.APE - Launching the Real .APE Top-Level Domain on the Internet
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the world’s authority on IP addresses and domain names, has permissioned the second-ever instance in the history of the Internet to apply for new top-level domains (TLDs). The imminent reopening for a limited duration and potential cap on applications adds a layer of scarcity and urgency to this opportunity.
This is a proposal to create the .APE top-level domain (TLD) as a real-world asset (RWA) during the upcoming ICANN application round, which we anticipate will open as soon as 2025. The application takes approximately one (1) year to prepare and is led by D3, a next-generation identity company focused on bridging the gap between traditional Internet infrastructure and Web3.
The .APE TLD has the potential to create a lucrative, perpetual source of revenue for ApeCoin DAO, enabling growth of the community through new .APE domains, and cement ApeCoin (and $APE) as a major real-world asset with interoperability and utility at its core. D3 plans to offer a patent-pending tokenized *APE (e.g. SAM *APE) as an immediate Web3 identifier for users, while in parallel submitting the ICANN application for the real .APE TLD to enable future interoperability and native resolution seamlessly across Web2 and Web3.
D3 has quickly become the official identity service platform for numerous top Web3 communities. The team is made up of experienced industry veterans that have received accreditation by ICANN as both TLD registry operators and domain name registrars, and has decades of experience acquiring, launching, and operating 40+ TLDs, including .XYZ, .INC, .TV, and .LINK.
With D3, the ApeCoin community has a unique opportunity to apply for and launch the .APE top-level domain (TLD) with the potential to generate multi-million dollars in annual revenue that can be utilized for the DAO. D3 commits to supporting the ApeCoin DAO to establish the .APE TLD as the next phenomenon on the Internet.
Fred Hsu - CEO, D3 (BAYC #7001): Serial entrepreneur, operator, and repeat founder with a 20-year track record for building multiple high-growth, fast-to-revenue, sustainable businesses – 3 successful exits over $2 billion in lifetime revenues. Founded Oversee (acq. private equity) and founded & led Manage (acq. NASD: CRTO) & Ember (acq. GALA Games). Hired over 450 employees and scaled different business models each from $0 to $100 million+ in annual revenues.
Shay Chinn - CTO, D3: Chief architect and former hedge fund quant turned developer, built and architected multiple successful startups including eToys ($11B IPO) and Bridg (acq. Cardlytics, $350m), Oversee (acq. private equity).
Shayan Rostam - CCO, D3: Veteran registry operator, instrumental in turning .XYZ into one of the most successful generic TLDs in the world. To date, he has operated and managed more than 40 TLDs including .xyz, .inc, .link, .game and more.
Michael Ho - VP Growth & BD, D3 (MAYC #20512): Former web3 venture investor representing over $600 million in assets under management, led 10+ investments in Seed/Series A companies across blockchain, fintech and internet. Previously worked at Goldman Sachs where he executed over $15 billion in IPO and M&A transaction volume in the technology, media and telecommunications sector.
Paul Stahura - Advisory Board Lead, D3 (BAYC #4415, 4797, 8296, and more): Influential entrepreneur and visionary in the field of domain names and internet infrastructure. As the co-founder and former CEO of eNom and Donuts Inc, Paul revolutionized the domain name industry. Under his guidance, Donuts became the world’s largest registry of new generic top-level domains (300+ TLDs including .org, .au, .business, and .email). Paul was elected to serve on the ICANN Nomination Committee by the Registrar Constituency, an ICANN Stakeholder Group representing ICANN-accredited registrars.
D3 is committed to the long-term success and growth of ApeCoin and its community. Together as partners, D3 believes the creation of the .APE TLD for ApeCoin DAO can:
- Generate substantial revenue and value accrual back to the DAO
- Introduce new members to the ApeCoin community through .APE domain name distribution across hundreds of registrars and resellers (e.g. GoDaddy, Squarespace, Namecheap, Alibaba)
- Lead to greater adoption of ApeCoin in real-world applications
- Grow and promote ApeCoin as a relevant and cultural brand
Since its inception, ApeCoin and its community have fueled a massive cultural phenomenon through the BAYC and related brands by demonstrating power through unity, decentralization, and transparency. ‘Ape-ing in’ has become an iconic phrase and mainstream euphemism, ranging from arts to humor and Web3 culture. However, few initiatives have delivered substantial growth, let alone material recurring revenue, utility, and RWA (real-world asset) value back to ApeCoin and its community. There is an imminent need for a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that not only facilitates the growth of the brand and community, but also empowers decentralization that ensures real utility for users, all while strategically driving revenue growth.
