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Meet a 25-year-old NFT collector who earned $75,000 the day of the ApeCoin airdrop—before the Bored Ape token surged 90%

March 18, 2022, 2:29 PM UTC

ApeCoin, the token associated with the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT project, made a number of investors quite a bit of money after its launch on Thursday–including NFT artist and collector Nathan Head.

After he claimed his ApeCoin airdrop on Thursday, Head sold all 10,950 tokens he received for $75,000, he told Fortune, which reviewed screenshots of the transaction. At the time, ApeCoin was trading at around $6.80 per token.

It was “life-changing money,” the 25-year-old said. “I couldn’t believe it at first. I sat there waiting for the transaction to approve. When it went through and I checked my ETH balance, it was a very surreal moment.”

Head, who said he bought BAYC No. 7865 last year for around $4,100, initially planned to hold his ApeCoins after the airdrop. But once they hit market, the price was “way higher than I ever imagined and I thought it would be best for me to sell.” 

BAYC is one of the top NFT collections, with $1.41 billion in total volume traded, according to data site DappRadar. Individual Bored Ape NFTs have sold for millions of dollars. As BAYC has grown in popularity, the project has expanded with other collections, including Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Bored Ape Kennel Club. To reward its NFT holders, ApeCoin was “dropped” to Ape holders for free, with owners able to sell the coin for profit or keep.

Since Head sold his ApeCoin, the price of the token has shot up considerably, although it’s still volatile. 

According to data site CoinGecko, the token has traded as high as $17.17 and as low as $6.21. But different sources have reported different numbers, as crypto news site Decrypt points out. For example, according to data site CoinMarketCap, ApeCoin’s peak was much higher, at $39.40, with a low of $1. Surging as much as 90% on Friday, both CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap estimate the token is currently trading at about $13.70.

Nonetheless, Head could’ve made much more money if he held out. Using CoinMarketCap’s top, he could’ve made over $431,000. “I still feel very blessed and lucky, however watching the token price, it does make me feel a little bit sick thinking it’s over double what I sold for,” he said.

The space is ‘unpredictable’

ApeCoin was released by a collective called ApeCoin DAO, a so-called decentralized autonomous organization. Though the DAO is separate from Yuga Labs, the creator of BAYC, ApeCoin has been adopted as the “primary token for the BAYC ecosystem, as well as future Yuga products and services,” Yuga Labs tweeted on Wednesday. 

After its release, hype drove ApeCoin’s price fluctuation, but such volatility isn’t abnormal for airdropped tokens or for the space in general.

“I think it really goes to show just how unpredictable this space can be,” Head said. But, he doesn’t have regrets, as “I know I would have been so upset had the price crashed to $1 to $2 if I hadn’t sold yesterday.”

After all, this unexpected income means a lot to Head.

Based in London, Head says he’s “moving out of my parents’ house in less than a month and these funds will help me tremendously,” he said. In addition, he plans to invest some of his profit in NFT projects, but convert most of it to fiat for “real life things.” 

He likely won’t buy back any ApeCoin until the price drops, but plans to own a small amount in the future to have exposure to the BAYC project.

Head is super bullish on BAYC, and plans to hold his NFT for the long haul.

“I’ve had my ape for nine months and it is probably the best investment I have ever made in my life. I initially purchased it on a bit of a whim,” he said. “I honestly don’t know if I would ever sell my Ape, even though it’s worth more money than I have ever had in fiat. It truly feels like being in a very cool club that comes with a lot of very valuable freebies and opportunities.”

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