US Users Can Stake Their $Ape But Not Via Horizen Labs UI, According To The DAO. Here's What We Know
On the day before Thanksgiving, Horizen Labs took to Twitter and gave $Ape holders an update on its staking system and front-end user interface.
While the topline of tonight’s post was that staking will be going live on December 12th, many people were quick realize that US based $Ape holders would not be allowed to use Horizen Labs front end staking system.
“Please not that ApeStake.io will be available to users in most countries; however users in the following countries or regions will be geoblocked: United States, Canada, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Cuba, Russia, Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk,” Hozien Labs posted in its geoblocking section. “We are aware that geoblocking some users in North America is inconvienient for many members of the ApeCoin community. Unfortunately in today’s regulatory environment, we had no good alternative.”
Following Horizen Labs' post, the Bored Ape Gazette reached out to Horizen Labs Founder and ApeCoin Special Council Member Dean Steinbeck for clarification.
“The smart contract is open source and can be accessed by anyone, anywhere,” Steinbeck said. “I expect many third parties to offer UI that interacts with the smart contract and be available to users in jurisdictions that our UI does not service.”
When asked about when he and Horizen Labs made the decision to geoblock certain users, Steinbeck told the Bored Ape Gazette that he could not get into specifics. “I can’t go into details on timing,” he said. “We tried to find ways to work around it but ultimately had to submit.”
Following Horizen Labs post about geoblocking US based users, the ApeCoin DAO reminded $Ape holders that anyone can interact with a smart contract.
“GM $APE fam, the ApeCoin DAO tweeted. “We want to remind the community that one of the benefits of decentralized finance is that anybody can interact with a smart contract, or develop clients and interfaces that allow users to interact with smart contracts.”
Following the DAO’s post, the Bored Ape Gazette reached out to Special Council Member Maaria Bajwa and asked her whether the decision to geoblock US based users was a Horizen Labs decision or an ApeCoin DAO choice.
Bajwa explained that this was a Horizen Labs decision and that all of this is regarding Horizen Labs ApeStake website. “This is all regarding horizons GUI (Graphical User Interface), not the smart contract,” she said.
Further, during Bajwa’s conversation with the Gazette, she also said that she knows that many third parties are working on their own ApeCoin staking user interface. Bajwa also shared with the Gazette an “open source client that people can use locally on their desktops” once staking goes live.
“Smart contracts are public and on the blockchain, so they can be interacted with through many interfaces," Bajwa said. “I know there are others building UIs to interact with the smart contract, including this open source client that people can use locally on their desktops. Once smart contract goes live on mainnet this will be made into a downloadable client that people can run locally on their desktops (http://GitHub.com/apestakeui/Ui)”
Bajwa also highly encouraged the Gazette, and the ApeCoin community at large, to watch a recent Bankless episode featuring Sam Bankman-Fried and Erik Voorhees.
"It’s legit one of my fave conversations about crypto regulations, and probably will give people good sense of what Horizen is thinking about," she said. "Though I can’t speak on their behalf."
You can watch the Bankless episode that Bajwa's recommended here:
The Bored Ape Gazette is working to find out more about this situation and what $Ape holders in the US can and can’t do. Stay tuned for updates and continued coverage!