Signal Boost: Going APE 

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Happy Saturday! New in the noise: Bored ApeCoins, YangDAO, and Do Kwon’s $10 million bet. Signal: below. Mike Orcutt here.
Behind the Headlines
A big week for Bored Apes. On Tuesday, The Block’s own Ryan Weeks published a scoop: he had gotten his hands on a Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) pitch deck, last updated in February, that described a project to build a gaming-focused metaverse platform that would use ApeCoin, a long-rumored token. On Wednesday, the project finally revealed ApeCoin and announced an airdrop. On Friday, Yuga Labs, BAYC’s creator, dropped a teaser trailer for a new project called Otherside. It didn’t explicitly say what Otherside is except to say that it would be “powered by ApeCoin.”
Oh, this too: on Thursday, someone pulled off an elaborate scheme that used a flash loan (here’s our flash loan explainer) to claim $1.1 million worth of ApeCoin even though they didn’t own any Bored Apes. Let Vishal Chawla explain: 
“They bought a Bored Ape on NFT marketplace OpenSea for under $300,000 and used it as collateral to take out the flash loan. The flash loan was then used to purchase a large amount of the vault’s token, letting them redeem the five NFTs. The NFTs were used to claim the airdrop — all in this one, complex transaction — before all of them were then returned, the tokens sold back and the loan repaid.”  
The future of (NFT) finance. Tim Copeland has become fascinated with the idea that NFTs could be used in new kinds of financial applications. Now he reports that it’s already starting — with NFT-backed loans. In the first part of a series, Tim confirms that demand these loans is exploding. In the second part, he explains how one of the biggest challenges that lenders face in this context is the pesky challenge of pricing the NFTs.  
Inside Flat Capital, the little-known investment company founded by Klarna’s CEO. Flat Capital is an investment firm with a  $35.9 million net asset value. It recently invested $2 million in Discord. But hardly anyone knows anything else about it. To learn more, Tom secured the first English language interview with Flat Capital CEO Hanna Wachtmeister.  
Andrew Yang is launching a DAO …or something like that. The former presidential candidate has launched Lobby3, a DAO that will focus on lobbying for cryptocurrency policy. But it’s not really a DAO. Aislinn Keely explains
ICYMI: A bill moving through the New Jersey General Assembly would prevent public officials from accepting NFTs as gifts. GameStop said it will launch an NFT platform by the end of the second quarter. Russia’s largest bank, Sherbank, gained approval from the central bank to exchange digital assets. Ethereum scaling startup Optimism raised $150 million at a $1.65 billion valuation. US Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced new legislation targeting crypto use by sanctioned Russians. Block invested in Japanese challenger bank Kyash. Instagram plans to launch NFTs “over the next several months,” according to Mark Zuckerberg. Canada’s central bank and MIT will collaborate on CBDC research. Ukrainian president Voloydmyr Zelenskyy signed a law formally recognizing the legality of crypto. Binance said it was granted a virtual asset license in Dubai. Binance also won approval from Bahrain’s central bank to operate there. HSBC partnered with virtual world platform The Sandbox. ConsenSys raised $450 million at a valuation of $7 billion. Ukraine partnered with FTX and staking service Everstake to build a crypto fundraising website. Gauntlet, a startup that provides services for DeFi protocols and DAOs, raised $23.8 million at a $1 billion valuation. A clause in an EU crypto bill that would have banned proof-of-work mining has been struck.  
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Under the Microscope
How to identify and analyze new NFT projects (VIDEO). We are seeing a Cambrian Explosion of NFT projects. But which ones are popular? How do you judge quality? Let The Block’s resident NFT maven Steven Zheng show you the way (Research membership required). 
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Off the Block
The latecomer’s guide to crypto. That’s the title of a new piece by the New York Times’s Kevin Roose. Crypto is now “inescapable,” and  “as it’s gone mainstream crypto has inspired an unusually polarized discourse.” Roose, a “crypto moderate,” says his strongest-held belief is that crypto is “terribly explained.” Hence the guide.
The Money Quote
May the best degen win.”
—Crypto Twitter’s Cobie, whose wallet is serving as an “escrow account” for a $10 million wager between Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon and pseudonymous crypto personality GCR. The bet is on whether the price of LUNA will be higher or lower in a year.
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