AIP-395: .APE - Launching the Real .APE Top-Level Domain on the Internet

Thanks for these questions – they bring up important points worth clarifying:

1/ Our team has decades of experience launching, managing and scaling over 300 real TLDs including .ORG, .XYZ, .IO, .TV and more. This is no easy task and robust marketing campaigns play a crucial part in successfully scaling these TLDs to where they are today. Additionally, our co-founders have formerly owned and operated portfolios with over 10 million .COM/.NET domains, built successful marketing adtech businesses (, sold to NASDAQ: CRTO), and scaled .XYZ from its inception to over 7 million domains registered on its registry in which many Web3 projects consider their home.

Efforts to create a framework for .APE to become a life-long, multi-million dollar source of recurring revenue to the DAO will require a comprehensive and holistic go-to-market strategy focused on product marketing, user education and mass onboarding initiatives. Content plans differ significantly between digital and physical channels, however we plan to work with strategic partners (e.g. GoDaddy, Alibaba, etc) to enable the rapid proliferation of the Ape namespace. A core component of the proposal is to enable the broader accessibility of Ape names to more than just a web3 audience.

Expanding our marketing efforts into mainstream channels increases our addressable audience by more than tenfold. While the spend is material to engage these channels, it is typically directly correlated to a net purchase activity, for which the DAO would benefit from. For example, being able to offer bulk discounts or promotional rebates has a direct impact on buying activity, further entrenching more users into the ApeCoin ecosystem. A few other examples include offering engagement or loyalty campaigns tied to community milestones for increased awareness or distribution of the namespace. Per the proposal, we plan to target at least two to three dollars generated of return per one dollar spent in any performance marketing scenario.

Check out the .INC namespace, which offers its domains for $2,000+ per year with nearly 5,000 registrations which implies a $10M topline. This is one of many examples of how scalable the .APE extension can be with mainstream distribution, amplified by network effects from the ApeCoin community. At a very conservative level, we project .APE to makewhole the cost for this grant in less than 1-2 years of launch, with decades of revenue generation for the DAO given the evergreen nature of this real-world asset.

The nature and intent of this proposal is distinctly different from other prior efforts to create a web3-only namespace, which have limited commercial value and distribution.

2/ It is a common misconception that ICANN is a centralized authority. In fact, their multi-stakeholder model involves a diverse group of participants from various sectors including governments, businesses, technical communities, and civil society which ensures that no single entity controls the DNS and related functions, distributing influence across a global array of stakeholders.

While we acknowledge the application process is comprehensive, this is an accurate reflection of the consideration and effort from thousands of delegates over years and decades that work toward a seamless, freely accessible Internet. Developing new solutions to solving name collisions is great in theory, but in practice currently increases the difficulty to implement these solutions as many still require middleware and third-party software services which can be easily manipulated. In the case of NOTO, it doesn’t solve the issue at all, instead it scores competing name systems with the same extension. It’s unclear how that score is allocated fairly across universally acceptable standards. We believe consensus will be difficult to reach across hundreds, if not thousands, of competing projects which proliferate the major problem of name collision on the broader Internet. The DNS has already solved this issue and is widely adopted by more than 5 billion active users.

3/ Unfortunately, friction will always remain, which is why we’re proposing bringing a seamless, frictionless experience to the ApeCoin community by offering interoperable .APE names that work out of the box on billions of devices.

No need for specialized software or integrations when the DNS is instantly accessible on any device or browser. Why change what is already working for over 5 billion people on the Internet? :slight_smile:

4/ Our list of auditors include industry leaders like Certik and OpenZeppelin, in addition to the technical teams from our investors including Shima Capital, Lightshift and Maelstrom. The safety of our partners and users alike is a top priority.

5/ Once the AIP is approved, we will launch a dedicated smart contract for Ape Names, which will initially offer users *APE Name Tokens, a form of NFT which offers users a wide variety of Web3-specific utility (including wallet mapping), and will act as expressions of interest to claim a future .APE domain once the TLD application is successfully completed.


Thank mxchael, appreciate the follow up.

Just expanding on these points further; The work carried out by your teams, whilst impressive is Web2 focused. Given there is considerable crossover between Web2 and Web3, from looking at your existing marketing channels the D3 brand doesn’t seem as strong in web3 when compared with other service providers.

Assuming this will change over time as you distinguish yourselves, but the Ape liquidity should not facilitate this when other stronger Web3 Native DNS solutions exist that can be leveraged to ultimately save $ for the DAO. Especially now that the total value you’re asking for of 3M Ape is over $6.5M USD. (at time of writing). I expand below on how increasing protocol utility is a stronger driver of user acquisition then marketing.

