The Bored Ape Yacht Club ("BAYC") is a collection of 10,000 unique ape-themed NFTs, minted on Ethereum.
BAYC has gained a cult-like following; some prominent music, soccer and movie stars own an NFT from the BAYC collection. Yuga Labs, the Miami-based Web3 developers who created BAYC are also creators or owners of other popular NFT collections and Web3 projects including CryptoPunks (acquired from Larva Labs), Mutant Ape Yacht Club ("MAYC"), and a metaverse platform called Otherside. Yuga Labs is rapidly evolving from an NFT collection creator into a full-fledged Web3 ecosystem developer. Yuga Labs' Web3 ecosystem is called the Yugaverse.
In March 2022, Yuga Labs raised $450 million in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz ("a16z"), a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, California.
Yuga Labs launched ApeCoin (APE-USD) to power the growing Yugaverse ecosystem. On the Yuga Labs official website, Yuga Labs states that it will be using ApeCoin as the primary token in all Yuga Labs projects.
In March 2022, owners of NFT from the BAYC collection were airdropped approximately 10,000 APE each, while MAYC owners were airdropped approximately 2000 APE each. At launch, APE was traded for around $10 per token and got listed on major exchanges, including Binance (BNB-USD) and Coinbase (COIN), within a few days of launch. A total of 150,000,000 APE tokens were airdropped, making up 15% of the total supply. There are currently 306,875,000 APE in circulation. The total supply of APE is capped at 1,000,000,000.
A Decentralized Autonomous Organization ("DAO") distributes the management and decision-making power of a cryptocurrency project among stakeholders and the community. ApeCoin is DAO-governed via the ApeCoin DAO. Similar to DAO governance in major cryptocurrencies, ApeCoin DAO follows a proposal process to vote on key issues and major upgrades in the ecosystem.
To propose a change, an Ape Improvement Proposal ("AIP") is created by an APE or a BAYC NFT holder; submitted AIPs go through a filtering process before they are approved for members of ApeCoin DAO to vote on them. Once approved for voting, an AIP goes live on ApeCoin's DAO space on snapshot.org (a decentralized voting system). If a proposal receives no vote, it is tagged as "stalled" and is eligible for resubmission. Since the launch of ApeCoin DAO, over a hundred AIPs have been put up for a vote; some AIPs have been passed, and others voted against by the community.
In the past week, 5 AIPs were up for a vote. AIP-98 and AIP-113 were voted in favour of and have been passed by the APE community; AIPs 87, 93, and 103 had more votes "against" and were rejected.
AIP-113 is, in fact, an extension of API-1, which laid the foundations of the ApeDAO. With AIP-113 approved, operations can continue as they have so far beyond September 30th.
AIP-87 aimed to fund a third-person ape-inspired game but failed to pass, and API 103 aimed to fund "X marketplace", which is an NFT and BAYC IP marketplace but also failed.
Magic Eden was the author of the rejected AIP-93, which proposed that Magic Eden will build an APE-powered marketplace where APE holders will be able to trade NFTs, including BAYC, MAYC and other Yugaverse NFTs at very low trading fees. Final stats showed that 60.45% of the votes were against the proposal while 39.55% votes were in favour of the proposal.
AIP-98 was proposed by Snag Solutions to build a dedicated marketplace for Yuga Labs' assets, with reduced fees and a system to recycle fees into the BAYC ecosystem. The proposal was largely voted in favour of and has been passed. The final results showed 88.21% voting in favour of the proposal and 11.89% voting against it.
In a Tweet on July 23, 2022, the ApeCoin team announced via their official Twitter handle that they are currently finalizing details that will serve as the basis for a wider update on their progress in line with AIP-21 and AIP-22.
ApeCoin partnered with Horizen Labs to build the ApeCoin staking platform. According to a short "sneak peek" clip shared on Twitter on September 3, 2022, by Horizen Labs, there will be four different pools in which APE and ApeCoin-related NFTs would be staked. The sneak peek showed an intuitive user interface.
Horizen Labs announced a Twitter Space would be hosted on September 22, 2022, where the upcoming APE staking platform would be discussed in detail; the Twitter Space was postponed, and an announcement was put out to share the go-live date for APE staking, which Horizen says is currently scheduled for October 31, 2022.
With NFTs seeing a fall in floor price over the past months, developments, announcements, and new meaningful AIPs are important for ApeCoin in the current bear market. Bear markets always see cryptocurrency projects with no updates or progress fizzle out easily. These new announcements, proposals and product releases coming for ApeCoin are happening at a right and critical time.
It's easy to see ApeCoin as just another memecoin, but people often forget just how important the community aspect is when it comes to crypto, and even more so with NFTs. Ape not only has a devoted community of coin users but it also has some of the most successful NFTs out there.
We must ask ourselves, can Apecoin add value to the NFT ecosystem and its users? In my opinion, the answer is yes. The Developers have put forth some interesting ideas in the last few months, and it is clear that there is still a lot of support for the NFTs and the token, even in the midst of a crypto winter.
Although I think APE has what it takes to become more than a meme, it will have to prove itself moving forward, and it faces numerous challenges. For starters, its main virtue could also be its downfall. Many crypto investors won't take APE seriously due to its origins, even if it brings out useful updates.
On the other hand, APE is a relatively new and volatile coin, and in the current bear market, it could end up being forgotten and simply lack the interest and demand necessary to do projects like an NFT marketplace work.
Lastly, we also have to consider that NFTs are becoming a highly contested market, and APE is going to have to fight similar projects and initiatives with more backing.
ApeCoin has quickly become one of the favourite tokens among the cryptocurrency community, mainly because it is attached to one of the most popular NFTs, BAYC. In anticipation of the staking platform, APE has recently seen some price increase. As the staking platform launch is around the corner, many expect the APE token to maintain its current upward trend and see a more decent increase in price soon.
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