Coinbase Logo

What is ApeCoin?

Four things you need to know about the BAYC-affiliated token

March 2022 marked the release of ApeCoin, the Bored Ape Yacht Club-affiliated cryptocurrency that promises to be the coin-of-choice for a new metaverse ecosystem being built out by Yuga Labs — the creators behind BAYC. The release of the coin, which came on the heels of Yuga Labs acquiring pioneering NFT collectible CryptoPunks, and was followed up by the announcement that Yuga Labs raised $450 million in venture capital funding, is a banner moment for the NFT space. ApeCoin doesn’t just have the potential to bring new people into crypto, via the events, gaming, and merch that will be accessible through the token, but it also represents one major way the NFT space is quickly evolving, beyond just the “profile picture projects” that have become synonymous with the $40 billion-plus market

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about APEcoin and its future potential.

You can buy it on most major crypto exchanges

ApeCoin was originally distributed to owners of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club via a claimable airdrop. But anyone with an account on Coinbase, or a number of other crypto exchanges can also buy the coin. (Buy ApeCoin here.) In the days after it launched on March 17, the price fluctuated wildly, swinging from as high nearly $40, to as low as $6.48. Regardless of the price swings, there’s a ton of interest in ApeCoin – it traded more than $2.3 billion in volume on Coinbase on March 24 alone, and was the fourth most mentioned cryptocurrency across Twitter and Reddit posts according to the social media monitoring app, LunarCrush.

Owning ApeCoin makes you part of a DAO

Anyone who buys ApeCoin is eligible to become a member of ApeCoin DAO, a decentralized organization that will govern how the DAO’s treasury is spent and vote on proposals about future projects related to the coin. Even though ApeCoin is affiliated with BAYC and Yuga Labs, technically, it’s controlled by ApeCoin DAO, and Yuga Labs claims that they have no ownership over ApeCoin DAO. In lieu of a centralized entity in control, there is a five member a “board” of top tier crypto investors that will oversee certain proposals related to ApeCoin DAO, and each member gets a six-month term, then ApeCoin DAO community members get to vote on who the future board will be. The initial board includes Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Amy Wu, head of FTX’s venture arm, and Yat Siu, co-founder of blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands.

ApeCoin will be the currency of an entire metaverse economy

There aren’t too many details on the projects that will accept ApeCoin at the moment. But Yuga Labs has big ambitions for integrating ApeCoin into its future plans, saying on its website that holders will be able to use ApeCoin to access exclusive merch, events, and services. Yuga Labs also says that ApeCoin will be the de facto currency for all new projects, including the coming play-to-earn aspect of Benji Bananas, a popular mobile game owned by Animoca Brands. In even bigger news, the token will play the same role in Otherside — Yuga Labs’ forthcoming metaverse game that will seemingly also be interoperable with other leading NFT collections like Mutant Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, World of Women and Cool Cats. And beyond Yuga Labs, Time Magazine has said that it will soon accept ApeCoin for digital subscriptions, while rappers Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa have released 8 songs together that can only be bought using ApeCoin.

Here’s how the tokenomics will work

There will only ever be 1 billion total $APE tokens. Here’s how they’ll be allocated: 

  • 62% of the tokens will go to the ApeCoin DAO community. Of that, 15% goes to holders of BAYC and MAYC, with holders of BAYC eligible to claim 10,094 $APE for each NFT they own, and MAYC holders able to claim 2,042. The rest will be released as part of the DAO’s “ecosystem fund.”

  • 16% of the tokens will go directly to Yuga Labs. Yuga Labs has also designated a portion of their allocation toward the primatologist Jane Goodall’s charity foundation, to help support IRL apes. 

  • 14% of the tokens will go to “launch contributors,” which are defined as “the companies and people who helped make this project a reality,” but details are scant on exactly who these contributors are. 

  • 8% of the tokens will go directly to the four founders of Yuga Labs and BAYC.

An important thing to note – not every ApeCoin is in circulation yet, a concept known as “locked” tokens. For Yuga Labs, launch contributors, and the founders of BAYC, their ApeCoin allocations won’t be “unlocked” for at least 12 months, meaning they won’t be able to sell in that span. After the 12 months, a certain allotment of tokens will become available to them on a monthly basis, a mechanism that is put in place to help avoid early token holders from “dumping” their large holdings all at once and tanking the price of a token.