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ApeCoin: The Yuga Labs ERC-20 Token Explained

Read 7 min
Coins spiraling in a circle
— ApeCoin ($APE) is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain which serves as a governance and utility token.

— Holding ApeCoin allows you to participate in the ApeCoin DAO, the decentralized governance system that votes on its future proposals

— ApeCoin is not just for Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, it’s seeing adoption for many use cases across the ecosystem

You may have heard about the Bored Ape Yacht Club – the most successful NFT project to date. In fact, for many, it’s the first NFT collection they learn about. The BAYC pioneered its way into the NFT space and served as an influence for many other projects.

But as a matter of fact, how much do you know about its ecosystem beyond that?

While the Bored Ape Yacht Club was launched as one NFT collection, it should be noted the ecosystem of the BAYC universe expanded quickly. The founders added two more NFT collections: The Bored Ape Kennel Club and the Mutant Ape Yacht Club. The ecosystem grew in popularity so much that the team behind it, Yuga Labs, was last valued at $4 Billion for their seed funding round in 2022.

With all eyes on them, the demand for its own crypto token rose – and so it was delivered. You might think, “Yuga Labs launched another token – So what?”. But there’s more to it.

Let’s find out what ApeCoin is, what it’s for, and why it even exists in the first place.

What is ApeCoin ($APE)?

apecoin banner white background

ApeCoin ($APE) is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.

In short, it’s the native currency of the Yuga Labs ecosystem. However, future use cases are not limited to NFTs. Yuga Labs strives to be one of the biggest players in the Metaverse and already created a few retail opportunities.

Who Created ApeCoin and Why?

Contrary to popular belief, Apecoin was created by ApeCoin DAO rather than Yuga Labs itself. According to the official ApeCoin homepage, Yuga Labs has a contributor role within the $APE ecosystem.

It’s also worth noting that Yuga Labs gifted the APE Foundation a 1-of-1 NFT. The NFT shows an animated, blue coin with the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club skull on it. 

However, these are all superficial relations. So, what’s the real relationship between APE and Yuga Labs? The answer lies with the Yuga Lab ecosystem and its token allocation at launch.

ApeCoin Launch

The claiming period started on March 17, 2022. Every owner of a Bored Ape Yacht Club or Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT was eligible to claim their share of $APE. The companion for these two NFT collections — the Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC) NFTs —served as a multiplier for the number of tokens that could be received.

BAYC holders received 10.094 $APE tokens, while MAYC holders received 2.042 $APE tokens. The additional BAKC, which had “no utility on its own ” boosted the airdrop to 10.950 $APE for BAYC holders or 2.898 $APE for MAYC holders. 

Overall, 15% of the maximum supply was ready to be claimed by holders on launch day.

What is ApeCoin for?

Apecoin has a few key use cases. So let’s take a look at what it’s actually for. 

As an In-game Currency

Firstly, like many cryptocurrencies, its main purpose is a currency. To explain, ApeCoin will be the currency for the Otherside Metaverse, created by Yuga Labs. The token will allow users to buy items and power-ups in this highly anticipated metaverse. Plus it may even play a part in user-generated content and more.

The launch of its virtual lands was a huge success, and the first major drop to use ApeCoin. Each of the 55.000 land parcels, NFTs called “Otherdeeds”, sold almost immediately. To mint an Otherdeed it cost 305 $APE.

But it’s not just the metaverse, ApeCoin has many other uses within the blockchain gaming ecosystem.

For example, Play-to-earn (P2E) games might adopt ApeCoin in the future. One example of a project already using it is Benji Bananas, a game developed by Animoca Brands. Acquiring a Benji Bananas Membership Pass allows the user to swap in-game tokens into ApeCoin.

Another good example is the Yuga Labs Game “Dookey Dash”. This token-gated game gave you the chance to buy boosters with $APE.

Voting Power in the ApeCoin DAO

Every holder of ApeCoin is eligible to become a member of the ApeCoin DAO. $APE serves as a governance token, being a member of the DAO allows you to vote on every major decision, shaping the future of the token. The weight of your votes will be based on the share of tokens you own, so the more tokens — the more voting power one has.

$APE is Not Just for The Yuga Labs Ecosystem

Further to the points discussed, ApeCoin doesn’t stop in the digital realm. It can provide uses beyond the Yuga Labs ecosystem, too. 

For example, selected Gucci boutiques across the US accept ApeCoin as a payment method. In fact, the Gucci x Otherside Metaverse partnership released an NFT drop.

The most recent addition to the partnership with Gucci is the Otherside: Relics by Gucci. These represent NFTs tied into the lore of the Otherside and a physical Gucci necklace. The 3.333 KodaPendants could only be bought in ApeCoin and were priced at 450 $APE.

Another good example of a brand adopting $APE is the luxury watch manufacturer TAG Heuer.

Understanding the ApeCoin Ecosystem

Now that you know what you might use your ApeCoin for — let’s take a look at what’s under the hood of the token.

