ApeCoin geo-blocks US stakers, two Apes sell for $1M each, marketplace launched

US-based ApeCoin (APE) holders may miss out on staking rewards after the US is added to a list of regions geo-blocked from using an upcoming APE staking service.

Blockchain infrastructure company Horizen Labs, which is building the site on behalf of the ApeCoin Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), revealed the news in a Nov. 24 update on on Twitter, saying, “Unfortunately, in the current regulations, we didn’t have a viable 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 probably ways to get around the geographic block. The update noted that the website is just an interface to interact with the Ethereum-based open-source smart contract, and that “several other” interfaces are created by parties such as exchanges and DeFi platforms.

Prominent Twitter user “Zeneca” told their 312.00 followers that those from regions geo-blocked by can still deploy by communicating directly with the smart contract 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 likely stemmed from the October Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into APE maker Yuga Labs. The regulator is investigating whether the company’s nonfungible tokens (NFTs) act more like securities and subsequently violate federal laws.

Two Bored Ape NFTs sell for nearly $1 million each

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

BAYC #232 was sold to pseudonymous NFT collector “Keungz” – who apparently own 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 earning the Guinness World Records for buying the “Most Expensive NFT Collectible” after purchasing CryptoPunk #5822 for 8,000 ETH, or $23.7 million, on 12th of February.

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 sale.

The sales are significant as the NFTs sold well above the current floor price for the collection, which has fallen in recent 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 80% lower in US dollars than the all-time high of 144.9 ETH on May 1. , or more than $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 company Snag Solutions, was launched on November 24 and supports transactions from 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 market “contains unique features” specific to NFT communities, including the ability to deploy APE.

The marketplace “respects royalties and significantly 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: The industry is expressing confidence in the NFT space amid the collapse of the FTX

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

Others, like OpenSea, have continued to enforce royalties and even developed a tool to help NFT makers enforce royalties on-chain, allowing them to blacklist the sale of their NFTs on royalty-free marketplaces.