ApeCoin geo-blocks US stakers, two monkeys sold for $1M each, marketplace launched
US-based ApeCoin (APE) holders may miss out on staking rewards after the US was added to a list of regions geo-blocked from using an upcoming APE staking service.
Blockchain infrastructure company Horizen Labs, which is building the site on behalf of the ApeCoin Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), revealed the news in a Nov. 24 update regarding ApeStake.io on Twitter, saying: “Unfortunately, in today’s regulatory environment, we had no good alternative.”
Ape Staking Update: Big thanks to the talented community developers for their helpful improvements. The Bug Bounty AIP delayed us a bit, so we shortened the pre-deposit period by a week to keep our original 12/12 launch. Alternative front-end sites are published. See map. pic.twitter.com/mgmP7X3SwQ
— Horizen Labs (@HorizenLabs) 24 November 2022
Canada, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Cuba, Russia and the Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine, Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk are also on the blocking list.
There are likely ways to get around the geo-block. The update noted that the website is only an interface to interact with the Ethereum-based open source smart contract, and “several other” interfaces are being created by parties such as exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.
Prominent Twitter user Zeneca told their 312 00 followers as those from regions geoblocked by ApeStake.io will still be able to stake by interacting with the smart contract directly or using another interface without geoblocks. Those in blocked regions can also use a VPN to spoof their location.
The decision to block US users likely stemmed from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation in October of APE creator Yuga Labs. The regulator is investigating whether the company’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) function more like securities and then violate federal laws.
Two Bored Ape NFTs sell for nearly $1 million each
Meanwhile, some bored monkeys are still fetching high prices even during the depths of crypto winter. An NFT from Yuga Labs’ flagship Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection sold for 800 Ether (ETH), or nearly $950,000 at the time of sale on November 23rd.
BAYC #232 was sold to pseudonymous NFT collector Keungz – who apparently has several Yuga Labs NFTs, according to their OpenSea profile – by Deepak Thapliydal.
— Keungz ❤️ Memeland ☠️ YGPZ ♀️ (@keung) 23 November 2022
Thapliydal is the CEO of Web3 infrastructure company Chain and was noted for making the Guinness World Records for purchasing the “most expensive NFT collectible” after purchasing CryptoPunk #5822 for 8,000 ETH, or $23.7 million, on February 12 .
The sale of BAYC #232 was closely followed by another on November 24 for BAYC #1268 between two unidentified wallets for 780 ETH, or nearly $940,000 at the time of the sale.
The sale is significant as the NFTs sold far above the current floor price for the collection, which has seen a decline in recent months.
According to data from NFT Price Floor, the minimum price for a Bored Ape at the time of writing is just under 63 ETH, or around $75,600, and is down 80% in US dollars from its May 1 all-time high of 144.9 ETH , or over $391,000 at the time.
ApeCoin DAO launches marketplace
The community-led DAO made up of ApeCoin holders has launched its own marketplace to buy and sell NFTs from the Yuga Labs ecosystem.
The aptly named ApeCoin Marketplace built by NFT infrastructure firm Snag Solutions launched on November 24 and supports transactions from the BAYC, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Bored Ape Kennel Club and Otherdeed NFT collections.
In a Nov. 24 Twitter thread, Snag Solutions CEO Zach Heerwagen said the marketplace “includes unique features” specifically for the NFT community, including the ability to stake APE.
1/ The custom marketplace includes unique features built specifically for the BAYC and Otherside communities, including ApeCoin stakes and NFT metadata integrations. pic.twitter.com/mem2ZsXNkt
— Zach | Zheerwagen.eth (@ZHeerwagen) 23 November 2022
The marketplace “respects royalties while greatly reducing fees,” according to Heerwagen. A 0.25% portion of each sale is held in a multi-signature wallet and used to fund DAO initiatives.
Related: Industry expresses confidence in NFT space amid FTX collapse
The marketplace’s support for royalties comes as some other NFT marketplaces such as Solana-based Magic Eden and Ethereum-based LooksRare stopped enforcing royalties for creators by default.
Others such as OpenSea have continued to enforce royalties and even created a tool to help NFT creators with on-chain royalty enforcement, allowing them to blacklist the sale of NFTs on royalty-free marketplaces.