BENEFIT TO THE APECOIN ECOSYSTEM:
D3 and its affiliates will leverage its deep industry experience and accreditation to apply for and launch the .APE TLD, on behalf of the ApeCoin DAO, in the upcoming ICANN application round for new top-level domains. The .APE top-level domain will provide perpetual branding, utility, and revenue generating potential for the ApeCoin community while expanding ecosystem adoption through D3’s innovative registry and registrar, focused on top Web3 communities.
Name Tokens – Accelerating Launch and Go-To-Market
Name tokens are D3’s patent-pending methodology to distribute and scale the APE community well in advance of the establishment of .APE as a real TLD by ICANN. They offer a wide range of Web3 utility, including being used as memorable multi-chain wallet addresses, cross-platform Web3 usernames, decentralized infrastructure identifiers and more.
D3 name tokens also act as expressions of interest for our domains, and token holders will have early access to the TLDs we launch in the future (such as .APE). *APE name tokens, or Ape Names, will be displayed on D3’s marketplace alongside other community name tokens partnered with D3 to pursue a TLD application. Just like purchasing a domain name, users will pay annual fees to own an Ape Name, creating an important evergreen revenue source for the DAO.
Importantly, unlike other web3 name services, name tokens are designed to accommodate D3’s application for the .APE TLD in accelerating revenue generation for the ApeCoin community while creating future utility. D3 is committed to providing the ApeCoin DAO a real-world asset in the .APE TLD.
Bringing Real-World Utility To ApeCoin
The Domain Name System (DNS) is critical Internet infrastructure that has been instrumental in the adoption, growth and accessibility of the Internet. The .APE TLD will unlock a multitude of real-world applications, combined with existing Web3 utility.
These interoperable identities will leverage D3’s extensive DNS distribution network, while allowing a user’s .APE domain to serve as a website and email address, as well as multi-chain wallet address, cross-platform user name, serve verifiable credentials and more. The DNS is a secure, well established source of truth that will combat the growing number of unapproved, Web3-specific .APE names that have sprouted recently attempting to cash in on the ‘Ape’ brand in bad faith.
This comprehensive approach leverages our domain expertise to not only advance ApeCoin’s recognition within the blockchain community, but also to position it as a versatile and widely adopted asset with relevance in both Web3 and real-world scenarios.
ApeCoin Community Growth & Brand Expansion
The Apes community is known for its strong bonds, and D3 has exciting plans to enhance this bond further. Upon approval of our proposal, D3 intends to provide each Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) NFT holder with a relevant *APE name token (eg. MACHI * APE, 7065 * APE) as an immediate Web3 identity solution for users until the real .APE TLD is launched. Currently, Apes use numbers to identify themselves, but with Ape Names, they will have dedicated digital identities that add even more value to their existing personas.
In addition, members of the ApeCoin community will have the exclusive opportunity to gain early access to other *APE name tokens before they are made available to the public. Following this Right of First Refusal period, *APE name tokens will be offered to the public. These *APE name tokens will serve as representations of the ApeCoin brand and community within D3’s marketplace and across the globe.
Once we have acquired and launched the .APE TLD, real .APE domains will not only work with Web3, but they will also natively resolve on the Domain Name System (DNS) for mainstream functionality like websites and email. .APE will establish a lasting brand presence on the internet and create unique, universally recognized native identities across Web2 and Web3, which can take advantage of the inherent benefits of each. D3’s approach opens the floodgates to a non-Web3 audience, expanding ApeCoin’s reach and fostering adoption among a broader demographic, thus contributing to the long-term value accrual for ApeCoin.
