Erik Weijers, 4 months ago

What is ApeCoin?

ApeCoin is the currency of choice of the Bored Apes Yacht Club ecosystem, which includes the Otherside open metaverse. Not to be confused with the Bored Ape NFT's, investing in ApeCoin the currency is a bet on the ecosystem developed by parent company Yuga Labs, considered by some the Disney of the metaverse. 

The Bored Ape ecosystem originated around the launch of the NFT collection Bored Apes in the spring of 2021. The community attracted high profile figures such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem, who bought a Bored Ape NFT. Prices for the Apes NFT's skyrocketed to hundreds of ETH. Community meetings of Bored Ape holders were held, which goes to show the community stretches beyond just the online marketplaces and games.

APE is a token on Ethereum

Apecoin (APE) doesn't have its own blockchain but is an ERC-20 token on Ethereum. It is the governance and utility token of the Bored Apes ecosystem and administered by a DAO. The reason Yuga Labs did this, is that they can bypass securities laws that a centralized entity faces who issues a coin: a DAO is supposed to be a decentralized entity. So, it's not strictly speaking Yuga who has issued APE. But, the holders of Bored Apes are naturally big stakeholders: they received a big APE airdrop (see below).

Launch and airdrop in March 2022

At the airdrop of ApeCoin, owners of a Bored Ape were allowed to claim over 10,000 ApeCoins for each Ape they owned. Even at the lowest price that APE changed hands, later that day, that represented a decent $60,000. The owners of Mutant Apes received over 2,000 APE: also not too shabby. 

Importantly, the launch of ApeCoin marks the first time an ecosystem exists that combines its own NFT collection with its own currency.

At launch, the total market value of ApeCoin was immediately over a billion dollars. This put the coin in the top 100 of all crypto assets. It hasn't left the top 100 and even climbed to around #35 at the time of writing (January 2023), even though the price in dollar terms has dropped in the bear market.

APE tokenomics

ApeCoin has a total supply of 1 billion tokens. There is no way to ever print more, nor is there a burning mechanism. The distribution of the available tokens is as follows: 

  • 62% of the tokens are allocated to the ApeCoin DAO community. Between it, 15% went to holders of Bored and Mutant Apes NFT's.
  • 16% of the tokens will flow to Yuga Labs.
  • 8% of the tokens have been set aside for the four founders of Yuga Labs and BAYC. 

Use cases for ApeCoin

Anyone holding the coin can vote on the relevant governance decisions. Think issues like allocation of funds, partnerships, and more.

But APE will probably mostly be used as a means of payments. It can be an in-game currency for APE-compatible games. For example, in play-to-earn game Benji Bananas, APE is adopted as a reward for players. 

The price pump in Ape in the spring of 2022 illustrated how demand for APE can be created: the popular plots of land in the Otherside metaverse could only be paid in APE.

Conclusion: invest or not?

What could make ApeCoin a resounding success? Perhaps Yuga Labs will succeed in creating successful online games, in which ApeCoin would be needed to obtain valuable items. Also, APE could have a role in its potential own marketplace for NFTs, which would allow Yuga to compete with platforms such as OpenSea. In general, the value of APE will depend on how hard the economy within Yuga’s metaverse will grow. If it grows prosperously, other Web 3 communities may be convinced to adopt APE, boosting further adoption and gains.

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