ApeCoin DAO Development Program and Ecosystem Development Lead



@Waabam, Co-Author, ApeCoin Special Council

@CapetainTrippy, Co-Author, ApeCoin Special Council

@Gerry, Co-Author, ApeCoin Special Council


ApeCoin Ecosystem Development Lead: The Ape Foundation will hire a third party recruitment agency to find the best candidate to work as Ecosystem Development lead.


This AIP would create a Development Program for ApeCoin-integrated projects (games, experiences, entertainment and consumer applications) and ApeChain public goods (middleware, marketplaces, SaaS and necessary infrastructure).

The Development Program would be initially funded by the ApeCoin DAO with$3m USD in $APE.

The Development Program would be administered by an Ecosystem Development Lead, whose services will be retained by the Ape Foundation.

The Ecosystem Development Lead will be responsible for sourcing new ApeCoin-integrated projects, reviewing applications for grants from the Development Program, administering such grants, developing new opportunities for the ApeCoin ecosystem, and liaising between Polygon Labs, ApeCoin DAO and any affiliates building within the ApeCoin ecosystem and ApeChain protocol.


Polygon Labs has announced its intention to build ApeChain, a zk-Powered Polygon Layer-2. The purpose of ApeChain is to increase the scalability of ApeCoin, and to accelerate the growth and development of the ApeCoin ecosystem.

In order to stimulate the growth of the ApeCoin ecosystem, a Development Program is needed to bootstrap ApeCoin-integrated projects (games, experiences, entertainment and consumer applications) and ApeChain public goods (middleware, marketplaces, SaaS and necessary infrastructure).

This proposal directly benefits the ApeCoin ecosystem by creating a Development Program which will provide grants to projects that are dedicated to building with ApeCoin, and ApeChain public goods.

ApeCoin’s vision is to be the decentralized protocol layer for community-led initiatives that drive culture forward into the metaverse. This AIP directly aligns with this vision, by bootstrapping the development of projects which incorporate ApeCoin, and the ApeChain public goods that are building out the ApeChain protocol.


December 1, 2023: ApeCoin Ecosystem Development Lead Hiring starts.

The ApeCoin Foundation initiates the Development Program and commences the hiring initiative for the Ecosystem Development Lead, utilizing a third-party recruitment agency to manage applications, interviews, and selection processes transparently and impartially. The recruitment agency shall seek a candidate with proficiency in web3, sales, and ecosystem development to fulfill the role effectively.

Once hired, the Ecosystem Development Lead will commence their role, and shall develop an ecosystem growth strategy for deploying the funds, working closely with Polygon Labs and other stakeholders within the ApeCoin ecosystem. The Ecosystem Development Lead will employ extensive use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) when assessing grants, with custom KPIs developed depending on the type of grant being considered. The Ecosystem Development Lead will work closely with Polygon Labs to source leads and development opportunities for the ApeCoin ecosystem.

Grant Applications will be reviewed by a Grants Committee consisting of the Ecosystem Development Lead, 2 Special Council members, and 2 community members. Final decisions on grant applications will be decided by majority vote of the Grants Committee.

The Ape Foundation shall allocate $3,000,000 $USD in $APE to the Development Program for grants.

The Ecosystem Development Lead shall serve the community in this role for a period of two years. Their annual compensation will be 125k USD, paid monthly, with a $50k USD in $APE annual bonus as determined by the $APE price on December 1, 2023 for the first year’s bonus, which shall vest on December 1, 2024,and as determined by the $APE price on December 1, 2024 for the second year’s bonus, which shall vest on December 1, 2025.


$3,350,000 USD total, including:

$3,000,000 USD for the establishment of an ApeCoin Development Program;

$125,000 USD annually for 2 years for compensation for the ApeCoin Ecosystem Development Lead;

$50,000 USD in $APE for 2 years as an annual bonus for the Ecosystem Development Lead, calculated using the price of $APE on December 1 of each year and subject to a 1-year lockup, vesting on December 1 of the following year.

ApeChain!!! Letss goo!! :orangutan::chains:


Hey Waabam,

Totally love the idea of having an Ecosystem Development Program for ApeChain on Polygon, however the way this AIP is written, several questions immediately jump to mind:

:point_up_2:t4:Can we safely presume that this is a Non-Elected position and one that will not have an open position fulfillment process managed by the Foundation (employer)? Curious why the SC chose to go this route? Also, why not advertise the open position to the broader Web3 community and administer a hiring process?

:point_up_2:t4:Sandeep just posted his proposal a few minutes earlier, so guessing these talks were already taking place with Polygon BTS - curious how long these talks have been ongoing? Also, were there talks about having Polygon providing a grant to co-fund this initiative?

