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CryptoPunk 9998; Bored ape 9564; CryptoPunk 7557

It's Ape Fest this week in New York, which is about as edifying as you'd expect.

Catch up quick: Bored apes (2021) are the buzziest current exemplar of community-based NFTs, which have replaced art-object NFTs as the hot part of the crypto market for people looking to get rich quick. They're the latest in a line of such projects that dates back to CryptoPunks and Crypto Kitties, both of which launched in 2017.

  • What they're saying: "The project’s name, Bored Ape Yacht Club, represents a club for people who got rich quick by 'aping in' — crypto slang for investing big in something unsure — and, thusly, are too bored to do anything but create memes," writes Rolling Stone's Samantha Hissong.

By the numbers: Bored apes have gone from nothing to a billion-dollar ecosystem in less than a year, with one ape selling for $3.4 million at Sotheby's.

  • The 277-year-old auction house called its image "an NFT with historical significance," on the grounds that only 100 apes have gold fur.

Driving the news: Three apes, including number 9564, were stolen last weekend, and the major NFT marketplaces all decided that they wouldn't allow those apes to trade on their platform. 9564 (a/k/a Kit) was later reunited with his former owner.

Between the lines: While apes were busy being bored, two CryptoPunks traded for improbable amounts.

  • CryptoPunk #9998 was sold for $532 million by the owner to himself, in a trade facilitated by an enormous flash loan — a loan that, by the magic of crypto, automatically repays itself, and therefore carries no credit risk.
  • CryptoPunk #7557 sold for $19,400, which is a tiny fraction of what any other CryptoPunk has traded for of late. It seems that the owner, intending to put the NFT up for sale for 4,444 ETH, instead typed in 4.444 ETH, and it got snapped up very quickly.

The big picture: While the rest of the art world is getting dragged reluctantly into increased transparency, NFTs remain a caveat emptor world where nobody knows who they're dealing with — or how clean their money might be.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated Nov 30, 2021 - Economy & Business

Crypto meets the real world

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The two largest countries in the world seem intent on effectively banning their citizens from participating in crypto, which poses a serious threat to the crypto agenda.

Why it matters: The crypto world is global — but the real world is fragmented into nation-states, each of which claims control of what happens within its borders.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.