ApeCoin, the token linked to the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT, or non-fungible token, collection, had rough debut on Thursday.

The token, which was airdropped to the Bored Ape NFT owners, saw its price tumble from a high of $39.40 to $7.75 at last check, according to CoinMarketCap.

‘A Token for Culture, Gaming, and Commerce’

“Introducing ApeCoin ($APE), a token for culture, gaming, and commerce used to empower a decentralized community building at the forefront of web3,” the token’s official Twitter handle proclaimed. 

ApeCoin is owned and operated by the ApeCoin DAO, a decentralized organization where each token holder gets to vote on governance and use of the ecosystem fund. 

“For everyone else who wants to ape in: ApeCoin will be available to all and is expected to begin trading on major crypto exchanges ASAP,” the thread continued. “We’ll tweet as that happens!”

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is an NFT collection of 10,000 simian avatars created by Yuga Labs. Celebrities like Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon and Eminem all have their own special apes.

Yuga Labs said last week that it had acquired the rights to the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections from creator Larva Labs.

Sotheby’s auction of 104 tokens of the early NFT originators CryptoPunks was scrubbed last month after the cosigner bailed before the sale was slated to begin.

Bored Ape NFT Lead

‘Latest Pyramid Scheme’

Bored Apes and CryptoPunks are the two most valuable NFT collections by market cap, and hold a combined worth at a minimum of about $3.6 billion at current prices.

News reports said last month that Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz was in advanced talks to lead a funding round for Yuga Labs. 

The funding round is expected to be for at least $200 million and the company is seeking a valuation of $5 billion.

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CryptoPunk Lead

Meanwhile, the ApeCoin price drop provoked a great deal of commentary on social media.

“The latest pyramid scheme from the land of fake money,” one person tweeted.

“Dual Ponzi schemes here, crypto and NFTs,” another commenter said.

“I take it the NFT scamming is slowing down and they aren’t making as much as before, so time to pivot to a crypto currency i guess,” another tweet read.

‘Most Tokens Are Long Term’

Others were more confident in the new token’s prospects.

“Amazing!!” one supporter said. “$APE will surely blow up cant wait for this one to become successful.”

“Anybody that buys tokens and thinks they’ll get rich in a week are naive,” another tweeted. “Most tokens are long term. Bitcoin started out at just 30c a token, now look at it just 6 years later.”

The NFT marketplace exploded in 2021, generating over $23 billion in trading volume last year, according to blockchain analytics company DappRadar. That total was up from less than $100 million the year prior. 

However, the NFT market appears to losing momentum. 

Sales have been dropping since a high of nearly $1 billion in weekly sales in January to about $29 million in the week ending Thursday, according to NonFungible.com.

OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT trading platform, has seen daily transaction volume for NFTs decrease by 80% to $50 million in March, compared with $284 million in February, according to the Financial Times.