ApeDAO’s early days: from one ape to many apes

3 min readMar 1, 2023

After covering the purpose and core values of ApeDAO in the previous article, we will now shed some light on its origin and founder Alpha Rho. Are you ready for a time travel while sipping your coffee? We take you back to the beginnings of ApeDAO!

Let us carry back our minds to the end of 2021: the IOTA Foundation announced the beta release of programmable smart contracts on the IOTA 2.0 DevNet, making IOTA smart contracts fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Around this time, the idea that later resulted in the creation of ApeDAO, started forming. But who is the one responsible for the foundation? Well, his name is Alpha Rho. Allow us to share some more details about his past to get a better understanding where he is coming from and what led him to establish a DAO full of DeFi-loving apes!

Alpha Rho previously ran his own marketing & business development company for around ten years. He joined crypto in 2014, three years later he became an active part of the IOTA community.

Alpha Rho contributed to ApeSwap, a multichain AMM/DEX protocol for a time span of one year, worked as Due Diligence Manager and later expanded his role to become a Portfolio Manager. By analyzing potential partners and optimizing the capital efficiency of decentralized exchanges, Alpha Rho gained deep insights in the DeFi world.

In October 2022, he joined the ShimmerSea core team and is responsible for the project’s Business Development and Strategy. ShimmerSea is a leading decentralized exchange on Shimmer EVM, IOTA’s staging network, focused on offering a premier trading experience.

With all this experience on board, Alpha Rho saw the opportunity to share his DeFi knowledge with others from the ecosystem and to build up a community of like-minded individuals committed to exploring and benefiting from the upcoming DeFi ecosystem through EVM on Shimmer and IOTA.

Apes have a long tradition in crypto! The OG Ape design of the ApeDAO was inherited from Alpha Rho’s earlier personal profile picture and served as base for the first 1074 NFTs minted.

Core idea when founding the project was to clearly distance from scams, which were prominently around in the beginning of 2022. Transparency, integrity and sustainability became the three pillars of the ApeDAO. Since day one, the vision did not change — establishing the project as the primary DeFi hub in the IOTA and Shimmer ecosystem.

Did you know? The Serbian romantic black comedy film Black Cat, White Cat’s movie character Grga Pitic was used as design inspiration for the NFTs. Can you spot some similarities? You might want to pay attention to his golden teeth!

The ApeDAO NFT sale is an outstanding example of a fair launch. 100% of the NFT sales went into the treasury! Not a single NFT was held back. As a result, Alpha Rho as the founder, had to buy in like everyone else. The sale took place on Soonaverse and allowed everyone to participate. The OG Apes NFT collection quickly became popular in the IOTA ecosystem and the whole collection of 1,074 Apes was sold in 9 minutes!

By the way, have you already heard about Soon Wukong III? He is the figure of worship for all our apes! Legend says, he is always present and oversees the operations of ApeDAO, blessing all of its key contributors, who willingly offer bribes to him! Even though it’s really hard, we will try to get more information about Soon Wukong III as soon as possible!

Hungry for more information? Our next blog posting focuses on the ApeDAO litepAPEr and offers a broad overview of all major DAO initiatives. Stay tuned!




We are a small joint-investment DAO in which a randomly-generated Ape NFT makes you a DAO participant.