The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is one of the most prominent collections of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the world. The series of 10,000 blockchain-based cartoon primates, worth roughly $3 billion (roughly Rs. 22,855 crore) at today's prices, has become ubiquitous on the Internet. Last week, people associated with the Bored Ape Yacht Club launched a cryptocurrency called ApeCoin. The pitch to investors was vague: support projects related to the Bored Apes and "community-led initiatives that drive culture forward into the metaverse".
It's been a little over a week since that and despite a sluggish start on debut-day, ApeCoin's value has surged with week-to-date profits up by more than 58 percent at the time of writing.
There's currently no real use case for the ApeCoin, despite its $13.6 billion (roughly Rs. 1,03,640 crore) fully-diluted market cap, and it's not clear what its use will be in the future. Yuga Labs, which developed the Bored Ape Yacht Club, was allocated a portion of the ApeCoin tokens, but this is not a Yuga Lab token and it isn't officially affiliated with the company.
What is ApeCoin and who are its founders?
ApeCoin is an ERC-20 governance and utility token of the Bored Ape Yacht Club or BAYC but as mentioned, the coin was not created by Yuga Labs, the developers of BAYC. Instead, it was created by ApeCoin DAO.
ApeCoin DAO empowers its community to design blockchain games and services as well as create physical and virtual merchandise. The organisation is administered by the ApeCoin Foundation. While some think that Yuga Labs' decision to separate itself from ApeCoin is a move for decentralisation, others think Yuga Labs is trying to avoid regulatory backlash from the SEC.
The ApeCoin DAO is headed by a council comprising Alexis Ohanian (Reddit), Amy Wu (FTX), Maaria Bajwa (Sound Ventures), Yat Sui (Animoca Brands), and Dean Steinbeck (Horizen Labs).
Although the token and DAO are not directly linked with Yuga Labs and its Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), the two are associated, which is why holders of BAYC NFTs received free ApeCoin upon the cryptocurrency's release, and it will serve as the main token for the BAYC ecosystem.
While the team behind ApeCoin admits that the token is primarily a meme coin, it's also attempting to build an ecosystem around the cryptocurrency. Services that will use the coin include The MonkeyFirm NFT platform, a decentralised exchange, and play-to-earn gaming projects.
According to ApeCoin's website, "APE is a token made to support what's next, controlled and built on by the community. It will serve as a decentralised protocol layer for community-led initiatives that drive culture forward into the metaverse."
How is ApeCoin distributed?
In all, there are 1 billion ApeCoins. Of this number, 14 percent will go to “launch contributors,” 8 percent to the founders of BAYC, and 16 percent will go to the Yuga Labs. BAYC and MAYC holders have also been allotted a claim to 15 percent of the total circulation, while the rest will form part of the DAO's "ecosystem fund".
According to a statement, the token holders will be able to vote on all community decisions. All other special decisions will be left to the DAO council. Yuga Labs has also noted that it would adopt ApeCoin as its primary token for future products and services. While Animoca Brands' blockchain game, Benji Bananas, also plans to implement the token into its architecture. The token also remains central to ApeCoin DAO's intention to trade both physical and virtual goods.
ApeCoin is available for trading on various global exchanges including Binance, Coinbase, KuCoin, Huobi, Kraken, Bybit, and FTX. Since its launch a host of Indian exchanges have also added the token to its list of tradeables including Giottus and CoinDCX.
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