ApeCoin (APE) is an ERC-20 utility token fueling the APE ecosystem that aims to facilitate the work of decentralized and community-led governance and drive culture forward into the metaverse staying at the forefront of web 3.0. Launched on March 17th, 2022, the project is backed by the Ape Foundation tasked with the administering of the ApeCoin DAO. Its key goal is to support the growing Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem famous for its NFT collection of “bored apes”.
The Bored Apes Yacht Club was launched in April 2022 as a collection of unique NFTs. Thanks to the support of such celebrities as Eminem, Steph Curry, and a whole brand of Adidas that used the collectible images for their profiles, the project has quickly gained huge traction. As a result, the price per Ape soared making the collection one of the most prestigious in the crypto community. Thus, some of the most unique apes were sold for $1.3 mln and $3 mln worth of ether correspondingly.
However, the Yuga Labs that stands behind this popular collection has nothing to do with the launch of the ApeCoin. It has been created by the Ape Foundation in order to incentivize the community of supporters and give them an option to conduct the governance functions. While ApeCoin holders can vote for various proposals, it is still the Ape Foundation that makes final decisions at the time of writing. The project plans to get more decentralized in the future, though.
Apart from the voting capabilities, the token provides its holders with access to some privileged parts of the ecosystem such as exclusive services and games. Third-party developers can make use of the coin in their services and dApps as well.
The new coin has also gained a lot of traction as many developers announced the integration of the new digital asset into their applications. Thus, a famous crypto game maker Animoca Brands announced its plans to integrate APE into some secret project that it was working on together with BAYC. Its unaffiliated Benji Bananas game plans to use APE as a reward. Also, a developer nWay plans to adopt APE in its new play-to-earn game.
What’s more, some of the companies operating with real customer goods are planning to make use of the new token. In the list, there is a hotel E11EVEN Residencies in Miami planning to accept APE payments and SaltWater Brewery based in Florida with the same target.
ApeCoin is connected with a number of entities, each of which has its own role and contributes to the success of the project.
Yuga Labs which stands behind the Bored Apes Yach Club creation is the community member of ApeCoin DAO. BAYC (an abbreviation of the club’s name) is the collection of digital art with its parts being crafted into NFTs. The Ape Foundation is a legal representative of the project responsible for its governance. Finally, the ApeCoin DAO itself is a decentralized autonomous organization managed by the ApeCoin holders.
It’s also worth noting that the Ape Foundation received one NFT as a gift from Yuga Labs which has given up all its rights for this token. The Foundation itself consists of certain members of the community with strong operational experience as they have significantly contributed to the DAO development. With the initial board serving for 6 months since its election, new members can join it provided that they contribute to the growth of the community as well and are selected by the DAO members.
The total supply of ApeCoins is limited as it makes up only 10 billion tokens with 30.25% of them being released into circulation on the launch date. As the Ape Foundation doesn’t provide any minting capability, the total number will never be increased. As the token relies on the Ethereum network, it can be stored on any ETH-compatible wallet such as Metamask or MyEtherWallet. At the time of writing, it is available for purchase on decentralized exchanges Uniswap and SushiSwap as well as on some of the top centralized entities such as Binance, Coinbase, and KuCoin.
The tokens are distributed as follows. 62% is locked in the ecosystem fund, 16% belongs to Yuga Labs which has donated 6.25% of its holdings to the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation (JGLF) for charity purposes, 14% is owned by the launch contributors and 8% belongs to BAYC founders. At the same time, the earnings from JGLF donations serve to fund the programs of Jane Goodall Institute which is involved in various aspects of scientific research, one of which focuses on preserving chimp habitat in six African countries.
The holders of BAYC NFTs can claim ApeCoins via airdrop on the dedicated page of the project’s website. To ensure fair token distribution, the allocation corresponds with the floor price of NFTs that holders possess. With 15% of all tokens being allocated for this purpose, these tokens can only be claimed only once.
ApeCoin Foundation has hired some of the influential people in the crypto industry. One of them is Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Serving as General Partner and Founder at a software venture Seven Seven Six, he also has prior experience in venture investment having founded Initialized, an early-stage venture capital company.
Amy Wu, another participant of the ApeCoin Foundation, is the Head of Ventures and Gaming at FTX ventures where she manages its $2 bln venture fund. In the past, she was a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners where she focused on crypto and game investments. What’s more, she has experience as an executive at a global media company Discovery.
Maaria Bajwa from Sound Ventures focuses on early-stage investment opportunities in companies from various verticals including crypto, fintech, retail, and healthcare. Other prominent members include Dean Steinbeck from Horizen Labs and Yat Siu from Animoca Brands.
On the project’s website, each of the board members has a digital ape as an avatar.