ApeCoin in the spotlight: what is it and how does the Bored Ape token work?

Filippo Iachello

5 min

What is Apecoin, the Bored Ape Yacht Club crypto and how it works

What is ApeCoin, the token of the Bored Ape Yacht Club community, the world’s most valuable NFT collection  

What is ApeCoin (APE), the token of the Bored Ape Yacht Club community? The ‘monkey’ NFT collection is one of the most famous in the panorama of non-fungible tokens, but for about a year now it has also been on the market for ‘fungible’ ones. Thanks to ApeCoin (APE), the token managed by the Bored Apes community and the Ape Foundation. In these lines, you will discover not only what ApeCoin is, but in general everything you need to know about the crypto of the Bored Ape community.  

What is ApeCoin and how to use it

APE is an ERC-20 token developed on the Ethereum blockchain. At its launch on 17 March 2022, it was distributed to all users who owned an NFT from the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) collections through an airdrop. This free token distribution was one of the most valuable ever, with each holder of BAYC NFTs receiving more than $100,000 in APE.

Owning ApeCoins (APE) grants the right to participate in the autonomous and decentralised ApeDAO organisation. The DAO of the Bored Ape Yacht Club community, whose decisions are overseen by the Ape Foundation, serves to discuss and vote on ideas and new projects proposed by users. 

The Ape Foundation is the decentralised institution that administers the ApeCoin DAO, specifically it is responsible for the management of proposals on the platform and for accounting. At the head of the Ape Foundation is a special council, whose members are elected by the decentralised organisation itself. Ape Foundation is not linked to Yuga Labs, it acts independently by proposing initiatives for the community. 

In addition to participating in governance, the token is used as an incentive for the developers of the BAYC project. Finally, according to the ApeCoin DAO announcement, APE will also be the currency in the Bored Ape Metaverse, Otherside and will grant access to exclusive video games and events!

ApeCoin tokenomics

The total supply of APE is 1 billion, and the tokens, released as of 17 March 2022, will be distributed to the market progressively until 2026. 15% of ApeCoin availability was distributed to BAYC and MAYC holders at launch, while 47% is stored in DAO-owned crypto wallets. This percentage of APE tokens serves to finance BAYC community proposals that have been approved. The remaining part of the ApeCoin (APE) is owned by investors. These include the Web3 company that created the NFT collection of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs, which owns 15% of the supply.

What is ApeCoin DAO?

The ApeCoin DAO is the decentralised community organisation of the BAYC. It is necessary to point out that it is completely separate from Yuga Labs, which can express its opinion on future decisions as if it were a wealthy user with a large amount of APE. 

The way it works is simple: anyone who owns at least one APE is entitled to be a member of the DAO, and each token held is equivalent to one vote. Members can propose so-called AIPs (Ape Improvement Proposals), i.e. improvements to the ecosystem on three broad themes: Core, Process and Informational.


Core proposals concern the heart of the ApeCoin project. This category includes all AIPs requiring a financial commitment from the DAO and all those involving the ApeCoin brand and possible collaborations with other Web3 players.


Proposals that intend to change the AIP approval process. For example, those that include changing the voting procedures, or the technical tools of ApeCoin. In particular, the community may decide to vote against the current system whereby 1 token = 1 vote, or it may decide that a more than absolute majority of votes in favour (e.g. more than 70% in favour) is required to approve a proposal. 


Under this category are proposals on general community guidelines.

The Process for Proposing an Idea on the ApeCoin DAO

To understand not only what ApeCoin is but also how it works within the BAYC governance, let’s look in detail at the process leading to the approval of a new ApeCoin DAO proposal.

  • AIP idea: a member of the community publishes a proposal, which must first be analysed by a moderator of the AIP Foundation;
  • Draft AIP: the draft AIP enriched with comments from other DAO members and approved by a moderator is labelled, ‘AIP-#: (Name) – (Category)’;
  • Board review: the APE Foundation’s Board of Directors reviews the draft AIP and issues a report to ensure that costs and legal implications have been considered;
  • AIP approval: the draft and report are reviewed and approved by a team of moderators according to DAO guidelines;
  • AIP voting: approved proposals are published on the DAO’s platform during the ‘Weekly AIP Release’ Thursday and users can cast their votes for one week
  • Activation of AIPs: accepted AIPs move on to the ‘activation’ phase, which will be managed by the AIP owner and the ApeCoin Foundation team, while rejected AIPs can be resubmitted using the template provided.

The ApeCoin DAO website states ‘the ways in which blockchain can impact culture are infinite, and impossible to predict them all. APE is a token created to shape the future of the Internet, controlled and developed by the community’. So what is ApeCoin? Now you know, and we even went over the mechanisms governing its DAO, so you can make up your own mind. Is the BAYC community well on its way to shaping the web of the future?

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