ApeCoin geoblocks US shareholders, two monkeys sell for $1 million each, market opens

ApeCoin (APE) holders based in the United States may miss out on staking rewards after the US was added to the list of geo-blocked regions to use the upcoming APE staking service.

Blockchain infrastructure company Horizen Labs, which built the site on behalf of the ApeCoin decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), announced the news in a Nov. 24 update on ApeStake.io on Twitter, saying, “Unfortunately, in today’s regulatory environment, we don’t have a good alternative.”

Canada, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Cuba, Russia, and Russian-controlled Ukraine, Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk are also on the block list.

There are possible ways to bypass 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 developed by parties such as exchanges and DeFi platforms.

Popular Twitter user “Zeneca” he said their 312,00 followers from regions geo-blocked by ApeStake.io will still be able to stake by connecting directly to the smart contract or using another interface without geo-blocks. Those in blocked regions can also use a virtual private network (VPN) to spoof their location.

The decision to block US users is likely a result of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) investigation into APE creator Yuga Labs in October. The regulator is investigating whether the company’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) acted more like securities and subsequently violated federal law.

Two Bored Ape NFTs are selling for around $1 million each

Meanwhile, some Bored Monkeys are still fetching high prices even in the depths of Crypto Winter. One NFT from Yuga Labs’ flagship Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection was sold for 800 Ether (ETH) or about $950,000 during the November 23 sale.

BAYC # 232 was sold by Deepak Thapliydal to NFT collector alias “Keungz” who owns many Yuga Labs NFTs according to his OpenSea profile.

Thapliydal is the CEO of Chain, a Web3 infrastructure company, and gained notoriety for the Guinness World Record for buying the “most expensive collection of NFTs” after buying CryptoPunk #5822 for 8,000 ETH or $23.7 million on February 12th.

It was closely followed by the sale of BAYC #232 between two unknown wallets on November 24th for BAYC #1268 for 780 ETH, or almost $940,000 at the time of the sale.

The selloff is significant because NFTs are well above the current low for the collection, which has seen a decline in recent months.

According to data from NFT Price Floor, at the time of writing, the minimum price of one Boring Monkey is just under 63 ETH, or about $75,600, and is down 80% in USD terms from its all-time high of 144.9 ETH on May 1 . , or more than $391,000 at the time.

ApeCoin launches DAO market

The DAO, led by a community of ApeCoin owners, 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 the operations of NFT collections BAYC, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Bored Ape Kennel Club, and Otherdeed.

Zach Heerwagen, CEO of Snag Solutions, said on Twitter on Nov. 24 that the marketplace has “unique features” specifically for the NFT community, including the ability to buy shares from APE.

According to Heerwagen, the market “respects royalties while significantly reducing fees.” A slice of 0.25% of each sale is held in a multi-signature wallet and used to fund DAO initiatives.

Related: The industry is expressing confidence in the NFT space amid the collapse of FTX

The market’s support for royalties comes as some other NFT markets, such as Solana (SOL)-based Magic Eden and Ethereum-based LooksRare, have stopped charging creators’ royalties.

Others, such as OpenSea, continued to implement royalties and even created a tool to help NFT creators with off-chain execution of royalties, allowing them to blacklist the sale of their NFTs on royalty-free markets.