:point_up_2:t4:While I’m all about moving fast and getting stuff done, is this really the path towards progressive decentralization? $3m in grant funding being controlled by a single individual (no shade to the appointed lead)? What happened to the multi-sig and prop house philosophies we’ve been championing since day one?

And sure, the Working Groups haven’t been as smooth as we would have wanted, but an ApeChain on Polygon Working Groups concept would conceivably have shared responsibility, multi-sigs and help decentralize the DAO. Perhaps a “hired by the Foundation” working group could be the hybrid model|?

Finally, can you be explicit in this proposal that should this AIP pass whether or not @Gerry will seek re-election for Special Council? It’s an obvious omission from the proposal, that would be important for the community to know.

I can appreciate the spirit and value of this proposal, however it has sparked more questions about how we as a DAO communicate and manage our inevitable fragmentations (not a bad thing).


SSP :call_me_hand:t4:


Bullish on forward progress.

Bullish on aligning with groups accustomed to working with treasuries the size of ours.



Hey SSP,

Thanks for your comments. Responding to your questions:

That is correct, this is a non-elected position. Gerry has been working closely with Polygon on the development of this AIP and the ApeChain AIP for some time. Gerry’s background, expertise, relationship with the Polygon BD team, and deep familiarity with the $APE ecosystem make him uniquely positioned to hit the ground running in this role. Both Polygon and ourselves are very confident that he is the right person for the role.

Yes, conversations with Polygon on these initiatives have been ongoing for some time. We did discuss Polygon co-funding this initiative, but they made clear they have a mandate to stay credibly neutral as regards to projects building using the Polygon CDK.

Thank for your suggestion. We will consider whether there is some way to decentralize the grant approval decision making process in the Development Program.

Yes, you are correct that Gerry would not seek re-election on SC if this AIP passed. We will update the AIP to reflect this - thank you for the suggestion.


Have you considered the optics of this choice? I’ve known Gerry for a long time so this is not a comment on him, but as an outsider looking in: Arguably the most powerful people in the DAO worked on an AIP together, formed a new high paying role, and gave one of themselves that role without public vote. (Yes, we can vote against the AIP, but I don’t know why these two separate things were put together under one vote.) I know the SC is under a lot of pressure right now, so I do urge you to consider this.


Thanks for your comments, Matt. We’ll take that into consideration as we make changes during the AIP Idea phase.


But this AIP has nothing to do with the Polygon AIP implementation. This is a bizdev AIP that’s required to fund that ApeChain AIP. So, I don’t see how Gerry’s relationship with Polygon is of any relevance here; and which thus requires him to be the sole administrator for DAO bizdev.

I don’t have a specific problem with Gerry writing the AIP. I do have a problem with it being a position that’s not elected by the DAO and which is basically a bizdev AIP in which one person gets to control over $3M+ of DAO funds and which another AIP relies upon- right off the bat.

As I said in that other AIP:

Finally, and this one bugs me the most, the bizdev aspect of the companion AIP “Development Fund” is basically based on the AIP idea that I created last week and which contains a bizdev proposal which is not only created and controlled by the DAO, but is a lot more impactful, expansive - and controlled by the Ape Assembly of members voted by the community. You can read more about that below.

And while I am aware that Gerry - like others - has advocated for ApeCoin to move to its own chain, I don’t believe that one person gets to make that decision for the entire DAO - while working behind the scenes with one vendor. A vendor which isn’t even the only leading L2 player in town. Having a good relationship with the BD team of a vendor isn’t a good reason for adopting that tech and outside of standard DAO procedures. We should be able to review various vendors for such an impactful issue in order to pick the best possible choice.

So, for me, both of these AIPs are very problematic in so many ways.


Matt, appreciate you always brotha, and the thoughtful response; but I think one issue that we face at the DAO can be slow movement toward common goals.

I’m a firm believer that the ApeCoinDAO really was created to empower the community, but the community members we elect into these critical roles also need to know when and who to hire — which in some cases may mean themselves.

This overarching plan clearly appears to be quite layered and will require immense knowledge of not only how to deploy something like this, like the Polygon group, but also a deep understanding of the current DAOs processes and community as a whole, like Gerry. He’s also got a pretty strong head on his shoulders and shown a significant amount of ethical judgement in all interactions that I’ve had with him, in or outside of ApeCoinDAO.

As far as term goes, it’s also important that we allow these hires the time required to bring their vision to life.

Now all of this is not to say we don’t need an off switch if things aren’t working, and I’d also like to know more about how brands who are planning to use ApeCoin in their projects, like Yuga Labs, views changes like these, but based on previous comments, all things appear to be pointing toward positive.

Just my early two cents…



A very robust ecosystem would be created in this ApeChain using zk with polygonlabs.
Games, experiences, entertainment and consumer applications all running in the ecosystem, pretty incredible :grinning:

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I already wanted to see this idea in a functional way, it would bring more demand for Apecoin.

