What is ApeCoin? Bored Ape Yacht Club Launches New Crypto

Bored Ape Yacht Club has officially launched its native token, ApeCoin. So what is it and what do you need to know?

On March 17, ApeCoin, a native token for the mega-popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht (MAYC) NFT collections was launched. In just under a week, it rose to become a top-100 digital asset by market capitalisation.

Initially launched as an airdrop to Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT holders, ApeCoin is now trading on popular crypto exchanges. But the price of the token has shot up quickly and worldwide search interest for the term Apecoin has been comparable to Ethereum and much higher than search interest for the term Cardano.

As of writing, the coin is trading at US$14.21 with a market cap of 4 billion.

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What is the Bored Ape Yacht Club?

Created by NFT development house Yuga Labs, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is one of the largest and most influential NFT projects in the world. CryptoSlam.io currently ranks it as the 3rd biggest project ever by all-time sales volume, and the largest by 24-hour sales volume.

Famous owners of Bored Apes include Jimmy Fallon, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Kevin Hart, and Serena Williams. The project is something of a cultural phenomenon and it is a favourite with social media influencers and rappers, NBA players and DJs.

The initial idea behind BAYC was to create art that was more fitting for a bathroom wall than a traditional canvas in a gallery. Over time, this thought developed to where this bathroom became situated inside an exclusive swamp bar, or yacht club, that could only be accessed by wealthy members. The Bored Ape collection features profile picture-styled portraits of cartoon apes that are generated procedurally from a master set of properties by an algorithm. Unique properties include fur types, facial expressions, clothing, accessories, and more.

BAYC and ApeCoin: Bored Ape 1294
BAYC #1294 (seen above) is owned by American socialite Paris Hilton. Hilton purchased her ape for 119ETH worth more than US$400,000 at time of writing

How much does a BAYC NFT cost?

The team launched the Bored Ape Yacht Club on April 29, 2021, and each Ape NFT was priced at 0.08 ETH. The collection was immediately popular and sold out within two days. The secondary market began to heat up quickly and as the market for profile picture NFTs began to grow, many crypto investors began to seek out their own Bored Apes as a wealth signal to add to social media profiles.

Now a BAYC NFT can cost upwards of US$300,000.

Benefits of Bored Ape Yacht Club

BAYC members have benefits beyond the right to a cool profile picture. For example, owners of a Bored Ape have access to merchandise exclusive to them and full rights to commercially use their Apes. They can make T-shirts, mugs, hoodies using the IP of any Bored Ape that they own.

Bored Ape Kennell Club

Bored Ape Kennel Club
A pink dog wearing a banana skin and flippers NFT.

The entire supply of Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) NFTs was airdropped to BAYC owners 1-for-1. That’s a free canine companion for your ape. And with a floor price for Kennel Club dogs of 7.77ETH or US$23,400, potential free cash for anyone who wants to sell.

Mutant Ape Yacht Club

The Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) is a collection of 20,000 NFTs that are created when a Bored Ape is exposed to a vial of Mutant Serum. Every Bored Ape holder was airdropped a Mutant Serum arbitrarily. When a Bored Ape was exposed to Serum, which costs gas, a MAYC NFT was created.

Mutant Serum vials were available in three sizes — M1, M2, or M3 (mega mutant). If a Bored Ape is treated with an M1 or M2 serum, the new MAYC would resemble the Bored Ape it originated from. The M3 Serum would create a completely new NFT with unique and rare attributes.

Both airdrops have worked out very well for Bored Ape holders because they have received and printed new NFTs while still retaining ownership of their existing Bored Apes. Both the Kennel Club and the Mutant Ape Yacht Club were created by Yuga Labs.

Yuga Labs ApeCoin tweet

ApeCoin — A new paradigm for the Bored Ape community

ApeCoin is an Ethereum based token that is built using the popular ERC-20 smart contract standard. It can be classified as a social token. Social tokens give holders access to a community or Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).

The value of social tokens grows as their communities become larger. For issuers, social tokens offer a tangible tool to reward early backers of a project and offer new backers exclusive rights for yet-to-be-launched initiatives. The ApeCoin launch will also be a way to raise new funds to further grow out the Bored Ape ecosystem.

Who launched ApeCoin?

ApeCoin was launched by a completely new entity, the ApeCoin DAO, and not Yuga labs, the creator of BAYC. This point has been pressed strongly by the initial burst of PR released with ApeCoin.

It does appear, however, that Yuga Labs is heavily involved in the ApeCoin DAO and the creation of the DAO was more for PR and legal purposes. Crypto observers have been quick to call the creation of the ApeCoin DAO decentralisation theater.

Aaron Brown, a former managing director and head of financial market research at AQR Capital Management, told Bloomberg that the ApeCoin DAO and ApeCoin is “a placeholder attempt to capture future potential business under the Bored Ape brand name”.

Who is managing ApeCoin?

The ApeCoin DAO is managed by a special council or board. The board’s main role is to be the overseers of the foundation, serving the vision of the community and administrating DAO proposals. The initial group of six board members will include

  • Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit
  • Amy Wu, head of ventures and Gaming at FTX
  • Maaria Bajwa, principal at Sound Ventures
  • Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands
  • Dean Steinbeck, president and general counsel at Horizen Labs

The current board will serve for six months before APE holders will then vote for the next board members on an annual basis.

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How do I buy ApeCoin?

ApeCoin can be traded on popular crypto exchanges like most other coins.

However, for Bored Ape owners, per NFT they earn APE 10,094 tokens. Mutant Ape owners earn 2042 tokens per NFT. Owning a Bored Ape Kennel Club NFT on its own does not earn any tokens but a Kennel Club NFT combined with a Bored or Mutant Ape, leads to a bonus allocation.

15% of the total APE token supply will go to NFT holders. 47% of these tokens will go towards funding the DAO treasury and providing resources for the project. 25% of these tokens will be released immediately and then the rest will be released on a month-by-month basis.

15% of the total token supply will go to Yuga Labs. There will be an initial lock-up of 12 months on these tokens before they are then released on a month-by-month basis over the course of 36 months. 10% of the tokens will go to Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation. Dr Goodall is one of the most noted primatologists in the world.

14% of the token supply will go to a variety of different early contributors to APEcoin. It has been reported that some of these early contributors are major VC firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Animoca Brands, this has raised concerns that the ApeCoin DAO will be controlled by Yuga Labs and a consortium of VCs. The lockup schedule will vary by contributor.

8% will go specifically to the founders of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Yuga Labs. These tokens will initially be locked up for 12 months and then be unlocked monthly for 36 months.

What can ApeCoin be used for?

APE will have functionality as a governance token. The token can be used to vote on proposals brought forward by the community to decide the future of the platform or how to use community funds.

Of proposals submitted so far, some of the most popular involves creating a staking ecosystem for APE.

Play-to-earn gaming giant Animoca Brands has announced that it will be integrating APE into an existing game. By purchasing an NFT membership pass for Benji’s Bananas, players can earn a unique coin that they can later swap for ApeCoin. Benji Bananas is a free-to-play mobile game that is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Another gaming company called nWAY has announced that it is developing a play-to-earn game based on the BAYC. A Florida-based brewery has also stated that it will accept, and even include discounts for payments made in APE. Other crypto- and NFT-centric firms also appear ready and willing to accept APE payments.

So ApeCoin holders will be able to have a say in the future of how their coins can be used. Whether for staking, gaming or spending.

Aditya Das

Aditya Das
Brave New Coin
Economist Analyst/Writer

Find me on Twitter


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