The BAYC Universe: Expanding into Metaversal Economies

The BAYC Universe: Expanding into Metaversal Economies

May 12, 2022

The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) project has dominated the NFT space since its launch in April 2021, being one of the most sought after collections to exist. Its saga collections, Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Bored Apes Kennel Club, have equally captured the attention of NFT enthusiasts. The unique brand and culture that the BAYC project created is one of the reasons it has attracted millions of passionate community members. 

But the iconic profile picture NFTs are only the first chapter of the BAYC story. The project has since embedded itself in the broader digital asset economy, announcing plans to collaborate on a metaverse project with Animoca Brands, creating a DAO, and a governance token to fully leverage the endless possibilities that blockchain technology can now bring to cultural expansion. 

The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The original Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection was launched in April 2021 by Gargamel, Gordon Goner, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and No Sass. When the NFT movement shifted into full gear, the group said they seized their moment as a creative force, and created a collection of 10,000 characters complete with a backstory. 

Each Bored Ape image is an ERC-721 NFT, which means that it is unique and not equally interchangeable with another token. There are 7 factors that determine how rare the Ape is in relation to the other primates in the collection: eyes, fur, hat, background, clothes, earrings, and mouth. Each of those attributes can take on different forms, with some being rarer than others. For example, there are only 46 unamused primates with a Solid Gold Fur.

The BAYC collection including the Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Bored Apes Kennel Club spin-offs have quickly reached Blue Chip status in the NFT space. The collection has joined the ranks of CryptoPunks, the OG NFT project, attracting interest from institutional investors increasingly exploring NFTs as an asset class. 

Expanding BAYC Universe

Besides the spin-off NFT collections, the BAYC project has sustained its momentum by integrating and partnering with several creative projects across the digital asset economy. Most recently in May 2022, Yuga Labs, the company behind the BAYC, orchestrated what was almost certainly the biggest NFT launch in the history of the Ethereum blockchain: a sale of virtual land in the upcoming metaverse space called Otherside. To enable decentralized participation from the wider community, ApeCoin ($APE) was created.

ApeCoin is the foundational layer of the ecosystem, created to empower cultural expansion by turning community ideas into reality. Ranging from arts and music, to gaming and sports, ApeCoin is there to maintain, control, and support their community’s initiatives, offering their ecosystem with more utility around metaversal experiences and governance opportunities.

It is an ERC-20 utility token created by ApeCoin DAO to help drive the ApeCoin ecosystem – this ecosystem consists of $APE token holders and related products and services using $APE. NFT collections related to the ApeCoin ecosystem include: Bored Ape Yacht Club and its saga collections, Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Bored Apes Kennel Club. 

Generally speaking, ApeCoin serves four main purposes: governance, unification of spend, access and incentivization. 

  • Governance: $APE acts as the ecosystem’s governance token, which allows holders to participate in voting decisions through a DAO.
  • Unification of spend: $APE is an open and shared currency for all ecosystem participants, able to be used in the absence of centralized intermediaries. 
  • Access: $APE acts as the membership pass to the Bored Ape ecosystem, now allowing non-NFT holders to contribute and participate.
  • Incentivization: Third-party developers are invited to participate in the ecosystem through the integration of $APE to their products and services. 

How does the DAO work? 

The DAO is the pillar in building and managing the globally dispersed ApeCoin ecosystem. It fields proposals from the community through the APE Improvement Proposal Process, where members propose decisions related to Ecosystem Fund allocations, governance rules, projects and partnerships. All members of the DAO can then vote on the future of the proposal. 

The supporting body of ApeCoin is ApeCoin Foundation, a legal entity which administers the ApeCoin DAO, and works towards facilitating the development of the ecosystem to ensure its goals of decentralized community empowerment are being served. 

The foundation currently hosts 5 high-profile investors as board members: Yat Siu, Co-founder and Chairman of Animoca Brands, Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit, Amy Wu, Head of Ventures & Gaming at FTX, Maaria Bajwa, Principal at Sound Ventures and Dean Steinbeck, President & General Counsel at Horizen Labs. These members will hold their positions for 6 months, then be followed by newly voted members on an annual basis. 

Creating self-sustaining economies & expanding into the metaverse

The landscape of NFTs has fundamentally shifted since the expansion of the Web3 economy – from 2D images to 3D experiences, the functionalities of NFTs are beginning to expand outside of mere jpegs. Now, it’s not just about owning digital art, but also about providing access to metaverse-based ecosystems offering virtual gaming and commerce economies. 

Whilst ApeCoin is pioneering use-cases around NFTs, it probably won’t be the only one. Emerging use-cases will help revolutionize the NFT space through sustaining and solidifying NFT ecosystems, and creating more opportunities for metaversal experiences. As a trusted infrastructure provider for the digital asset economy, Hex Trust has also started offering custodial services for BAYC NFTs and ApeCoin – and is excited to be a part of the journey as the metaverse continues to expand and evolve.

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