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Yes, we all like and respect Gerry - so that’s not the issue here. At least not for me. The issue is one of optics, compliance and conflict of interest (from optics). Earlier today, in a Spaces, I flippantly referred to the AIP combo as a grift - not by Gerry (to whom I had previously communicated my displeasure earlier this morning) btw - but when taken as a whole [combo] in the big picture of him and the authors being in the Special Council.

As a builder and someone with decades of bizdev experience, its a very difficult position to be in because on one hand, and for the reasons that you state, this is a good AIP that, if it succeeds, presents a much faster avenue for builders. Heck, I created a bizdev aspect to my own Ape Assembly AIP for these very same reasons - and I made that clear. But on the other hand, to me, this isn’t the way to do this. And I really wished that members of the Special Council weren’t directly involved in an AIP that’s external to the DAO. It’s not same as, say, Amplify, putting up a voting AIP that we all get to argue, fuss, and fight about. This is different.

We’re a community, and so, we can and will disagree on things. The primary issue is that we should be able to make our concerns heard, and without fear or favor - regardless of who the target of our ire or disagreement happens to be. If we don’t speak up, how can we be heard?

For me, anything that benefits and moves the DAO forward is a win. No exceptions. It doesn’t matter where that win is coming from or by whom. And for builders - like me - to have easy, painless access to funds with which to build and promote ApeCoin, that’s a major win. But not like this. There has to be another way to do this - clean. I guess that’s why it’s an AIP idea that gets built up all the way to draft.

For starters, I highly recommend that this AIP be detached from the Polygon one, and for both to stand on their own merits without any dependencies.

ps. We could give $3M to ThankApe today, and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid because they do so much for the community, and in a seamless, transparent, and effective way.


You can do that with better, faster, cheaper chains that won’t cost us $200K per year.


Really? How so? Moving to an L2 chain has many benefits; but how does creating our own chain - at this moment in time - benefit us when we neither have builders on the token let alone adoption and engagement in our ecosystem?


Why do we need to have both the ApeCoin Special Council and the ApeCoin Ecosystem Development Team?

Btw, is it mean that currently the DAO didn’t have any positions that responsible to or care about Ecosystem Development? :thinking:

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Appreciate your thoughts as well!

To be clear, I’m calling this out because it looks like nepotism. I want to see this DAO run like a business. This new role isn’t a “promotion,” in which case it would make sense to elevate from within from the existing role you’re promoted from. This is a brand new role with brand new requirements.

So as an example, I currently work at a multi-billion dollar tech company. If I wanted to transfer to a new role, I would have to submit a full application. I would then have to run through the exact same interview process that any external candidate would have to, in order to prove that I am actually the best person for this new role. There would be a full hiring panel making that call using an objective set of criteria. This is something the DAO desperately lacks. We need to step our game up and really have hard requirements and set standards for each and every single position we hire for.

That isn’t to say that the listed candidate wouldn’t hit every requirement and be selected for the position. It is saying that I do not believe that this is the way to do this.

Plus if we’re being honest, there is likely a bit more time to be had. Machi has very vocally expressed that he’s against both of these new AIPs, swinging a bag of 5 million $APE to vote against them when they go up. I would argue it’s faster to make modifications in an early stage to give it a better chance of passing.


All good thoughts as well bro!

That being said, I am still ok with one of the core visionaries behind the project who is qualified for the position and experienced at the DAO to take the lead so we can hit the ground running.

But definitely vibing with a few things you said in there… I knew you weren’t just a pretty face! Or in this case Chimpers!! Smart dude :muscle::muscle:

Peace fam!



We will be utilizing an objective 3rd party to hire for this position.

I will continue to champion the need for ApeCoin to utilize an L2 framework just as I have been for the past two years. My mission is to see ApeCoin succeed and drive us into tomorrow as the obvious choice for on-chain gaming and community governance.


Does this mean that the AIP is going to be updated to include this change as well as the qualification requirements for a BD person hired by a third-party - and who doesn’t answer to you or anyone associated with this AIP if it passes?

If you’re stepping aside, there needs to be an “arms length” stance regarding this AIP and it’s association to the Polygon one. This is specifically why most of us agree that the Special Council having a hand in these AIPS was a lapse in judgment - imo.

While this AIP issue can be resolved, the dependence of the Polygon AIP on it is still an issue that needs to be resolved. The best way is to detach them and let them stand on their own merits.


nothing against you guys but the optics are terrible.

This entire AIP’s backbone is “Trust me bro”. One special council serving as a hypeman for another. Handwavey secret business connections and “decades of experience in IT” to bypass elections and normal hiring scrutiny that you would find for any role as important as this one.

No one can see a CV / resume so who can confirm or deny any of this? Need to be better.