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Flipped Bored Ape Copycats Are Starting To Pop Up Online (And Bring In Big Bucks)

A parody of the highly popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, the PHAYC collection already brought in $1.8 million in sales.

With some Bored Ape NFTs fetching more than $1 million at auction, it was only a matter of time before the copycats came in.

Launched last spring on the ethereum blockchain, the collection of over 10,000 online images of monkeys striking funny poses known as the Bored Ape Yacht Club soon become a hot commodity both for collectors and investors — the cheapest is now listed for $217,000 while two recently sold for over $1 million. 

In the last year, celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, DJ Khaled and Post Malone all purchased one to secure ownership of the highly popular piece of online content.

But this week, two NFT collections featuring the same monkeys have appeared online — the images are identical to the real ones but are facing leftward in a "mirrored" version.

A play on the word "fake" and the real Bored Ape Yacht Club, two collections both calling themselves the PHAYC launched on Tuesday.

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According to CoinDesk, @phunkyApeYC offered a free mint to the first 8,500 who asked and then sold another 1,496 copies for 60 ETH (approximately $220,000) while @phaycbot offered no free mints but already brought in 500 ETH (around $1.8 million) in sales.

The latter's tagline is "PHAYC IT TIL YOU MAKE IT" while the former's is "Apes phace left on the right side of History."

While users online described these NFTs as a "satirical take on [...those] who might be taking the NFT market a little too seriously," the line between what is permissible and what is not is blurry. TheVerge reported that trading platform OpenSea has already banned both collections from its site over reported copyright infringement.

That, however, is not stopping a quickly-growing online fanbase — one collection is now listed on NFTTrade.com and both are now fighting online over who is the original fake Bored Ape NFT collection.

"To clarify any confusion, we started as #PAYC, and have adopted #PHAYC to troll the cash grab fraud project," one of the founders wrote on Twitter. "We will sit on it for now until our community decides it's time to go back to our roots."