Robert has reported for a variety of international publications including the Associated Press, The Guardian, Vice, and Decrypt. Current areas of interest include the political economy of technology, cryptocurrencies, and privacy. Robert has a Bachelor of Science from UCL, and a Master's degree from the University of Oxford's Internet Institute.
In March 2022, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, one of the most valuable NFT (non-fungible token) projects ever released, launched its own cryptocurrency token: ApeCoin, or APE for short. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to trade it.
ApeCoin, built on the Ethereum blockchain, was not released (not officially, anyway) by Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Apes. Instead, it was created by the Ape Foundation, the steward of the Bored Ape Yacht Club project that counts Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian among its board members.
The Ape Foundation oversees a decentralized autonomous organization (called a DAO for short) called the ApeCoin DAO. This DAO uses ApeCoin to vote on the future of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.Buy and Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and over a dozen other cryptocurrencies with Wealthsimple. Sign up and Trade here.
As such, ApeCoin is what’s known as a “governance token,” meaning that its main use is to function as a voting chip for proposals submitted to the ApeCoin DAO. Although 62% of the token supply was reserved for those who own the cartoon ape NFTs—which as of April 2022, cost about $350,000 each—you don’t need to hold an NFT to buy ApeCoin or vote in the DAO.
Aside from governance, ApeCoin can be used to buy things on certain platforms, such as OpenSea. ApeCoin was also the token used to mint deeds for plots of virtual land in Yuga Labs’s upcoming metaverse game, Otherside.
And while the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT is limited to just 10,000 miserable-looking monkeys, there are a billion possible fungible (i.e., interchangeable) ApeCoins, of which about 277 million are in circulation. Like the NFTs, ApeCoin tokens trade on the open market, and the price is highly volatile. Traders can buy and sell them to speculate on the price.
Where to buy ApeCoin in Canada
Cryptocurrency exchanges are the most popular venue for trading ApeCoins. These are websites that let you trade cryptocurrencies with other investors. They look and function like the trading terminals that investment bankers might use, only they’re on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—crypto markets never sleep—and are less regulated. To see the most popular markets for ApeCoin, head to a crypto price aggregation site like CoinGecko.
Canadian residents have plenty of places to buy ApeCoin. You can trade ApeCoin on an exchange, a decentralized automatic market maker protocol, or right here on Wealthsimple Crypto.Buy and Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and over a dozen other cryptocurrencies with Wealthsimple. Sign up and Trade here.
Buying ApeCoin on an exchange
Our advice is applicable to almost any crypto exchange—they all look the same, and offer broadly comparable fees. The main differences are the details about fee structures, coins listed, and jurisdictions served.
To trade ApeCoin on one of these platforms, the first thing you’ll need to do is to create an account. This requires you to enter your contact information and hand over some form of identification. Sign-ups are generally painless, and many exchanges will offer you referral bonuses if you get your friends on board.
The next thing you need to do is to work out which coins trade against ApeCoin on the exchange you’re using. Depending on the platforms, you may not be able to purchase ApeCoin directly in Canadian dollars. You’ll need to buy another currency first. Let’s say that an exchange only offers three relevant pairings: APE-USD, APE-EUR and APE-USDT.
That means that on said exchange, you can buy APE with US dollars, the euro or USDT. Only USDT, also known as Tether, is a cryptocurrency—it’s a coin known as a stablecoin, meaning it maintains a peg to the US dollar. Exchanges offer different pairings for APE, and some may not offer it at all.
To buy APE, you’ll need to acquire one of these other currencies first. You can buy and sell your coins at the market price using the “spot” trade function on a peer-to-peer trading platform. It’s easiest to deposit
If you’ve used Canadian dollars to buy bitcoin on Wealthsimple Crypto, you could withdraw that bitcoin to your cryptocurrency wallet, then sell bitcoin for USDT on another exchange, and then use your new USDT to buy APE. You’d pay a small amount on each trade—to Bitcoin miners for the blockchain transfer, and then trading fees to the platforms.
This sounds a lot less straightforward than it is—shifting money around crypto exchanges isn’t that much more complicated than moving money around bank accounts. There’s one huge caveat, though. Blockchains themselves are notoriously unforgiving—they’re decentralized, so they don’t come with customer service helplines and do not issue refunds. If buying crypto from another exchange first, you’ll need to copy-and-paste the exact address you’re withdrawing to.Buy and Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and over a dozen other cryptocurrencies with Wealthsimple. Sign up and Trade here.
Say you’ve deposited $100 of bitcoin onto the exchange, and want to sell it for USDT (Tether’s stablecoin) in preparation for your ApeCoin purchase. You can sell it for USDT by heading to the BTC-USDT pairing, and then sell it as a spot order.
Once you’ve placed the trade, the exchange will add it to its order book, ready for another trader to pick it up. You’ll receive USDT as soon as the trade has been fulfilled. Once you have the right currencies on the exchange, you can use them to buy ApeCoin.
