Yuga Labs is an NFT and cryptocurrency marketing and development company. Starting in April 2021 with the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), the company has sold Bored Ape NFTs and has since developed more NFT and Metaverse-based solutions. The name of the company, Yuga, comes from a villain in a game that can turn its adversaries into 2D art. The use of apes in the Bored Ape Yacht Club was inspired from the history of people referring to themselves as apes in cryptocurrency.
When asked what attracted the company to NFTs, the founders remarked that they were gamers who played World of Warcraft, Everquest, and Star Wars Galaxies, and NFTs and the Metaverse seemed like a new era of gaming experiences. The company, founded in 2021, has become the most valuable NFT project by market cap in early 2022, roughly a year after their founding.
With the success of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs announced the launch of a native governance token, ApeCoin. The coin is intended to be used for Yuga Lab's expansion of BAYC into Web3 and gaming. The coin is being launched by the ApeCoin DAO, with 62 percent of the 1 billion supply allocated to the ApeCoin community, and 15 percent available to be claimed by BAYC NFT holders.
The choice to launch the token through the ApeCoin DAO was due to the SEC's prosecution of cryptocurrency start-ups, which have sold tokens that can act as unregistered securities. The launch of the token through ApeCoin DAO isolates Yuga Labs from the launch, with none of the employees of the company working for ApeCoin DAO; instead, the ApeCoin DAO's council members are those with interested in the BAYC project previously. As well, to keep ApeCoin DAO connected in branding, but not legally connected to the BAYC, Yuga Labs gifted ApeCoin DAO with a Bored Apes logo in the form of an NFT.
The ApeCoin DAO is initially planning on using the money raised from the sale of the ApeCoin to build an ecosystem around the coin, including game development, events, and merch production, with a possible decentralized NFT marketplace as well. Yuga Labs is also expected to maintain a sizeable voting share in the organization, retaining around 15 percent of all ApeCoins minted.
In March 2022, following Yuga Lab's stated idea of expanding the BAYC environment, they announced a gaming-focused Metaverse named MetaRPG, intended to be compatible with a host of NFTs. This includes what has been described as an "in-game app store" in which players will be able to create characters using NFTs they own or develop.
The MetaRPG is also intended to have land sales, in the forms of NFTs, and users will be able to purchase one of a possible total 200,000 plots intended to be distributed across two sales in March and August. The company has also teased a partnership with Animoca Brands, a digital studio that is expected to also be building a racing game with Yuga Labs.
However, the information on the MetaRPG, although in line with some of the stated goals of Yuga Labs, came from a leaked launch deck. The co-founders of Yuga Labs have denied the roadmap outlined in the leaked deck, saying the deck was already outdated, and half of the team had never seen the deck slide.
In March of 2022, Yuga Labs acquired the intellectual property of the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections from Larva Labs. This means Yuga Labs owns the brands, copyright in the art, and other intellectual property rights, including 423 CryptoPunks NFTs and 1711 Meebits NFTs.
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