Leveraging D3’s registrar network and Web2 distribution channels offers the opportunity for exponential market growth. D3 also specializes in enterprise adoption of domains by closely collaborating with the largest corporate agents in the world to educate brands on the unique benefits of our TLDs.
Long-Term Recurring Revenue Generation
Similar to .COM and .XYZ, .APE has the potential to create a new source of fast-growing recurring revenue while providing a unique, liquid, and tradeable RWA.
A few real-world examples highlighting the value of top-level domains and domains include:
- .app acquired by Google for $25 million
- .shop acquired by GMO for $42 million
- .web acquired by Verisign for $135 million
- voice.com sold for $30 million
- NFTs.com sold for $15 million
Namespaces are incredibly attractive and strategic opportunities, as seen from the proliferation of the Ethereum Name Service (Web3 .eth names) which has registered over 3M names in its lifetime. Per Dune Analytics, ENS generated over $2M in revenue in Dec 2023 from registrations and renewals, implying an annualized run-rate revenue of $24M.
With the expertise from D3’s veteran team, the .APE TLD could become the next REAL, big domain extension, with the potential to drive thousands of monthly domain transactions that can generate millions in annual recurring revenue.
Illustrative Revenue Projection
- Initial ramp of 10% of ~130K APE wallet holders purchasing domains, growing yearly
- Mix of standard domains ($10-30/yr) and premium domains (more than $100/yr)
- Growth of registration base over time attributed to new user acquisition and ApeCoin community growth
- Revenue accounts for new domain registrations and renewals
D3 will operate as the accredited web infrastructure partner and bear ongoing costs and rigorous requirements to operate .APE for decades to come, while allowing ApeCoin DAO to participate in the benefits and market the domain extension as a blockchain asset.
We recognize ApeCoin is community-first. D3 will pledge 50% of all net revenues generated back to the ApeCoin DAO.
A unique, easy-to-remember address used to access websites, email, devices, or anything else on the internet that requires an IP address.
Top-Level Domain (TLD)
Last segment of text in a domain name, such as .com or . net. Also called domain extensions, domain suffixes, and URL extensions.
Domain Name System (DNS)
The root layer of the internet, which directs domain names to specific IP addresses, which browsers and devices use to load websites, resolve to networks, or direct any other type of traffic on the internet.
An organization accredited by ICANN to exclusively monetize and manage all operations for a specific TLD. Registries must maintain 100% uptime, proper security and infrastructure, personnel, and registrar connectivity to operate TLDs and facilitate DNS resolution of their domains.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
The global, multi-stakeholder, non-profit authority dedicated to ensuring security, stability, and accessibility of the Internet via the DNS root zone (TLDs).
Name Tokens (e.g. SAM*APE) offer a wide range of Web3 utility, including being used as memorable multi-chain wallet addresses, cross-platform Web3 usernames, decentralized infrastructure identifiers and more. D3 name tokens also act as expressions of interest for our domains, and token holders will have early access to the TLDs we launch in the future, such as .APE.
PLATFORMS & TECHNOLOGIES:
D3’s registry and registrar will require DNS and database infrastructure, along with software to facilitate domain management workflows and integration with each other:
- Compliant registry backend system
- Maintain DNS servers and zone file access
- Pricing and registration data services
- Escrow and data protection
- Monitor operations and generate abuse reports
- Ongoing ICANN compliance requirements
- DNS servers
- Provisioning system
- Monitoring and reporting tools
- Security and cloud protection
- Provide registrar website and console
- Manage customer and domain registration data
- Integrate with registry system
- Facilitate customer payments
- Ongoing ICANN compliance requirements
- Servers and database
- Protocol client software
- Web frameworks and payment gateway
- DNS integration
- Blockchain integrations
As accredited TLD registry operators, the D3 team will apply for and launch the .APE TLD on behalf of, and for the benefit of, the ApeCoin community. D3 will maintain recurring regulatory and reporting requirements with ICANN, the global multi-stakeholder, non-profit organization dedicated to the ongoing security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). D3 will also incur and manage ongoing costs related to the technical uptime and maintenance of the .APE namespace.