Buying ApeCoin on a brokerage
While the above method is generally cheap—fees on exchanges are comparatively low—the websites and apps can take a while to get used to. They also make life difficult for traders who want to use Canadian dollars to buy ApeCoins. An easier, if slightly more expensive workaround would be to buy ApeCoin directly for Canadian dollars from a cryptocurrency brokerage.
On these platforms, you can often buy coins directly with Canadian dollars with your debit card, or by wiring funds to the exchange.
After creating an account, enter how much ApeCoin you’d like to buy, hit “buy” and the brokerage will credit the tokens to your account.
Note that, as of April 2022, Wealthsimple Crypto doesn’t support withdrawals of ApeCoin, meaning that you can’t use the tokens you’ve bought to trade within the ApeCoin DAO.
How to buy ApeCoin on a decentralized exchange
Decentralized exchanges work a little differently. All of the trading platforms mentioned so far are run by companies–for-profit organizations with a CEO at the helm. Decentralized exchanges, however, run entirely on code; they’re protocols, and changes have to be voted into effect by other users.
These exchanges are native to specific blockchains. The most popular decentralized exchange on Ethereum, the blockchain home to ETH and ApeCoin, is called Uniswap. You can buy tokens on Uniswap by connecting a free non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet like MetaMask. All you have to do it hit “connect wallet” on the Uniswap website, link your MetaMask, and enter the relevant coins into the “swap” function.
Decentralized exchanges only support cryptocurrencies, so you can’t link your debit card or bank account. However, they support far more pairings—on Uniswap, you can swap ApeCoin for any Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, so long as there’s enough demand to fulfill your trade.
The downsides to decentralized exchanges native to Ethereum are the fees, payable in ETH only, and the price slippage. As of this writing, it costs about $14 to process a transaction worth $322—or about 4% of the total trade. This fee can increase when the Ethereum blockchain becomes congested and isn’t directly proportional to the size of your trade.
If you want to reduce these fees to around a dollar, you could switch to a Layer 2 network like Optimism or Arbitrum. These networks let you trade Ethereum-based coins on blockchains that are faster and cheaper than Ethereum. However, in order to cut your costs, you’ll have to bridge your tokens to these networks. You can learn about how to do that over on the crypto news site Decrypt.
You might be eligible to claim ApeCoins for free. When the ApeCoin token launched, the Ape Foundation made 150 million tokens claimable by holders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, as well as holders of the Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, a derivative project that comprises 20,000 additional Mutant Apes that were, in a roundabout fashion, gifted to anyone who held a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT. Owners of Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs (another derivative project, and also the cheapest) can also claim ApeCoin if they hold a Bored Ape or Mutant Ape in the same Ethereum wallet.
If you’re eligible, you need to connect your MetaMask wallet to the ApeCoin site. Bored Ape Yacht Club owners—holders of the most valuable collection in the Bored Ape universe—can claim the most ApeCoins.
Frequently Asked Questions
ApeCoin is a cryptocurrency token that’s linked to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 cartoon apes that trade as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. While each of these crypto apes is unique (thanks to the computer algorithm that generated the apes), the ApeCoin tokens themselves are fungible, meaning that each is indistinguishable from the last, just like how each Canadian dollar is functionally identical.
These ApeCoins serve as the currency of the ApeCoin DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization that will determine the future of the Bored Ape project. Each ApeCoin is equal to a single vote; historical votes have included proposals about how to allocate an ecosystem fund, how to stake tokens (to earn more) and how voting works. You don’t need to own a Bored Ape NFT to vote—you just need an ApeCoin.
The APE token is also volatile—it trades on open markets and is beholden to the whims of traders. You can also buy and sell it for speculative purposes.
If you want to buy a NFT from the Bored Ape collection, head to OpenSea, the largest secondary market for NFTs. However, these are some of the most valuable NFT collections on the blockchain—if you want one of the most expensive Bored Apes, be sure to bring several hundred thousand dollars with you first. Note that the monkey NFT art is separate from ApeCoin, which is a fungible token that trades on cryptocurrency exchanges.
You can buy ApeCoin from a centralized or decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, a crypto brokerage or, if you happen to hold a Bored Ape Yacht Club or Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT, by claiming it directly from the ApeCoin site. You can check which crypto exchanges list APE by heading to a site like CoinMarketCap or CoinGecko, and then hitting the “markets” tab under the price page for ApeCoin.
Not all crypto exchanges operate throughout Canada; Huobi and Binance, two of the largest markets for ApeCoin, do not wholly support Canadian users, and you’ll have to head elsewhere to get your ApeCoin fix. Sites like Coinbase, Crypto.com, Uniswap and Wealthsimple Crypto welcome Canadian users. Each lets you buy APE with different currencies and payment methods. There might be slight discrepancies in the APE prices that exchanges display, too. If you’ve got fast fingers, you can take advantage of these differences by buying low on one exchange and selling high on another.
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