Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoKitties
Pranksy is a former game developer who previously made the mother of all asymmetric returns in NFTs turning a $600 deposit into millions.
He started with CryptoKitties and continued with NBA Topshots all the while collecting massive returns. And the Pranksy playbook has become notorious for buying a large amount of NFTs at launch, snatching up a huge chunk of the supply and becoming the main market maker in a category whose value is largely determined by the difficulty in creating liquidity.
In early 2021, Pranksy claimed to command a NFT collection worth upwards of $9 million, with almost $7 million in Topshot highlights alone.
Pranksy “started NFTs in 2017 after getting a tip off from a friend that ‘digital cat pics’ were going viral and selling for loads of money. I took a look at the site, installed Metamask, deposited $600-$800 in ETH and never looked back.”https://entre.army/media/dbb3c3215878c88d34035645ada50dee
In just a few weeks, his deposit grew to upwards of $30,000 as CryptoKitty mania took hold and clogged up Ethereum for days on end.
From there, Pranksy branched out to other projects, turning “flipping” into a second source of income aside from game development. His niche was investing heavily into projects at launch, commanding a huge supply of the circulating NFTs and growing “notorious for providing a lot of volume and liquidity to a project.”
“Pranked is a market expert and volume churner at the highest level,” said fellow NFT collector and developer Nate Hart. “People hate on flippers because of the downward pressure they put on a market, but the reality is they’re essential since a project with no volume is often a dead project.”
I never intended to damage markets, I just support them. I provide liquidity. I provide volume. I make things possible. — Pranksy
While Pranksy’s early and aggressive accumulation of NBA Topshot Moments was a tactic he’d developed over years of practice, it wasn’t always an easy journey.https://entre.army/media/c57d9f7c1ea09b926c96006b4f26ba11
“2018–20 was a hell of a grind, scraping around for an ETH here or there, when ETH was $200,” Pranksy said.
Pranksy and Bored Ape Yacht Club
At Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) launch, Pranksy bought up 1,000 apes, or roughly 10% of the supply. According to Pranksy, BAYC passed the “profile pic test,” the art was quality and relatively cheap.
Many question Pranksy’s ethics but to Ape owners, Pranksy has done exactly what they hope to, scratch their way to wealth by putting in the hours and making it stick.
BAYC claimed to be CryptoPunks for the people and sold each ape for 0.08 ETH, which at the time was a novel move representing a democratic, equal opportunity sale.
A practiced collector in the space, Pranksy was able to identify a promising project and buy out a significant portion of the market ahead of time.
At the time of minting Pranksy owned over 1,200 Bored Ape NFTs (over 10% of the market) and has slowly sold many as the collection gains popularity.
Pranksy advises developers and collectors to “do their research! Don’t suddenly drop a new project or invest heavily into something without first spending some time in discord and on social media […] Nothing worse than buying items on opensea blind or buying a cheap license and releasing a collectible card game NFT of it.”