Weeks back “Shadowpak” popped up on Twitter declaring their intent to collect and destroy the artwork of Murat Pak, an equally mysterious artist. The output of this initiative is derivative pieces of art beginning with one of the more minimalist objects: a pill.
While the drug usage of the team behind Shadowpak is unknown, the ludicrous interview I had with them combined with a contributor named “Pillhead” and a 4/20 launch date leads me to believe they are off their rockers.
Despite that, over half a million dollars worth of Pills have been sold so far.
Those who have purchased pills are now entrusting the anonymous creators of this project to execute on their stated vision. That vision is a simple 10 (or 11?) step process as the group first tweeted at launch:
The concept made very little sense to me outside of it being an interesting piece of derivative communal artwork. Derivative in that it’s originally based on Murat Pak’s Cubes. Communal as the entire concept is structured as a DAO for which your pills count as votes.
It was this complete confusion that led me to reach out to the team as I had to find out what exactly is going on here. While I’m not sure that I’ve come any closer to an answer, the level of effort required to pull this off is not insignificant.
I thought it would be interesting if the team wrapped the Murat Cube NFTs to create new NFTs. That idea was apparently foolish. As one of the team members informed me, the original artwork is burnt not wrapped.
Additionally, they stated “The pill is an antidote to the Cube and consumed by those that embrace the Sphere.” Make sense? Perfect!
The interviewee would also not clarify whether or not the burnt $ASH is an actual ERC-20 token and stated the only way to answer this is to “hold the $ASH in your hands”. So far I haven’t found it possible to hold any cryptocurrency in my hands outside of a digital wallet but maybe if I come across some of the pills this team is on I’ll have a better chance.
As a natural skeptic I had to wonder what was being done with all this money. I was directed back to the original Tweet to remind myself that yes, this money must be used to acquire Murat Pak work so that it can be burnt. So if you’re wondering how they generate revenue to fund the efforts of the organizers the answer is they don’t.
While you can sell your pills to generate a return on your investment, the real intention is to only do two key things: buy Murat Pak work and burn Murat Pak work. That said, the experience is expanding.
As of today the group rolled out “Story Mode” which bills itself as “an interactive story currently unfolding across Ethereum.” Those who invest in Pills get to vote on the characters and story lines that evolve over time.
So essentially this is one giant game. The price for entry is either a Murat Pak NFT or 1 ETH. After speaking with the team my conclusion is that the Pills project / DAO is something that could only exist in the world of cryptocurrency. The average person would have no idea what this is or why it exists. That’s exactly what makes it special.
If you happen to have a spare Murat Pak or ETH laying around in your wallet, then welcome to club. I’ll be on the outside looking in but if you are ready to take the leap and go down the rabbit hole, head over to the Pills website.