The reason I call myself Paper Ape is because that's how I trade. I'm a complete ape with the expendable money I have. I've never explained the name to anyone but basically I existed on the internet as an ape before BAYC made it cool. I say this to preface a new series I'm making called Ape Tales.
Ape Tales will be stories of my most degenerate trades and we can watch some of them play out in real time. Nothing is financial advice, I just want to share my stories with y'all.
Who knows, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two?
In my previous post about The Wonderquest I laid out my plan for hatching, selling, and keeping the dragons I want to go on quests with. I originally said I wasn't going to buy any more eggs after the 10 I minted but that plan quickly vanished. Opportunity was knocking.
I've been studying a bunch of 10,000 supply generative NFT projects for the blog and there are a few characteristics that the successful ones share:
Ability to keep peoples attention (build community)
Didn't immediately sell out (better distribution)
Attention to detail (for both art & operations)
The Wonderquest possesses each of these characteristics. My confidence in this project comes from the team's preparedness, partners, and leader. It's uncommon to have a fully doxxed person leading a crypto project - let alone a celebrity with over a million followers. Alison has been involved in crypto for many years already and she understands the culture and ideologies that make this technology so important. If you've ever heard her speak about the project or crypto in general, it's apparent she's not after a cash grab. That's my backstop.
Before I dive into my trade I want to remind you that the mint price for eggs was 0.0888 ETH.
After minting opened, people were selling eggs as low as 0.03 ETH. A lot of people were doing this to try and get some ETH back to try minting again for a rarer egg. This caused some people to lose confidence in the project because they were seeing really low prices after minting opened and the eggs weren't selling quickly.
A week after minting opened, the Hatching event occurred. This event allowed the dragons inside the eggs to finally be revealed. When the Hatching event happened, it was overshadowed on Twitter by CryptoPunk & BAYC prices booming, causing people to become scared that this project wouldn't go anywhere. Dragons started selling under mint price and a some of those people kept doing the mint/flip cycle to try getting rare eggs. It took an additional 6 days after the Hatching event until all 10,000 eggs were eventually minted.
In addition to people losing confidence, Rarity Tools wasn't setup immediately after the hatching began so there was a window of about 1 week where nobody knew how rare their dragons were. This is where I found my edge.
By simply filtering on OpenSea, I was able to calculate the rarity of each trait based on the total numbers available. This allowed me to distinguish which dragons had the rarest trait combinations before anything became official.
After realizing this my gut instincts kicked in. It was like something took control of my body and physically made me pour ETH into the project. It was time to ape.
Over a one week span I spent 9 ETH purchasing 21 gold dragons at an average price of 0.427 ETH, about 4.8x higher than the mint price.
Seeking gold is ingrained in human culture. No matter which NFT project you find, gold skin is almost always the #1 rarest trait. This is because it's extremely easy to distinguish and any human immediately recognizes it as a status symbol. I've bickered about NFT projects that don't make their rare traits easily recognizable because people skimming the collection have no idea what's valuable. Gold solves this problem.
Don't believe me? Look at floor price of gold apes, gold dogs, gold craniums, gold stallions, gold penguins, gold bulls, gold bears and then try to tell me they aren't valued higher than other traits.
This isn't a coincidence either. The rarity is coded in.
There is a 5% chance to mint a gold dragon, meaning there should be about 500 gold dragons total once all 10,000 eggs are hatched. This means once all eggs are hatched I should theoretically own 4.2% of the gold dragon supply.
Furthermore, dragon rarity can be broken down further into 5 other categories:
Looking at the total numbers from each trait within these categories, it was easy to tell which categories to target by looking at their ranges. To find this, I subtracted the total amount of the rarest trait in each category from most common trait.
Breath weapon - Range: 68
Habitat - Range: 36
Preferred treasure - Range: 60
War mask - Range: 390
Armor - Range: 360
Larger range = More influence on rarity
This let me know to focus on finding dragons with war masks and armor. Luckily, these categories shared something in common with their rare traits - gold.
This means there are now 3 things I'm looking for in dragons:
Gold war masks
My top priority was to get gold dragons. Any additional gold trait was viewed as a bonus in which I would bid more aggressively for. I shockingly hit a home run securing one of the 11 dragons in existence with all 3 gold traits. It only cost 0.888 ETH, 10x from mint price.
Since I'm a numbers guy, I also calculated the amount of gold dragons wearing at least one piece of gold: 61. I own 9 of the 61. (14.7%)
Here are my gold dragons' final rarity rankings:
#14 - Dragon 8848 (gold hydra + gold dragon armor)
#18 - Dragon 4633 (triple gold kirin)
#105 - Dragon 8403
#122 - Dragon 5698
#154 - Dragon 1253
#305 - Dragon 8353
#321 - Dragon 429
#403 - Dragon 4050
#415 - Dragon 5569
#420 - Dragon 1716
#452 - Dragon 3448
#466 - Dragon 5150
#476 - Dragon 4821
#482 - Dragon 9141
#493 - Dragon 911
#499 - Dragon 1565
#522 - Dragon 3968
#582 - Dragon 7924
#586 - Dragon 1414
#604 - Dragon 5973
#722 - Dragon 8254
I don't agree 100% with the rarity rankings that were released because I feel like the gold class is undervalued when compared to the golden dragon armor trait specifically. The fact that there are only 22 dragons with golden dragon armor caused them to have a much heavier impact on rarity than I expected. In hindsight, I would've tried targeting more dragons with this trait.
This being said, I feel extremely fortunate to be in the position that I'm in. All my gold dragons will be locked away in their lairs for a LONG time. I don't intend on leeching from the community either, I am a Wonderer who wants to see the community grow and thrive. For that reason, I want to make sure the scarcity behind these wondrous beasts remains sacred.
Now that I've entered the trade, what am I looking forward to the most about where The Wonderquest is headed?
There's so much in store for this project and we are only at the beginning. If you want to keep up with this trade and see how it plays out for me, I highly encourage you to subscribe to Apewell and follow me on Twitter. It usually takes me a day or two to write a post so Twitter will give you the quickest access to my thoughts. If you've read this far I want to give my sincerest thanks. I hope some of this information was useful in helping you all become more savvy NFT investors.