• Why is an Ethereum game buying up NFTs, including a $2.9 million bored ape?

  • On Monday, the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection saw its highest-ever secondary market sale, when an ape illustration with gold fur, laser eyes, and a captain’s hat sold for 740 ETH, or slightly more than $2.9 million at the time of purchase.

    Perhaps as surprising as the sale price is who bought it: the developers of an upcoming Ethereum-based video game. The Sandbox’s creators announced the high-value purchase on Tuesday, saying it’s part of a larger push by the company to support the NFT community and cultivate a collection that can be featured within the game.

    “We see The Sandbox contributing to the growth of the NFT and metaverse ecosystems, supporting creators both inside and outside of our gaming virtual world, and adding value to NFTs by increasing utility through avatar interoperability and showcasing them across The Sandbox,” co-founder and COO Sébastien Borget told ULTCOIN365.

    An NFT is a type of cryptocurrency token that acts as a receipt for a digital item. Almost anything on the internet can be linked to an NFT, and these tokens have exploded in popularity among art collectors, gamers, and investors in the last year.

    That Bored Ape NFT, dubbed “The Captain” by The Sandbox, is the crown jewel of The Sandbox’s collection, which NFTBank.ai estimates is worth more than $13 million. In fact, the company owns 31 different Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, with the most recent addition estimated to be the most valuable.

    We bought Bored Ape #3749 “The Captain” for 740 ETH.

    A thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/twLsiBb4Lx

    — The Sandbox (@TheSandboxGame) September 7, 2021

    The Sandbox is a new Ethereum-powered metaverse game that will allow players to explore a 3D world filled with custom game experiences created on users’ LAND plots. Each LAND is sold as an NFT, which serves as a title deed. The Sandbox has already made millions of dollars from the sale of LAND NFTs prior to the game’s release. The game’s first public alpha test is scheduled for later in 2021.

    The Sandbox teased a collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club back in May, and there have been a few signs of collaboration so far. Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape, own a piece of LAND on The Sandbox’s map, and the game developers have announced plans to turn the randomly generated ape images into playable 3D avatars that can be used within the interactive game world.

    While Bored Apes account for the majority of The Sandbox’s NFT collection valuation, the company owns over 350 NFTs in total, including pieces from avatar collections such as Pudgy Penguins, Meebits, and World of Women. It also includes items from the generative art collection Art Blocks, Gary Vaynerchuk’s VeeFriends series, and Axie Infinity and Zed Run, two other Ethereum NFT-centric games.

    Earlier this year, the NFT market exploded, with $2.5 billion in transaction volume across the top marketplaces in the first half of 2021. However, a recent resurgence has resulted in even higher peaks: according to Dune Analytics, leading marketplace OpenSea recorded more than $3.4 million in volume in August alone, and is on track to surpass that figure in September.

    NBA and NFL Stars In Bored Apes, CryptoPunks, and Other Ethereum NFTs

    According to CryptoSlam data, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has been one of the most popular projects of late, and the entire Ape collection—including the subsequent Bored Ape Kennel Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club drops—has generated more than $750 million in total trading volume since its April debut.

    Athletes such as Steph Curry of the NBA and Dez Bryant of the NFL are among the notable owners. A Sotheby’s auction for 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, which ends tomorrow, has a high bid of $19 million. As of this writing, the high bid in a secondary auction for a set of 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs is $1.5 million.

    The Sandbox recently demonstrated how users can display NFT artwork in-game by creating interactive 3D galleries for other players to explore. Its approach is similar to that of virtual galleries seen in other Ethereum-based metaverse worlds like Decentraland and Cryptovoxels. Finally, The Sandbox intends to continue purchasing NFTs and will give holders of the game’s SAND governance token a say in future acquisitions and their use.

    “We are convinced that game, music, and visual arts culture will be one of the pillars of the open crypto metaverse. We don’t just build and sell; we also invest and help to build the ecosystem,” Borget explained.

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