Referring to point 2 here; Would love to hear more details on how you’re going to leverage these strong brands given that GoDaddy just partnered with ENS and Namecheap partnered with Handshake in 2022. Assuming you have connections from your team’s past experience, more details around your partnership strategy specifically with large & incumbent Web3 native projects would help clear up your long term plan for Web3 partnership growth.

While these implementations of user incentives sound great. How are you specifically applying these to Web3, what unique user growth solutions are you putting in place to separate yourself from the fierce Web3 DNS competition? (Competition in this instance is not with .ape TLD providers acting in bad faith but rather other strong NFT brands like .pudgy - mentioned in a previous comment)

Adding to this; Web3 quest platforms are becoming highly saturated and on-chain activity tasks have high friction costs to convert, especially with the increasing gas fees. (A big barrier to successful referral systems.)

I don’t really want to argue against ICANN as they are a revolutionary project but I will pose this question; Is there an achievable better project than ICANN, that we should strive towards? One that transcends ICANN? The point being this; Overtime migration towards a new Web3 based ICANN infrastructure will occur, again out of necessity. (Discussed more below)

‘Better’ in this case would not necessarily be simpler, as I agree there needs to be a strong process in place that builds on the shoulders of our predecessors, but a streamlined approach, always open to anyone rather than the current bureaucratic one.

Without arguing this point too aggressively, pointing out I have no affiliation with their teams, the NOTO proposal provides insight of what could be coming with other larger web3 DNS providers. Although, still maybe a nascent approach, poking around the ENS DAO, specifically contributors ‘raffy’ & ‘nick.eth’ will similarly prove that these ideas are discussed, with some unique ideas coming to light; DNS Collisions of ENS Names in Browser Input - Implementations - ENS DAO Governance Forum

To point 3; Yeah idk if we can say that as people used to think this for web3 wallets but now they are incredibly frictionless by comparison to even 12 months ago, think account abstraction & MPC, again driven by necessity. And I don’t see this slowing down anytime soon, especially looking at this trend across new layer 2’s that implement their own official name services e.g. with Beranames service (RE)INTRODUCING BERANAMES 🐻🪪. The Official Name Service of Berachain… | by Larpseidon 👑.bera | Beranames) with far more protocol utility added in.

So, I would love to see a deeper understanding of the protocol level utility offered by D3, specifically with a somewhat better token utility breakdown and how it will be integrated directly into the new Layer2 being built for ApeChain.

(Not expecting a comprehensive breakdown given Apechain is still under development but some ideas on how this could be used to incentivise user behavior) *More than just governance!

The argument made here is that better protocol design would be a far better amplifier of user growth and retention than marketing campaigns. e.g. What is happening with Blast & Eigenlayer.

To point 4 that’s great news, would you have an example of a previous audit we can review?

To point 5, sounds like your teams are on the right path even with the utility you mentioned ‘multi-chain wallet addresses, cross-platform Web3 usernames, decentralized infrastructure identifiers’. Are these not already common use cases existing with most current Web3 name services providers?

So, referring to my point above on protocol utility, I would love to understand more on your long term approaches for token design for user incentives and retention and how they will directly add value back to ApeDAO? (Again looking at Bera Names as the example)

Also some other concerns; Given the long amount of time required to wait for an outcome from ICANN, what happens if after waiting 1-2 years for the outcome and it’s been rejected? Although I understand, given your experience this would be of low probability, the risk still exists!

Why wouldn’t we (Apecoin DAO) want to launch in this bull cycle, rather than waiting for the next? Would it not be far better to take advantage of all this new liquidity entering the market?

You also mentioned selling on your native marketplace, can these names also be sold across Magic Eden, Opensea, Element and other major NFT markets? (To increase domain name liquidity & exposure.)

Looking forward to your response :slight_smile:

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Hey Alex,

We work with several principal team members that have worked extensively across Web3 (Yuga Labs,, Solana’s Cardinal Labs, Ember, etc.) shipping high quality projects! Product marketing and marketing strategy extend beyond just social media. The APE namespace will strongly benefit from the exposure from our currently announced Web3 partners previously identified, and our strong pipeline of innovative protocols and projects.

Our team has worked with most of the major registrars in the industry and have decade-long relationships with each. GoDaddy’s integration with ENS in 2024 is great, however one of our co-founders pioneered the same partnership with ENS and .XYZ more than seven years ago. Our experience with Web3-specific utility and integrations between Web3 names and the DNS is as long as Web3 names have existed. I want to highlight that our core focus is on distribution and creating the opportunity for an .APE TLD that is truly interoperable and mainstream to billions of users in the world.

Utility is most definitely a priority for us, which is why we’re proposing pursuing the real .APE TLD with ApeCoin DAO, to protect and build far beyond what is being offered on the market today. We believe this is something Web3-specific providers will find difficult to replicate and implement widely. There are less than a handful of veteran registry operators in the space who have both experience working with ICANN and also deep connectivity with web3 communities. Web3 interoperability for us is a parallel priority alongside future-proofing .APE with real distribution – creating a better foundation for success and longevity. XYZ does 400,000+ monthly registrations and renewals, which is more than 100X the scale of the majority of Web3 name services today.

