Yuga Labs, the creator of the massively popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection, said it had launched a new token, ApeCoin (APE), for use on the BAYC ecosystem. Yuga will also airdrop 15% of total APE supply to BAYC holders later today.

The firm said it had set up a foundation to oversee the token, called the Ape Foundation, as well as a decentralized organization that will govern the token.

Yuga announced the move on Twitter,  and said that 62% of APE’s total supply will be allocated to the community. The token airdrop will begin at 8:30 AM ET today, and the claim period will be open for 90 days.

The token is also set to begin trading on major crypto exchanges as soon as possible, the APE Foundation said. Binance said it will list the coin later today, while Coinbase also appeared to have an early listing of the coin.

Yuga Labs rides boom in NFT market

The token offering comes shortly after Yuga Labs bought the rights to the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections from Larva Labs. The deal effectively solidified Yuga’s position as the largest player in the NFT market.

Data from Coinmarketcap estimates Bored Ape Yacht Club, which is based on the Ethereum blockchain, to be valued at about 971,747 ETH- roughly $2.7 billion. CryptoPunks is valued at 777,349 ETH ($2.1 billion), and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, a BAYC spinoff, is worth 388,613 ETH ($1.1 billion). They are the three largest NFT collections on the market.

An NFT boom in 2021 appears to show no signs of slowing down this year. The market continues to attract several new high-profile entrants, including major Wall Street corporations and A-list celebrities.

Gaming firms pick up APE Coin

Animoca Brands, one of the world’s largest blockchain game developers, said it would enable NFT purchases with APE in its pay-to-earn (P2E) game Benji Bananas. The firm also said it would adopt APE for a “secret project” it is developing with BAYC.

P2E game developer nWayPlay said it will adopt APE in a new P2E game that it is developing with BAYC.

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