Once Upon A Time In Shaolin Purchased by Defi Company
The purchasers of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album have been disclosed, as promised. PleasrDAO is a collective of “DeFi leaders, early NFT collectors, and digital artists” that seek out “culturally significant items with a humanitarian bent.” The one-of-a-kind CD, which “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli bought for $2 million in 2015, certainly fits the definition. After just a few people heard the record, which Cilvaringz & RZA worked on in secret for six years, it was auctioned as one-off high-art.
Shkreli, of course, lost custody of the record after his 2018 conviction for securities fraud, which was seized by the US government and auctioned off earlier this year. The buyers in question remained anonymous at the time of the transaction, agreeing not to reveal the final sale price. In a column published today by The New York Times, PleasrDAO was revealed as the unknown bidder, detailing both the $4 million sale price and the collective’s motives and ultimate intentions for the song.
The eventual goal, with RZA’s and producer Cilvaringz’s consent, should be to make the album available to fans in some way, which, given the group’s self-description, will very definitely use non-fungible token (NFT) blockchain technology. “This record at its conception was a type of protest against rent-seeking middlemen, those who are taking a cut away from the artist,” Jamis Johnson, the group’s “Chief Pleasing Officer,” told Rolling Stone. Cryptocurrency shares a lot of that ethos. The CD has a strong resemblance to the original NFT.”
PleasrDAO, which stands for “decentralised autonomous organisation,” shares collective ownership of the album among its 74 members and has Cilvaringz’s support to make it more widely available through listening parties or gallery exhibitions, but it is bound by the terms of the album’s original sale for the time being: It won’t be made public or copied until the year 2103, at the earliest.