There’s a bit going on right now in the blue-chip corner of the NFT sector – and it’s all to do with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, the new ApeCoin token created by Yuga Labs, and the acquisition of CryptoPunks.

All this BAYC-related news seems to be happening at once, but to summarise, here’s some key info about what’s been happening and why it’s a big deal…

• A couple of days ago, Yuga Labs, the team behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), announced the acquisition of the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT projects’ intellectual property from Larva Labs.

• This means Yuga Labs now owns the two most valuable NFT projects on the market – BAYC and CryptoPunks NFTs have together pulled in more than US$3 billion in total trading volume. Staggering stuff.

• Yuga Labs is projecting a net revenue of US$455 million this year through metaverse virtual land sales alone, which will reportedly get underway this month.

• Yuga Labs’ latest developments also include a new crypto-economy token called ApeCoin (APE), the creation of the ApeCoin DAO and the APE Foundation.

• Furthermore, blockchain-gaming development and investment powerhouse Animoca Brands recently revealed it has a secret, seven-month collaborative project in the works with Yuga Labs and BAYC, which you can read more about on Stockhead here.


More about the CryptoPunks acquisition

By acquiring the CryptoPunks and Meebits brands, Yuga Labs now owns the copyright in the art, along with 423 CryptoPunks and 1,711 Meebits.

The CryptoPunks project had previously restricted the transfer of IP, copyright or trademark to Punk owners. But that’s changing with the new Yuga Labs ownership.

Yuga will now be providing full commercial rights to its NFT holders to enable “developers and community creators to incorporate CryptoPunks and Meebits into their Web3 projects”.


The co-founders of Larva Labs, Matt Hall and John Watkinson, who are not joining Yuga Labs, wrote in a blog post that, as the category of NFT avatars (aka profile picture projects) boomed, “we saw in [Yuga Labs] the skill set and expertise in this space that we were missing”.

“This is, however, not an acquisition of Larva Labs,” continued the post. “That’s still us, and we still own the Autoglyphs project as well as a group of our favorite Punks and Meebs. As for what’s next for us … we’re excited to get back to what we do best, which is working on weird new stuff.”

It’s yet to be revealed exactly how the Punks and Meebits IP will be used by Yuga Labs. But the plan appears to be to create a larger NFT community all under the one Yuga roof, as it were.

“We want to build something that expands the universe of the BAYC, but also invites the larger NFT community (and those priced out of BAYC membership) to join,” stated a Yuga Labs representative in an official pitch deck shared with The Block.


More about ApeCoin and the DAO

ApeCoin, which is being airdropped to owners of BAYC ecosystem NFTS (Bored Ape, Mutant Ape or Kennel Club), is the token for Yuga Labs’ growing ecosystem and metaverse. It’s claimable for these NFT owners for a period of up to 90 days from today. The currency will be usable in the in-game store (see further below) and will encourage trading activities among players.

According to an official ApeCoin Twitter thread, the APE token will be owned and operated by ApeCoin DAO, a decentralised autonomous organisation that gives token holders governance rights over the DAO’s “Ecosystem Fund”. Holding ApeCoin is the only thing needed to become one of the DAO’s members.

The APE Foundation, meanwhile, describes itself as “the steward of ApeCoin” and “the base layer” on which ApeCoin holders in the ApeCoin DAO can build. It essentially facilitates the community-led governance of how the token and APE exosystem is used and run, and is designed to become more decentralised over time.

Hotshot investor Alexis Ohanian, who’s recently been delving further into Web3-startup funding, announced on Twitter the other day that he’ll serve on an initial council to help oversee the APE token’s governance.


More about the Yuga Labs metaverse

In the aforementioned pitch deck, the Yuga Labs team reportedly announced its upcoming metaverse project, dubbed MetaRPG.

The MetaRPG world will host NFT characters, possibly compatible with existing NFTs under the Yuga Labs’ umbrella – although that’s a little unclear at this stage. At any rate, an “in-game app store” will be the marketplace that houses the trading of the NFT characters. And ApeCoin will be the currency that facilitates those sales.

And aside from owning NFT characters, participants in this metaverse will also have access to a collection of in-game outfits and items available in the store.

In phase one of its metaverse project, Yuga says it intends to sell 200,000 plots of virtual NFT land tied to the project, and that will happen across two sales taking place this month and then in August.

The company is anticipating raising US$178 million in each sale and, with the secondary sales factored in, the total amount is expected to reach in the vicinity of US$455 million, which is reportedly about 3.5 times Yuga Lab’s 2021 net revenue.

According to Cryptoslate, the land plots will be designed to carry unique characteristics such as natural resources, artifacts, and “surprise rare characters”.

Could Yuga and Animoca’s “secret project” have something to do with the MetaRPG world? That’s entirely and extremely… possible. Okay, we’ll go out on a limb here… it’s probable even.