ApeCoin geo-blocks US stakers, two monkeys sold for $1M each, marketplace launched

US-based ApeCoin (APE) holders could miss out on staking rewards after the US was added to a list of regions geoblocked from using an upcoming APE staking service.

Blockchain infrastructure firm Horizen Labs, which is building the site on behalf of the ApeCoin decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), revealed the news in a Nov. 24 update regarding ApeStake.io on Twitter, saying “unfortunately, in today’s regulatory environment, we didn’t have a good alternative.”

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

There are probably ways to get around the geo-block. The update noted that the website is only an interface for interacting with the Ethereum-based open-source smart contract, and “several other” interfaces are being designed by parties such as exchanges and DeFi platforms.

The prominent Twitter user “Zeneca” told their 312,000 followers, as those from regions geo-blocked by ApeStake.io will still be able to stake by interacting with the smart contract directly 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 due to the October investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into APE creator Yuga Labs. The regulator is investigating whether the company’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) function more like securities and subsequently violate federal laws.

Two Bored Ape NFTs sell for nearly $1M each

Meanwhile, some bored monkeys are still fetching high prices, even in the depths of Crypto Winter. An NFT from Yuga Labs’ flagship Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection sold for 800 Ether (ETH), or nearly $950,000 at the time of sale on November 23rd.

BAYC #232 was sold to the pseudonymous NFT collector “Keungz” – who apparently has several Yuga Labs NFTs according to their OpenSea profile – by Deepak Thapliydal.

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

The sale of BAYC #232 was closely followed by another on November 24 for BAYC #1268 between two unidentified wallets for 780 ETH, or nearly $940,000 at the time of the sale.

The sale is significant as the NFTs sold well above the current bottom price for the collection, which has seen a decline over the past few months.

According to data from NFT Price Floor, the minimum price for a Bored Ape at the time of writing is just under 63 ETH, or about $75,600, and is down 80% in US dollars from its May 1 all-time high of 144.9 ETH. , or over $391,000 at the time.

ApeCoin DAO launches marketplace

The community-led DAO, made up of ApeCoin holders, 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 transactions in the BAYC, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Bored Ape Kennel Club and Otherdeed NFT collections.

In a Nov. 24 Twitter thread, Snag Solutions CEO Zach Heerwagen said the marketplace “includes unique features” specifically for the NFT community, including the ability to stake APE.

The marketplace “respects royalties and greatly reduces fees,” according to Heerwagen. A 0.25% portion of each sale is held in a multi-signature wallet and used to fund DAO initiatives.

Related: Industry expresses confidence in NFT space amid FTX collapse

The marketplace’s support for royalties comes as some other NFT marketplaces such as Solana (SOL)-based Magic Eden and Ethereum-based LooksRare stopped enforcing royalties for creators by default.

Others such as OpenSea have continued to enforce royalties and even created a tool to assist NFT creators with on-chain royalty enforcement, allowing them to blacklist the sale of their NFTs on royalty-free marketplaces.