Apecoin Tokenomics

The maximum supply for ApeCoin is permanently fixed at 1 billion tokens. A portion of tokens was withheld at launch to release over a period of 48 months. Meaning, the maximum supply of $APE is likely to be hit by the year 2026. As of April 2023, the circulating supply of $APE is at 37%.

With that said, how does the allocation of these tokens happen?

The biggest proportion went into the Ecosystem fund, which makes up 62% (620.000.000 $APE) of its total token supply. Of this, 15% were unlocked for claim at launch, amounting to 150 million $APE. 11.75% went into the DAO treasury and resources at launch, amounting to 117.500.000 $APE. The remaining 35.25% will release over a 48 months period, totaling 325.5 million $APE.

Yuga Labs and Charity make up 16%, or 160 million $APE, of ApeCoin’s total token supply. 15%, or 150 million $APE, went to Yuga Labs and was locked for a 12-month period, ending in March 2023. The 150 million $APE are now released over the course of 36 months.

1% went to the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation, also locked for 12 months and then released over 36 months, totaling 10 million $APE.

14% of ApeCoin’s token supply, a total of 140 million $APE, went to launch contributors. These are the companies and people that helped make ApeCoin a reality.

Finally, 8% or 80 million $APE of ApeCoin’s token supply went to the BAYC founders, locking this amount for 12 months and releasing over 36 months.

In terms of its value, ApeCoin has seen its highs and lows. Its-all time high was $26.70 on April 28th, 2022. While in contrast, its all-time low was at $2.63 on November 14th, 2022.

The Apecoin DAO

Owning $APE is your ticket to becoming a member of the ApeCoin DAO.

What makes it special?
You’re able to vote on the allocation of funds from the community treasury or improvement proposals (AIP, Ape Improvement Proposal) for example.

There are three different categories to place a proposal; Core, Process, or Informational.

  • Core: funds allocations and brand decisions
  • Process: Process changes, guidelines, changes to decision-making, or the tools in place
  • Informational: General guidelines or information for the community

Then, the voting mechanism itself is simple:

Every wallet address holding ApeCoin can vote on live proposals by signing the vote on Snapshot (In Favor / Against). The mechanism is low-cost for every ApeCoin holder and makes votes as transparent as possible.

The APE Foundation

The APE Foundation serves as the steward of ApeCoin, as the legal entity.
This administrative board oversees decisions made by the ApeCoin DAO. However, it does not control ApeCoin or the ApeCoin DAO.

The APE Foundation has a special council called  “The Board”. Its job is to administer proposals and serve the vision of the community. The ApeCoin DAO is voting Board members annually, with its current board consisting of five people. Three of them were selected in an eight-week election voting by the ApeCoin DAO members.

  • Alexis Ohanian (Co-Founder of Reddit)
  • Bored Ape G (voted by the DAO)
  • Gerry (voted by the DAO)
  • Vera Li (voted by the DAO)
  • Yat Siu (Founder of Animoca Brands)

How To Buy ApeCoin

With your freshly gained knowledge, now it’s on you to decide if you start stacking ApeCoin. But before you get there, you’ll have to set up an account to store it. To do so, you’ll need to set up an Ethereum account on your Ledger device if you haven’t already. That’s because ApeCoin is an ERC-20 token. To learn how to do this, check out this support article on adding an Ethereum account to your Ledger.

So now you have your ApeCoin wallet ready to go, how do you buy $APE securely? Well, the process is pretty simple:

  1. Open up your Ledger Live app on your computer, and unlock your Ledger device.
  2. Navigate to the Portfolio tab and click on Buy / Sell, or use the navigation bar to click on Buy / Sell directly.
  3. Click on Buy, and “Compare Providers”
  4. Enter the amount of Fiat you want to spend, and choose the currency you want To Buy — in this case: APE (on Ethereum).
  5. Confirm the amount, and you’ll get prompted with a payment method to choose from. This could be credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, or a Bank transfer.
  6. Click on “Find eligible providers” and Ledger Live will come up with a curated suggestion.
  7. Choose a provider
  8. Finalize your purchase by following the on-screen instructions

It is important to remember that services or payment methods are country-specific. Depending on your country, a service provider might not be available.

However, that’s not your only option. If you already have some crypto you can also get APE making a secure swap from ETH to APE in Ledger Live. This is all possible using one of Ledger’s swap partners, such as 1inch or Paraswap.

Why Choosing a Secure Option Matters

You can buy ApeCoin on a number of centralized and decentralized exchanges. However, when you buy crypto from a centralized exchange, you are forfeiting the custody of your private keys. Unfortunately, that also means you are giving up the ownership of your crypto to a centralized entity. If something bad happens to the centralized exchange where you keep your crypto, your crypto will vanish as well.

To avoid this worst-case scenario, the only safe way to buy crypto is using a service that allows you to keep control over your keys.

With Ledger’s ecosystem, you can buy crypto with the assurance that you have full ownership of your funds. Not only that, Ledger devices guarantee your private key stays offline – protecting you from even the most malicious of online threats.

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