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One trader leverages $2m on Bored Apes as co-founder steps back into CEO role

One trader leverages $2m on Bored Apes as co-founder steps back into CEO role
Traders appear to capitalise on Yuga Labs' acquisition of Proof Collective and their leadership reshuffle. Credit: Andrés Tapia
  • Yuga Labs' acquisition of Proof Collective and leadership changes mark a significant shift in the NFT landscape.
  • Well-timed trades surrounding the two major Yuga Labs announcements raise questions about market foresight.
  • The NFT market shows signs of recovery, highlighted by Yuga Labs' moves and a notable increase in weekly trading volume.

Yuga Labs, the force behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, made a pair of decisive moves signaling a change to the status quo, after briefly falling behind the Pudgy Penguins in floor price.

The first change was the acquisition of Proof Collective, followed by a significant leadership reshuffle, with former Yuga Labs CEO and co-founder, Greg Solano, stepping back into the CEO position.

Just prior to the statement by Solano, one trader built a $2 million leveraged position in the Bored Ape NFT collections, raising concerns on social media that they may have had prior knowledge of Solano’s move.

“We want to unshackle the BAYC team at Yuga as much as possible to execute against its vision. More focus, more agility. So it can do the above, and create the space for the magic and crazy shit we used to get up to more often” Greg Solano said in a post on X.

These developments, unfolding in a market gradually trying to shake off its bearish slumber, mark a pivotal juncture for BAYC and the NFT community at large.

Well-timed trades

In the days leading up to the statement from Solano, one wallet address, 7f4c, received 507 Ether from OKX, Bybit, and Binance.

They went on to deposit all of this Ether into the Blur bidding pool where the wallet then went on to buy 30 Bored Apes, worth about$2 million at current floor prices.Those Apes were purchased over a few days, with the first purchase occurring on February 20, and the last purchase on February 23, just hours before Solano’s announcement.

The average price the Ape’s were purchased at is 21.8 Ether, giving this trader only a 2% gain overall based on the current floor price, but at the local peak of 24.4 Ether, this trader had a 12% gain.

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The trader used these Bored Ape’s as collateral, allowing them to borrow 162 Ether, effectively giving them a 1.3x leverage on the position.

It is unclear the motives behind this trader. It could have been a way to farm the Blur airdrop that gives users points for bidding and lending on NFTs. Or it could have been a move to capitalise on the historically low floor price. Or it could have been someone using knowledge of the upcoming statement by Solano to their advantage.

Things are further complicated by the fact that another mysterious trader seemed to time the announcement of the acquisition of Proof Collective.

The trader, B339, received 70 Ether from Bybit before going on to purchase 80 Moonbirds, 71 Moonbirds: Mythics, 12 Mythics: Egg and 28 Moonbirds Oddities. They began this buying spree on February 12 and continued until February 16, the day the Proof Collective acquisition was announced.

The total cost for the NFTs was 59 Ether, and now, they have an estimated value of 168 Ether, nearly tripling their investment in 11 days.

Yuga Labs didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Yuga Labs shapes a new narrative

Around the time of the flipping on February 17, Yuga Labs made its acquisition of the Proof Collective public in a blog post. The Proof Collective encompasses assets like Moonbirds, Oddities, Mythics, and the Grails exhibition series.

Five days after the acquisition, Solano announced on social media that he would be stepping back in as CEO of Yuga Labs.

“I see both developments as bombshells, strategies to regain the spotlight and center stage” Nicolas Lallement, founder of NFT Floor Price, told DL News.

“Despite the challenges Yuga faces with the development of Otherside, a compelling comeback story, akin to that of Greg Solano, might be sufficient to overcome all current doubts and skepticism surrounding the project’s future. At least short term,” Lallement said.

The market reacted favourably to Solano’s comeback story, with the floor price of one Bored Ape rising from 20.9 Ether just before the announcement to 24.4 Ether. Since then, the price has pulled back to 22.1 Ether.

Overall, the NFT market is on a rebound as well, with $183 million in volume for the week that started February 12, the highest weekly volume since the week of June 26, 2023.

Ryan Celaj is DL News’ New York-based Data Correspondent. Reach out with tips at ryan@dlnews.com.