Ape-ing Into Solana

The Story behind the Rapid Launch of the Great Ape Project

4 min readMay 2, 2021


Gorilla with Grape by Ben

Ape-ing Into Solana

This alt-season has been all about Solana. I don’t know if it is because it just works so fast, the transactions are so cheap, or if it is because I don’t feel like I’ll get rugged at any moment in the farms of Raydium or Orca. Maybe it is because SBF and the FTX/Serum team are such coding beasts and make me feel like they have my back. Ultimately, it is because all the projects launching are polished and ready for action; no L2’s required here. All of this and more made me want to change from just a hodler, to a buidler too. I like the coin.

The rumor turned out to be true and “Solana SZN” was their third official hackathon. I knew I wanted to take action. We’ve been working on a few ideas and finally it was clear where those ideas would be realized. Solana is a community bursting with energy, hungry for more to do.

At the same time, Whale’s Friend ( a friend in real life) was growing his stream rapidly! As the Solana and Cope communities converged and took form in the V2D2 server, everyone could see that he was tapping into what people want more: real shitcoin talk and a fun community. If we stick together we ARE going to make it!

Starting out as a few Apes (eating $GRAPEs)

The initial goal for the Great Ape project is to build out the infrastructure to support gated Solana communities.

2 key concepts

Community distribution — most tokens are given out as airdrops.

Participation economy — tokens primarily are given out in the form of events, games, teaching, building, and other ideas the community will vote on together

This vision is best realized using platforms that users already know. Instead of being a weak Twitter clone, we’re choosing to use Discord and Telegram.

Users will be able to:

Link ownership of social accounts to blockchain addresses. Communities can then give benefits unique to their holders and also keep out spammers and bots. The economy grows in the direction that governance chooses to incentivize with airdrops.

Provide SPL-Token wallets to all community users. Tipping, p2p transactions, and voting will all be possible without leaving the application.

There are small, scattered versions of this vision, but they are all on Ethereum.

The limit to what an exclusivity enforcing token can do for a community is unchartered territory, and there is nowhere I’d rather discover the potential than on Solana.

Growing the Crew

Within 3 days of sharing the tweet idea, our team size has tripled and keeps growing. I was set on Solana before, but now that I can see a glimpse of what the development teams are seeing, I’m more bullish on our team growth as a result of choosing this ecosystem.

As our team grew, so did our ambitions. Even though we are only 4 days old as a team, most of us have known each other for decades. We’ve already begun laying the ground-work for an ambitious Data Visualization platform explicitly for the hackathon. If we’re gonna build it, we’re gonna build it to win.

Over the next month, our development team is laser-focused on these community tools and the dashboard. Our community team is focused on getting the word out and assign more and more OG roles to start our Community focused distribution plan.

Project timeline from here

-Continue to grow team! If you think you can help with design, development, or are just passionate about Solana let me know!
-Continue developing tools for the community
-Release more details around project focus, community aspects, and how the community coin will work
-First drafts of whitepaper
-Begin dashboard development
-Community tools beta testing
-Solana Season
-Launch of token after successful beta testing of community tools
-Launch of Serum Market
-Launch of Liquidity Farms
-Launch of dashboard just in time to win the Hackathon
-Support more communities with our community tools

We’re thinking about a lot, but we need to stay focused on what brings value to Solana TODAY! The love we have for everyone in this is insane. We spent a large chunk of time with Whale last night figuring out how to use MEDIA for his streaming. Seriously hardcore Solana

Watch Whale’s Friend going live 1 hour from now! More details more OG roles! More shitcoins! More fun!

Join the discord!




Dean Pappas | Building Grape on Solana | Ex Marlin, Ethereum Classic, Zel, Taucoin | Ex GM at Zeta Global | Hearthstone and MTG