We’re merging the DNS + Web3 to make ecosystems and platforms easier to access and navigate, while promoting better security and enhanced protection against bad actors and scams which are unfortunately commonplace in today’s world. We believe the biggest risk for many Web3 name services to be name collision and the fact that a real TLD can and will be created in the very near future. We are eliminating this risk from Day 1 by making the namespace interoperable and compliant.

On foundational utility, many other Web3 services claim to offer similar features, however they still lack mass integrations and many don’t work with some of the leading wallets and platforms in the space. We’re also developing far more utility including the integration of Verifiable Credentials (VCs) that will enhance the overall user experience in Web3 by cutting down how personal information is shared with and verified by third parties. We’re working closely with each one of our partners to develop unique feature sets catered to their platforms and services, while enhancing utility for their users. At the same time each one of our partners offer unique insight and support to further enhance our offerings and integration. ApeChain will be able to benefit from all of this input across several leading projects.

As outlined in our proposal, upon approval of this AIP, we will release *APE Name Tokens, allowing users near instant access to all of the current Web3-specific utility we’re providing and ensuring the ApeCoin ecosystem benefits from the current ongoing bull market. We look forward to working with the DAO and community to create real-world DID use cases at scale.

Since these Name Tokens are NFTs, users will be able to buy, sell and trade them on any marketplace that supports them. Although we believe the D3 Marketplace will offer a far superior experience to users (including registrar capabilities), we do recognize the need for users to control where they trade and/or use their respective names. That is totally fine with us.


GM — to help folks better understand the breakdown of the costs, here’s a summary chart. Most of the grant will be allocated towards revenue-generating operations… to help deliver .APE at scale and millions of dollars in potential revenue for the DAO. The rest is to help acquire and set up .APE infrastructure so that we can keep this for the next 100 years… LFG!

Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

After review, this Topic submitted by @staypuft has been “Returned for Clarification.” The ApeCoin Special Council waits for answers, and the community will be notified whenever the author responds.

Kind Regards,


Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

@staypuft has responded to the Clarification questions and they remain in Administrative Review.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments.

Kind Regards,

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Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

Edits have been made to this Topic. You can click the Pencil icon at the top of the post to see these edits.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments.

Kind Regards,


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Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

After review, this Topic submitted by @staypuft is ready for vote under AIP-395. The proposal will be posted on Snapshot at the next weekly release date and time, which is the first and third Thursday of the month at 9PM EST.

The AIP implementation is administered by the Ape Foundation. Implementation may be immaterially or materially altered to optimise for security, usability, to protect APE holders, and otherwise to effect the intent of the AIP. Any material deviations from an AIP, as initially approved, will be disclosed to the APE holder community.

Kind Regards,


This proposal is live for Snapshot vote. The voting period closes 13 days from now at 9PM EST.

The AIP implementation is administered by the Ape Foundation. Implementation may be immaterially or materially altered to optimize for security, usability, to protect APE holders, and otherwise to effect the intent of the AIP. Any material deviations from an AIP, as initially approved, will be disclosed to the APE holder community.

Interesting related news. Seems pudgies are going for ICANN gTLD.

Penguins Penguins x Unstoppable: ICANN gTLD

We’re thrilled to announce that Pudgy Penguins will be planning and strategizing alongside Unstoppable for the upcoming application for .pudgy to become an ICANN-registered generic top-level domain (gTLD) alongside iconic legacy addresses like .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, and many others. We look forward to expanding .pudgy domains with Web2 domain capabilities!

This announcement marks a strategic move to bring Web3 TLDs to Web2 with partners applying for their Branded TLDs with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).


Hey @BigBull :wave:

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…! This announcement showcases exactly why AIP-395 is important and how ApeCoin can lead the charge in real innovation with an interoperable, future-proof .APE.

Interestingly, the post only mentions ‘strategizing’, without firm commitment. Launching and managing real TLDs requires a vast amount of domain and TLD specific expertise… and not to mention strict compliance to rules for registry operators, which many of the web3 naming projects have already violated. This is a strategic advantage for ApeCoin DAO and D3 with .APE since we will be working to build the namespace the right way given our team’s expertise with ICANN over the last three decades.

LFG the real .APE!


Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

The voting period has closed for this proposal and it has been accepted with a 86.42% pass rate. The proposal will be passed on for implementation.

Follow this proposal under the AIP Transparency and Execution Category. A new post has been created here, Implementation Update | AIP-395: .APE - Launching the Real .APE Top-Level Domain on the Internet, and further updates will be posted.



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