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Crypto Alert: What You Need to Know About the Mysterious New ApeCoin. Is It Legit?

The wildly successful Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection is getting its very own cryptocurrency, ApeCoin.

ApeCoin is an ERC-20 token. Similar to the Shiba Inu, it is a Ethereum-based social token. It is linked to the fast-rising, pricey non-fungible tokens of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Photo: Twitter/ApeCoin/Photo by Worldspectrum from Pexels

Bored Ape Yacht Club is the brainstorm of Yuga Labs. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs, unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain.

Similar to bitcoin, each ApeCoin should be worth exactly as much as any other ApeCoin, and you can buy and sell them on a decentralized exchange. The ApeCoin, launched March 18, was an instant must-have.

“After just one day of trading, the Ethereum-based ApeCoin had a market capitalization of almost $2 billion; one APE is currently worth about $14. The total supply of tokens is capped at one billion (not all of which is currently in circulation),” Coin Desk reports.

Success or not, it is not clear who is behind the ApeCoin. According to Yuga Labs, it did not create the coin. But it is reaping the rewards. ApeCoins will be used to buy products in the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Yuga Labs insisted that ApeCoin is a product of ApeCoin DAO. A DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) is a kind of online collective of people centered around crypto. With the ApeCoin DAO, all APE holders are members. The ApeCoin DAO will field proposals from the community and token holders can then vote.

According to Coin Desk, 62 percent of the total ApeCoins are being set aside for token holders and the DAO treasury. For the first 90 days of ApeCoin’s launch, anyone who holds either a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT or one from its two spin-off collections — the Mutant Ape Yacht Club and the Bored Ape Kennel Club — can claim a certain amount of ApeCoin from ApeCoin’s website.

For each Bored Ape a person owns, they will get 10,094 ApeCoins; that’s around $100,940 at current prices, even with the recent drop. At its peak it was trading at $17; it it now around $10.

Around 110 million APE tokens have been claimed by NFT holders, Coin Desk reports. 

A separate organization called the Ape Foundation will handle day-to-day DAO administration. The Ape Foundation board consists of high-profile crypto investors Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian; Amy Wu, who heads the crypto exchange FTX’s venture arm; Sound Ventures’ Maaria Bajwa; Animoca Brands’ Yat Siu; and Dean Steinbeck of Horizen Labs.

While this setup seems to make ApeCoin legit, there is the question of the Cartan Group, located in the Cayman Islands. Cartan Group is being paid $150,000 per month for a six-month contract by the ApeCoin DAO. The Cartan Group describes itself as a fintech management consulting firm that provides advisory, strategy, governance and technological solutions.

“So, in addition to the ApeCoin protocol (the code behind ApeCoin tokens), there’s the ApeCoin DAO, the Ape Foundation, and the ApeCoin DAO board. But ApeCoin wasn’t developed by the community of Bored Ape investors. There’s a black hole at the center of this ape galaxy. Who actually put this thing together?” Coin Desk questioned.

Yuga Labs maintains it’s not responsible for ApeCoin even though it is reaping gains from it. Yet Yuga Labs received 150 million APE, 10 million of which is slated to be donated to the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation, which focuses on protecting chimpanzees. The remaining 140 million APE will do to “the companies and people that helped make this project a reality,” – these recipients have not been named but 80 million of these APE coins are to go to the founders of Yuga Labs.

There is a legality issue here, says crypto experts. If Yuga Labs is behind APE, then there would be major concern about the coin being legal.

“With ApeCoin ostensibly coming just from ApeCoin DAO and not from Yuga Labs, there’s a veneer of plausible deniability — an independent entity allocating tokens to a company and its founders, rather than that company and its founders pumping their own investments,” Coin Desk reported.

In any case, there are major plans for APE. A mobile game called Benji Bananas is adopting ApeCoin as an in-game currency. The new coin can also buy other Bored Ape Yacht Club products and services, according to Boardroom.

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