Bored Ape Yacht Club’s latest merch drop can only be purchased with ApeCoin

Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT owners can purchase new Yuga Labs merchandise — but they can only do so using the newly launched ApeCoin, according to an announcement on the BAYC Discord server. Yuga Labs, which has a large stake in the organization that backs ApeCoin, will get more ApeCoin (and more control over the organization) as NFT holders pay for their wares.

That is, assuming they can. Continuing the cryptocurrency’s “money but worse” trend, users complained that they were having trouble checking out.

“Total shit show,” said one user.

“No kidding and I’m a happy owner, but this is a very small online event compared to building a metaverse,” said another, referring to the planned development of Other side, a game intended to connect NFTs. “I’d like to see much more thorough testing and smooth customer experiences before bigger drops happen. Just my .02.”

The merch drop highlights something odd about ApeCoin, which has previously been used as an in-game currency Benji bananas, a game by Animoca Brands. ApeCoin is also a way to vote in the ApeCoin DAO – DAO is short for “decentralized autonomous organization”, although in this case the decentralized and autonomous parts both seem pretty, um, argumentative.

Members paying in ApeCoin are essentially returning their ApeCoin DAO vote to Yuga Labs, further solidifying Yuga Labs’ control over the DAO. The company has been granted 150 million tokens, but they are blocked for one year. Yuga Labs founders will receive 80 million tokens, which will also be locked for one year. In addition, Yuga Labs owns seven Bored Apes and 10 Mutant Apes. The launch of merch – and the transfer of tokens to Yuga Labs – comes as there are still two days left to vote on the initial DAO proposals.

To access the BAYC Merch Store, users must own a BAYC or Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT. Based on screenshots on Discord – I don’t have a BAYC NFT so I can’t see the store directly – the items appear to be priced in dollars. This includes hoodies, football shirts, hats, sweatpants, and throw blankets. Token holders paying Yuga Labs in ApeCoin are essentially giving their DAO votes to Yuga Labs.

Yuga Labs first announced the merchandise Friday at 1:57 p.m. PT. After Yuga Labs made its announcement, ApeCoin surged from $13.83 at 2:00 p.m. PT on March 26 to $15.13 at 12:33 p.m. PT today, according to Coinbase.

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