Yuga Labs has had a particularly explosive year, even among the fastest-growing crypto businesses. The company is behind the NFT project Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC), which debuted in April of last year and has since risen to become the most valuable NFT project by market valuation.
The cost of entrance to buy the lowest of the 10,000 photos is presently roughly $240,000 in Ethereum. Yuga Labs is looking to the future as it purportedly seeks investment at a $5 billion valuation (a spokeswoman for the business declined to comment on that amount), announcing a new collaboration for a play-to-earn gaming title based on the much-hyped ApeCoin token.
Yuga Labs hopes that the new game and token will inspire a mainstream crypto economy built on their IP, which was further expanded last week after Yuga acquired the highly valued CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections from Larva Labs. To maintain regulatory compliance, building this economy will need some very specific legal maneuverings. The SEC has stayed away from NFT initiatives for the most part — though not altogether — but crypto firms selling tokens that operate as unregistered securities have been a target of their attention.
As a result, Yuga Labs is taking great pains to distance itself from the token’s launch, which will be handled by an organization called ApeCoin DAO, which is made up of council members who are affiliated with the NFT project but are not Yuga Labs employees or executives. The ApeCoin DAO will be governed by the APE Foundation, which will oversee the ApeCoin DAO’s choices. The DAO will also sport official BAYC branding, which Yuga Labs is “gifting” to it in the form of a 1/1 NFT of a blue Bored Apes logo. Welcome to crypto in 2022, if this all seems a little confusing.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, FTX’s Amy Wu, Sound Ventures’ Maaria Bajwa, Animoca’s Yat Siu, and Horizen Labs’ Dean Steinbeck are among the ApeCoin DAO’s council members. Token holders will be able to vote on DAO decisions, while the special council “will carry out the community’s choices,” according to a spokeswoman. Despite the fact that Yuga will not formally launch the Ethereum-based token, the startup and BAYC project creators will hold approximately a quarter of the entire token supply, with owners of Bored Apes and Mutant Apes NFTs receiving a combined 15% of the overall token allocation.
Yuga Labs expects the Ape token to start trading “soon” on key exchanges like Coinbase, FTX, eToro, Kraken, OKX, Gemini, FTX, Binance, and Binance US, according to a representative. The firm refused to make any executives accessible for an interview and refused to provide any more information on the ApeCoin DAO’s relationship with Yuga Labs.