BAYC Makes $20 Million on Sewer Pass Fever Pitch, Blocks Zero-Royalty Platforms

The Background: 

On January 19, Yuga Labs released Dookey Dash, an interactive minting experience that will be available until February 6.
To play the game, users must have a Sewer Pass in their crypto wallet. 

These passes were initially distributed for free to BAYC and MAYC NFT holders and have since begun to appear on secondary NFT marketplaces, according to a tweet from Yuga Labs.

Since they first became available, public demand for Sewer Passes has reached a fever pitch. Sewer Passes have amassed a trading volume of over 13,000 ETH in just three days, amounting to more than $20 million based on recent ETH dollar valuations.


Why it is significant

Yuga Labs established itself as the dominant player in the ecosystem (and the name that those outside Web3’s walls are most likely to have heard of when someone mentions NFTs) after entering the NFT space with the Bored Ape Yacht Club in early 2021. 

Following the release of follow-up collections, such as the Mutant Ape Yacht Club and the Bored Ape Kennel Club, and teasing the NFT ecosystem with the Otherside metaverse, many wondered how the BAYC universe would progress as 2023 approached.

The Sewer Pass mint, an NFT airdropped to BAYC/MAYC holders and made available on the secondary market, was announced by the company in January. The NFT would grant holders access to Dookey Dash, a skill-based game set in the sewers of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The news piqued the interest of the NFT community, and after delaying the Sewer Pass mint by a day, Yuga released the collection to much acclaim.

The mint was always going to be big, but the Sewer Pass collection has since racked up some impressive numbers, with over 13,000 ETH ($20 million) in volume in the three days since it went live. That volume is likely to rise further (jumping up another 30 ETH during the writing of this story). It’s a clear sign that the NFT powerhouse that helped cement the 2021 bull run and put NFTs on the cultural map is ready to continue its reign, regardless of the bear market conditions that bookend it.


What comes next?

Yuga Labs has also taken advantage of the Sewer Pass to make a strong statement. Having made it clear where the team stands on the issue, the group has barred secondary marketplaces from selling the tokens on their platforms if they do not fully enforce creator royalties.

Trading volume on OpenSea and X2Y2 has increased in recent days, while platforms such as LooksRare, Blur, and NFTX are unable to transact the NFTs, a Yuga Labs representative confirmed to Decrypt. Sudoswap, another trading platform known for its zero-royalty policy, is also barred from trading NFTs. However, they may be evading the measure, as the platform’s Sewer Pass page shows over 569 ETH in trading volume.

Last fall, OpenSea reignited the royalties debate by proposing, then abandoning, a move to zero-royalty enforcement for its existing collections. Since then, NFT projects using the platform have taken advantage of OpenSea’s first on-chain enforcement tool, the Operator Filter Registry.