Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is among the investors who received a windfall this week when billions of dollars worth of tokens were issued to the creators, financiers and owners of the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s digital collectibles.

Crypto traders rushed to get their share of the action on Thursday when a consortium, in which Bored Ape maker Yuga Labs is the largest shareholder, debuted “ApeCoin.” More than $9 billion worth of ApeCoin changed hands in the first 24 hours of trading, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.

One billion ApeCoin was created on the Ethereum blockchain by an organization that helped Yuga along with a small group of donors and advisors find it.

The tokens suddenly became very valuable after millions were given away to Bored Ape holders on Thursday and they started trading on major crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, FTX and Binance, where every other investor could buy them.

The release of ApeCoin is one of the most high profile examples of “airdrops”, where cryptocurrency projects effectively give away free digital tokens to collectors, employees and investors, sometimes making new millionaires overnight. The coins took advantage of the success of Bored Ape non-functioning tokens, which have risen in popularity in recent months.

Before public trading began, Yuga and its ApeCoin partners approved the allocation of the tokens, making crypto now worth billions to a handful of insiders, as well as Bored Ape holders, an environmental charity and the organization’s treasury. A Yuga spokesperson said the token distribution was dictated by a “large group involving both the contributors and the industry experts they consulted.”

The four founders of Yuga – until recently known only under their online pseudonyms such as Gargamel and Emperor Tomato Ketchup – were allocated 8 percent. A group of “launch partners”, including Andreessen and Hong Kong-based NFT and crypto investor Animoca Brands, were jointly awarded a 14 percent allotment in exchange for help preparing for the issuance, a Yuga spokesperson confirmed to the Financial Times. .

Another 150 million tokens were given to Yuga Labs itself, which is currently worth more than $2.2 billion, while 470 million tokens are held by the ApeCoin organization itself and 150 million will be collected by Bored Ape NFT holders .

Bored Ape holders received a payout of 10,094 ApeCoin for every NFT they own from the main collection, handing over tens of thousands of dollars to owners of a cartoon monkey that originally sold for about $250 and now trades for over $250,000 on marketplaces such as OpenSea.

Several Bored Ape holders were able to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ApeCoin on Thursday, with one large collector to claim tokens worth more than $20 million on Friday.

After volatile early trading that saw it swing from $39 to $7, ApeCoin’s price had recovered to around $15 24 hours after launch. That price would value the Yuga founders’ stock at more than 1.2 billion. dollars, while the launch partners have ApeCoin worth $2.1 billion. The founders and launch partners are currently prohibited from trading ApeCoin, with lockups being settled in batches over the next 36 months. Only 28 percent of the tokens are currently available for trading.

ApeCoin represents one of a new breed of cryptocentric “decentralized autonomous organizations,” or DAOs, that use airborne tokens as a way to distribute administrative rights, with those with more coins having a greater influence on the project’s direction. The coins can also become speculative financial assets that are used to attract new users to a new platform or new marketplace.

Other members of the ApeCoin consortium include Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, Guy Oseary, a music industry veteran whose clients include Madonna and U2, and Horizen Labs, a blockchain developer.

A Yuga spokesperson said Andreessen received coins in exchange for help with “general DAO governance design.” Andreessen declined to comment on her involvement in the project.

Yuga was in talks with investors, including Andreessen, about a new round of financing worth between $4 billion and $5 billion, the FT reported last month. Yuga and Andreessen both declined to comment on the potential financing.

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This post Andreessen Horowitz shares in windfall from Bored Ape crypto coin was original published at “https://www.ft.com/content/86aed0ff-ba60-4e5a-98c8-a30b7a7e0a61”

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