In the highly unlikely event that D3 does not successfully acquire the right to operate .APE, owners of Ape Names at the time of notice will be eligible for a full refund on the primary registration fee associated with each token.
STEPS TO IMPLEMENT & TIMELINE:
D3 will tokenize and distribute *APE name tokens, which will immediately serve as Web3 identities. Upon ICANN approval, D3 will award .APE domain names to *APE token holders first, followed by general availability for the public. D3 will handle the costs associated with .APE extension growth.
- *APE name tokens will be minted on the blockchain as tokenized identifiers for existing and new ApeCoin community members.
- .APE domain names will be provisioned on the Domain Name System as native and resolvable internet addresses.
- Both *APE name tokens and .APE domain names will be minted on any EVM-compatible chain of choice (Ethereum, Polygon, etc.).
- Both *APE name tokens and .APE domain names are expected to have compatibility with Web3 applications (e.g. wallets, gaming, decentralized identities) to enhance. ApeCoin’s utility and accessibility in the evolving needs of decentralized technologies
- .APE domain names will have compatibility with real-world applications, including native browser and email support, digital identity solutions, OAuth2, etc.
Phase 1: Ape Names (2024)
- D3 will be the exclusive ICANN partner with the ApeCoin DAO, mitigating and preventing name-collisions and conflicts in the global DNS
- Co-marketing of *APE name tokens (e.g. SAM * APE) in partnership with ApeCoin DAO
- Global launch of *APE name tokens with early access for ApeCoin community
- Native wallet mapping for *APE name tokens and other Web3 identity applications
- Secondary trading enabled on D3 marketplace
Phase 2: TLD Application and Approval (2024-2026)
- D3 preparation of 500-page+ application ahead of upcoming ICANN application window
- D3 submits .APE TLD application when the anticipated window opens (as soon as 2025)
- D3 sets up 100% uptime technical infrastructure to ensure future-proof namespace, protection and security of end-users
- .APE onboarding by mainstream distribution network made up of hundreds of registrars and resellers (e.g. Godaddy, Namecheap, Amazon AWS) to reach 5bn+ internet users.
Phase 3: Grow .APE in Web3, Web2, and Beyond! (2026+)
- D3 launches .APE TLD on the DNS
- *APE name token holders get early access to .APE domain names with underlying DNS resolution
- Website and email hosting, universal browser and device recognition for .APE domains enabled. Web3 functionality continues without interruption
- Promote .APE awareness and adoption through D3’s integrated registrar and Web2 distribution networks.
- Proliferation of .APE as a leading domain extension and cultural RWA in the next generation of the Internet.
3 million ApeCoin
All proceeds will be used directly to apply for, market, and launch the .APE domain extension:
- ApeCoin DAO will receive 50% of all net revenues generated from the *APE name tokens and the .APE Top-Level Domain
- Compared to .COM (160M domains) and .XYZ (13M), the .APE TLD could create a $M+ evergreen, profitable real-world asset for the ApeCoin DAO at a fraction of scale needed (proj. $5M+ annual recurring revenue within 36 months of launch)
- D3 and ApeCoin DAO could represent .APE for a lifetime (10-year TLD rights, with auto-renewals)
D3 will incur on-going technical and operational costs related to managing the .APE namespace, with contribution from ApeCoin DAO for co-marketing into the masses.The below includes the initial budget for the .APE acquisition process (APE):
As illustrated above, the funding requested for this grant goes directly to supporting the acquisition and launch of the real .APE Top-Level Domain on the Internet. D3’s success and its compensation is tied directly to the revenue shared jointly with ApeCoin DAO from registrations and renewals.
Any remaining excess funds will be directed towards revenue-generating activities including performance-based marketing and sales.
D3 strongly believes this AIP represents a collaboration with the ApeCoin DAO to create the first culturally relevant real-world asset in .APE, tangible utility and benefits for the ApeCoin community, and a sustainable source of revenue for the ApeCoin DAO. We are excited to hear your feedback and look forward to working together as leaders in Web3 innovation.