BAYC Plots Metaverse As ApeCoin Launches

Over the weekend, Yuga Labs, the NFT creators behind the glitzy Bored Ape Yacht Club, released a teaser for what looks like an upcoming metaverse called “Otherside”:

See you at the Overkant in April. Driven by @apecoin

— Yuga Labs (@yugalabs) March 19, 2022

The trailer shows a monkey — wearing flip flops with a sea captain’s cap and chewing a cigarette — fishing for a poisonous drink on his quiet dock. Suddenly, he is whisked away, by a plump creature with pointy ears and glowing eyes, to a place where lava spews freely from volcanoes and submarines emerge from holographic waters. In the barrel: A medley of other dimensional creatures wave at him, including a CryptoPunk, a Mutant Ape, an avatar from the World of Women, and Cool Cat wearing glasses and a sushi hat.

Swing to the other side, music blaring in the background.

The trailer drop follows an explosive week for Yuga. First, it comes on the heels of a new cryptocurrency token rumored to be driving Otherside’s market called ApeCoin, which made its trading debut on Thursday morning amid wild volatility — with its price swinging from highs of over more than a quarter of an hour within hours. $50 to lows of about $6. (It’s gone down to about $10 as of Monday afternoon since then.)

ApeCoin builds on the universe of 2D primates developed by Yuga, although the “official” launch of the coin was controlled by a decentralized autonomous organization called ApeCoin DAO, whose first councilors included Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. That’s because Yuga has been careful to move away from the token amid growing regulatory scrutiny of cryptocurrencies as unregistered securities.

The wild ride was perhaps unsurprising given the clash of hype culture with a euphoric cryptocurrency market. But it was made more extreme by a hefty airdrop of ApeCoins to Bored Ape owners at the low point of the token, which they could claim for free – and many did, catalyzing another round of volatility in ApeCoin value.

For some, the air-dropped coins totaled more than $500,000 at the market’s peaks. When sold at the right time, it was a huge infusion of money for the monkey community, some of whom were already rich enough to afford million-dollar digital avatars, including Hollywood celebrities, but others of whom had bought their monkeys. for a handful of ETH before the craze propelled yacht club rock bottom prices. (The cheapest NFT in the series is now worth 102 ETH, or $300,600 on OpenSea.)

Despite its volatility, ApeCoin is already the 48th largest cryptocurrency in its infancy, according to CoinMarketCap, out of more than 12,000 cryptocurrencies in existence. According to the website, it has a total market cap of $1.3 billion. Whether the star continues to rise — or fan out — remains to be seen.

But a leaked pitch deck circulating online and viewed by Fast Company, reportedly from Yuga Labs, describes ApeCoin as just one component in a larger design — to create a Web3 universe that makes it “a metaverse that will bring all other metaverses obsolete”, built around gaming and going beyond Bored Apes to support a range of avatars including Doodles, Cool Cats and World of Women NFTs.

According to the deck, which was last updated in February, the game’s storyline revolves around the premise that all intelligent life on Earth has been transported to a strange new world created by an ancient race of celestial beings, and Yuga plots a metaverse land sale sometime in March.

The trailer for Otherside seems to be the first step in this ambition for Yuga. But despite that, Yuga responded to messages about the leaked deck by claiming it is “old” and “outdated”, as one of the founders, who goes by the screen name CryptoGarga, said on Discord. “There are a lot of things that have already changed,” CryptoGarga wrote, adding that “a lot more things will change” in the future because creators hate doing “expected things.”

Meanwhile, major metaverse player Animoca, the blockchain game developer behind The Sandbox, unveiled thursday it was working on a “secret project” with Bored Ape Yacht Club, which internet sleuths now suspect is Otherside.

But even before all that, it seemed that Yuga had already started building his empire. Earlier in March, it revealed it acquired intellectual property rights to Larva Labs’ collection of mega-popular CryptoPunk and Meebit NFTs. Together, all Bored Ape and CryptoPunk NFTs are currently worth approximately $3.6 billion.

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