United States-based ApeCoin (APE) holders could miss out on staking rewards after the U.S. was 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 regarding ApeStake.io on Twitter, saying “unfortunately, in today’s regulatory environment, we had no good alternative.”
Ape Staking Update: Big thanks to the talented community devs for their helpful improvements. Bug Bounty AIP delayed us a bit, so we shortened the pre-deposit period by a week to keep our original 12/12 go-live. Alternate front-end sites going live. See card. pic.twitter.com/mgmP7X3SwQ
— Horizen Labs (@HorizenLabs) November 24, 2022
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 the geo-block. The update noted the website is only an interface to interact with the Ethereum-based open-source smart contract, and “several other” interfaces are being crafted by parties such as exchanges and DeFi platforms.
Prominent Twitter user “Zeneca” told their 312,00 followers that those from regions geo-blocked by ApeStake.io will still be able to stake by interacting with the smart contract directly or using another interface without geo-blocks. Those in blocked regions could also use a virtual private network (VPN) to spoof their location.
The decision to block U.S. users likely resulted from the probe in October by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into APE creator Yuga Labs. The regulator is investigating if the company’s nonfungible tokens (NFTs) act more like securities and are subsequently violating federal laws.
Two Bored Ape NFTs sell for nearly $1M 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 for 800 Ether (ETH), or almost $950,000 at the time of sale on Nov. 23.
BAYC #232 was sold to pseudonymous NFT collector “Keungz” — who seemingly has multiple Yuga Labs NFTs according to their OpenSea profile — by Deepak Thapliydal.
— Keungz ❤️ Memeland ☠️ YGPZ ♀️ (@keung)