Elon Musk Uses Bored Ape Yacht Club as Profile Picture. Chaos Ensues

Musk's moves often cause movements in cryptocurrency prices. Now he's moving NFT money, too.

Daniel Van Boom Senior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
Expertise Cryptocurrency, Culture, International News
Daniel Van Boom
2 min read
A collage of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

This is the Bored Ape Yacht Club collage Elon Musk switched his Twitter profile picture to. It's not an NFT, it's a collage downloaded from Google image search.

Yuga Labs

Elon Musk has many hats: founder of Tesla and SpaceX, incoming owner of Twitter and, of course, Dogefather. He got that last moniker because the price of the dogecoin cryptocurrency is tied to Musk: Its all-time-high of 72 cents came amid speculation that Musk would advertise the crypto during his appearance on Saturday Night Live a year ago. Last month, the price surged over 20% when Musk announced that he's buying Twitter.

On Tuesday, Musk exhibited his market-moving powers again, but this time for NFTs. Musk changed his Twitter profile picture to a collage of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, the most prominent collection of nonfungible tokens. He then tweeted, "I dunno … seems kinda fungible."

Musk's tweet is likely a dig at the Bored Ape community. Rather than unveiling himself as a Bored Ape owner -- NFT traders often fantasize about Musk having a secret trading wallet for NFTs -- Musk used a collage of the ape avatars downloaded from Google search. To be clear, it's a picture of Bored Ape NFTs, not an actual Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT. The ol' "why buy an NFT when I can right-click-save" chestnut.

Musk hasn't spoken directly on the NFT craze in the past, but has made suggestions that he's not the biggest fan. He previously described Web3, the so-called next generation of the internet that will utilize both cryptocurrencies and NFTs "more marketing buzzword than reality." When Twitter unveiled a feature that allows NFT owners to display their goods with hexagonal display pictures, he called it "bs."  

Yet whatever Musk's intent, everything tied to the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection immediately shot up in price.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection saw a flurry of sales that drove the floor price of the collection up over $40,000, from 105 ether to 120 ether ($300,000 to $340,000). Ape coin, the cryptocurrency created for the upcoming Bored Ape metaverse called Otherside, briefly shot up 20%. Hourly sales for Otherdeed, NFT land deeds for said metaverse, went from 60 in the hour preceding Musk's picture change to 360 the hour after.

Influencer NFT pumps often don't last long, but a lot of money can change hands in that time. Over $21 million was spent on Bored Ape, Mutant Ape and Otherside NFTs in the 60 minutes following Musk's tweet -- and that doesn't even count the ape coin activity.