Non-fungible tokens became a hot topic in the past year, with the likes of CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) dominating headlines. Investors appeared poised to purchase any digital art that came tied to an NFT – making several artists instant millionaires. The NFT market cooled down alongside Bitcoin’s recent dip, but projects continue to leverage the technology to further their own goals. Capitalizing on the high public awareness of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, ApeCoin (APE) used the NFTs to airdrop their token.
The majority of ApeCoin’s airdrop went to BAYC holders or those associated with the project, creating an instant and exclusive clientele. Although not usually a successful tactic, ApeCoin caught the attention of enough users to sustain the project – infuriating short-sellers in the process. This may be partially due to their association with YugaLabs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Both entities insist that they are not directly related, but this insistence seems to be mostly semantic.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club
Consisting of randomly mix-and-matched images of cartoon apes, the Bored Ape Yacht Club gained traction early in the NFT craze. Remaining one of the top-selling NFTs today, the apes often sell for hundreds-of-thousands to millions of dollars. Their use as profile pictures on social media helped keep them at the forefront of the NFT news cycle – and contributed to the high value of the ApeCoin airdrop.
YugaLabs, the NFT project’s creators, recently brought in an additional round of funding – bringing their overall value to $4 billion. This follows the news that they would be seeking to establish their metaverse, known as Otherside. Where ApeCoin falls in this new economy isn’t clear, but chances are high that it will serve as some form of internal currency.
Apecoin & BAYC Associated Confusion
The slight disconnects between the Bored Ape Yacht Club and ApeCoin drove confusion in early trading, with the two intentionally avoiding direct association. Yet, ApeCoin does stand as the official currency of YugaLabs. The major separation comes in the form of governance – with ApeCoin running through the ApeCoin DAO, with holders gaining votes through their held supply of coins.
The airdrop also saw a social phishing attack on Twitter – with hacked Twitter accounts used to solicit Ethereum from BAYC NFT holders. Over $1 million in ETH ended up in the hands of the hackers, but ultimately no fault lay in the hands of ApeCoin itself.