ApeCoin Geo-Locks US Stakers, Two Monkeys Sold for $1M Each, Market Launch

US-based ApeCoin (APE) holders may lose staking rewards after the US is added to a list of regions barred from using an upcoming APE staking service.

Blockchain infrastructure firm Horizen Labs, which is building the site on behalf of ApeCoin’s Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), disclosed the news in a Nov. 24 update regarding ApeStake.io on Twitter, stating that “unfortunately, in the in today’s regulatory environment, we had no good alternative.

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

There are likely ways to get around geoblocking. The update found that the website is just an interface for interacting with the Ethereum-based open source smart contract, and “many other” interfaces are being created by parties such as exchanges and DeFi platforms.

Prominent Twitter user ‘Zeneca’ said their 312.00 followers and those from regions geo-blocked by ApeStake.io will still be able to stake by interacting directly with the smart contract or using another interface without geo-blocking. Those in blocked regions could also use a virtual private network (VPN) to spoof their location.

The decision to block US users is likely the result of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) October investigation into APE creator Yuga Labs. The regulator is investigating whether the firm’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) act more like securities and subsequently violate federal laws.

Two Bored Ape NFTs sell for nearly $1 million each

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

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

Thapliydal is the CEO of infrastructure firm Web3 Chain and gained notoriety for making Guinness World Records for acquiring “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 Nov. 24 for BAYC #1268 between two unidentified wallets for 780 ETH, or nearly $940,000 at the time of the sale.

The sales are significant as the NFTs have been selling well above the current floor price for the collection, which has seen a decline in recent months.

According to data from NFT Price Floor, the floor 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 dollar terms from its all-time high of May 1 of 144.9 ETH. , or over $391,000 at the time.

ApeCoin DAO launches the market

The community-led DAO made up of ApeCoin holders has launched their 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 of 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” specific to NFT communities, including the ability to stake APEs.

The market “respects royalties by heavily reducing fees” according to Heerwagen. A 0.25% cut of each sale is held in a multi-signature wallet and used to fund DAO initiatives.

Related: Industry Expresses Confidence in NFT Space During FTX Crash

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

Others like OpenSea have continued to enforce copyrights and even built a tool to help NFT creators with on-chain enforcement of copyrights, allowing them to blacklist the sale of their NFTs on royalty-free markets.