CryptoApes NFT Collection: A Free Mint, ASPCA Donations, and Beyond

CryptoApes NFT Collection: A Free Mint, ASPCA Donations, and Beyond

CryptoApes NFTs : Introduction

Even those new to the NFT space are possibly familiar with two of the highest profile NFT projects to date, shown here:

Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT # 7227
Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT # 7227
Sale Price: 270 ETH
CryptoPunks NFT #5473
CryptoPunks NFT #5473
Average Price: 270 ETH











Inspired by these two popular concepts and artistic styles, the CryptoApes artist – AKA Shoegan – blended both styles to singlehandedly develop a collection 6,969 CryptoApes on the Ethereum blockchain. And minting was free.

Free? I’d never heard of a free NFT mint, and was instantly intrigued.

With a promise of proceeds to benefit the ASPCA, that sealed the deal in getting on board.  More on this in a bit, but first, let’s take a look at the pixelated primates in question!

Sample CryptoApes

There are various attributes such as fur color, background, and accessories. Some of these include:

  • Multicolor beanie
  • 3D glasses
  • Virtual reality headset
  • Zombified ape
  • Leopard-print and even blue fur!
  • Angel halo
  • Laser eyes
  • And more!

CryptoApes NFTs

I mean seriously, how cute are these?!

Where to Buy & Rarity Checker

The CryptoApes Collection is available on at CryptoApes-Official.

There are a total of 6,969, with only a few dozen in reserve for giveaways.

The CryptoApes NFT Collection is officially list on TraitSniper, so go check your ape for rare attributes!

Novel Idea: A Free Mint

The CryptoApes NFT mint was done directly from contract on Etherscan.

Having previously minted via other convoluted means, this seemed almost too simple and had your humble author a bit suspicious.

Sure the UI is… well, it’s Etherscan. But for a FREE mint at only the price of gas and a near-instantaneous reveal, it was one of the easiest I’ve ever done! This was an incredibly equitable minting — anyone who could wait for an affordable gas fee could participate.

The creator believes that learning to mint directly via contract is an important experience, and having done it for the first time with this project, I am inclined to agree as it was simpler and faster than any other mint I’ve tried.

According to Shoegan, there were a couple of factors that influenced their decision to offer a free mint:

  1. There was no paid marketing for the project, so free seemed like a good avenue for more exposure and participation.
  2. The project didn’t have a specific roadmap at the time of minting, so they were happy to offer a free profile pic.

ASPCA Donations

My significant other and I are major animal lovers, and it breaks our hearts that many animals are mistreated.

~Shoegan, CryptoApes Creator

The CryptoApes project made its initial donation of $100 just one day after the mint was complete, with plans for additional contributions as sales continue. As an animal lover and rescuer myself, I was extra motivated to participate when I found that the creator is similarly minded.

At this time, there isn’t a set percentage of contributions as the entire project was bootstrapped, but the artist is committed to continue with $100 monthly contributions, with the option to adjust as the project gains popularity. Here is the first official contribution announcement:

CryptoApes NFT ASPCA Donation


UPDATE January 14, 2022: CryptoApes donated 2 Eth (~$6,613) to the ASPCA via crypto donation platform The Giving Block. That’s a lot of spays and neuters! 🙂

A Growing Community

This project is all grassroots. No shilling, no engagement farming, just good ol’ word-of-mouth. 🙂

In just a few days the community grew to 1,500+ members post-mint. Given that the only objective was to make an ASPCA donation, that’s quite a feat.

If you would like to learn more about the CryptoApes project, and possibly get involved if it catches your fancy, you can. Here are four ways:

  1. Join their Discord server.
  2. Follow them on Twitter.
  3. Follow them on Instagram.
  4. Hang out in the Reddit lounge.

According to the creator Shoegan, there has been “an addition of new developers, so that more utility can be added to CryptoApes in a timely manner.”

Plans and Possibilities

At pixel press time, CryptoApes is still a nascent project and community. While there aren’t any formal plans yet, the place of possibility is often the most exciting.

Based on my own participation, here are a few initial observations:

  • The Discord community is vocal and lively, so I’d expect that to continue flourishing.
  • Already the community has created the nickname “CRAPES” for the NFTs.
  • Discord and Twitter giveaways have made a lot of traction.
  • NFT holders have been proudly displaying their new CryptoApe PFPs (profile pics) to help share the collection.
  • At least one CryptoPunks NFT owner has acquired a corresponding CryptoApes character, and multiple BAYC owners have added CryptoApes to their collection as well.

I asked the artist if there were any project plans they’d like to share now that minting is complete. And while nothing is set in stone, they said that “a complimentary collection isn’t out of the question.” So we’ll just have to keep an eye out.

Just thinking about launching a project like this on my own makes me want to stress-eat a bag of chocolate chip cookies, so I’m extra impressed at how quickly this went from idea to reality. Encouragingly, it seems that the community participation has taken up the baton to spread the word and promote the project.

If there are any artists out there considering launching a grassroots NFT project, Shoegan had this wisdom to share:

Find a balance between your preferences and what others will enjoy, especially in a space dominated by connections and funding.

~Shoegan, CryptoApes Creator

I’d add that we shouldn’t underestimate the degree to which real heart and soul can mobilize an audience. 😉

Personal Notes

While adorable, the author’s CryptoApes are not very well-behaved.

It might be easy to think of this project as merely a mash-up of two very popular NFT projects (LarvaLabs’ CryptoPunks and Yuga Labs’ Bored Aped Yacht Club, or “BAYC”). But hang on a minute.

The most successful projects actually want their content and identities remixed, because it adds value to the originals. And everyone knows imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Now add to this that there were only two initial objectives: 1) Make art you love, and 2) Send some of the proceed $ to a cause you care about.

You gotta love the fun and whimsical attributes, that the NFTs were free, then add the bonus of raising money for the ASPCA.

I couldn’t be more pleased I participated in this project, not for any expectation of my CryptoApes increasing value — though it seems they get more popular each day — but for the privilege to say I took part in an artist’s bold dream. 🙂

Apes are always getting up to something, so expect updates in the future.

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