Ex-Barclays Traders Dumped Junk Bond Trading for Bored Ape NFTs

Two ex-Barclays traders have swapped high-yield bond trading for Yuga Labs’ BAYC NFTs, amassing 70 images of the popular Bored Apes collection.
Image source: BAYC

Quick take:

  • Former Barclays traders have swapped junk bonds for Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Clubs NFTs.
  • The two traders have accumulated 70 images of Bored Apes.
  • According to Bloomberg, the traders compare the current NFT craze to the 1990s dot-com fever.

Former Barclays traders have turned to digital art collectibles over bond trading. According to a report published by Bloomberg, the two former junk bond traders have amassed a collection of 70 images of Yuga Labs’ popular Bored Apes NFTs.

Ovie Faruq and Mike Anderson traded high yield bonds and derivatives at Barclays before shifting gears to non-fungible tokens. The two money market traders said that the current NFT craze echoes the 1990s dot-com fever.

A non-fungible token is a unique digital file stored on the blockchain. It can be a form of art, collectible, short video or music, among several other variations. Although the market seems to be slowing down compared to the October-December 2021 boom, venture capital firms and celebrities continue to flood in.

Faruq and Anderson are the latest players from the mainstream financial sector to embrace digital tokens. Although they declined to reveal the addresses or values of their NFTs acquisitions, they said they had also bought three Damien Hirst NFTs.

In an interview with the global media conglomerate, Anderson said “It’s an illiquid market with large price swings, so much of the same discipline and skill around trading high-yield and distressed assets are transferable.”

Although they both started collecting NFTs in early 2021, Faruq and Anderson left Barclays last year to concentrate on the market’s trendiest buzzword.

Leading equity analysts expect the NFT market to continue growing this year after surpassing $25 billion last year. In a recent research report, Stephanie Wissink, an equity analyst at Jefferies projected the industry to surpass $35 billion this year, before hitting $80 billion by 2025.

This growth will be driven partly by the continued venture capital activity, with the likes of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Animoca Brands leading several Web3 funding rounds.

Recently, both a16z and Animoca played key roles in Yuga Labs’ $450 million fundraising, which valued the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection creator at about $4 billion.

While the wider market views NFTs as merely JPEGs that can be substituted for social media profile pictures, leading industry players believe they are more than that.

In an exclusive interview with NFTgators, Ori Levi, Co-Founder and CEO, NFTrade said he sees “NFTs moving to the gaming and utility sector.” His comments echo the views of BAYC creators, who recently launched the “Otherside” metaverse platform to feature gaming, experiential and virtual events built on Web3.

This creates a promising outlook for the space, which is why Faruq likened the industry’s explosive growth to the dot-com boom of the 1990s.

“In the dot-com bubble you saw 90% of companies go bust, but the 10% that survived are some of the world’s biggest companies,” he said. “It will be the same for crypto and NFTs, and we’re focused on utilising our skillset to find the 10%.”

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