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“I Thought I Was Living in a Simulation.” The Story Behind The +$500k Uniswap NFT

A DAO bought the artist pplpleasr’s Uniswap V3 teaser video for $525K and she has committed to donating all proceeds to charity. Here’s how probably this year’s most inspiring DeFi story went down. 

The 46 second video shows a pink unicorn walking through a barren landscape while tubes, which pplpleasr has later said symbolize the bonding curves which dictate token price, seemingly swim above it. The unicorn eventually reaches the “Ethereum promised land” as the artist called it on Twitter, where the elements of DeFi are united.

It was the latest of a series of works by pplpleasr, who has worked with Sushiswap, Pickle Finance, and more. 

“I was already in disbelief when the bid went up to 68 ETH,” pplpleasr, who started the bidding at 8.88 ETH, told The Defiant. When bidding hit 100 ETH, the artist was “getting ready to thank the bidder” but then PleasrDAO came through with their first 110 ETH bid.

Bidding War

That was just the beginning though, as bidding would almost triple from there. 

“Every few minutes I would watch a new crazy amount of ETH more than my net worth chime in and I thought I was living in a simulation,” pplpleasr told The Defiant, saying she would remember the battle between the final two bidders for the rest of her life.

“I was pleasantly surprised and actually happy that the piece would be shared with a community in the spirit of DeFi,” she said.

The 310 ETH sale is more than 500 times last month’s average NFT sale price of  $1,298 according to NFT platform Nonfungible.

Pplpleasr and the Uniswap team are meeting with Stand With Asians this week in order to decide which charities the funds will be allocated to, she said. The donation provides a stark contrast with last week’s controversy surrounding Beeple cashing in on the $69M he got for his Christie’s piece, and selling all his ETH for fiat. 

A Last Minute DAO

PoolTogether cofounder Leighton Cusack, had the idea to form a DAO, called PleasrDAO, to buy the NFT, called “x*y=k,” after the formula which Uniswap uses to dictate its assets’ price.

Less than a day and a half after Cusack’s tweet, the organization had formed. 

PleasrDAO’s 110 ETH offer started a bidding war causing the NFT to almost triple in price in less than an hour before the winning bid of 310 ETH. 

The final 15 minutes of bidding alone brought the price up over $100K. 

Andrew Kang, partner at Mechanism Capital and member of the impromptu DAO, told The Defiant that “the experience of forming the DAO was as positive as it could have been given that we all shared the same goals – supporting a charitable cause, increasing exposure to an artist we are a fan of, and acquiring DeFi art NFTs.” 

Aside from the heartwarming show of support for one of DeFi’s most beloved artist’s work, the DAO’s formation is a new use for autonomous organizations. 

“Previously DAOs have been formed for managing protocol development, making token investments, etc.,” Kang said. “The formation of this DAO is unique as it’s the first time one has been formed for the purpose of acquiring art/NFTs.” 

PleasrDAO isn’t done collecting. A quick glance at their profile on OpenSea shows the organization has since acquired three other works by pplpleasr, an NFT commemorating the DAO’s purchase of pplpleasr’s NFT, its namesake ENS domain, and two other Yearn Finance themed NFTs.

Runner Up 

The runner-up in the bidding goes by Vas Rel Por on Twitter. Rel Por was happy to engage with The Defiant but wished to remain anonymous for opsec reasons. In response to a question as to why the investor bid almost $475K worth of ETH for the NFT, Rel Por pointed to pplpleasr’s upside plus the uniqueness of the item.

“I typically invest on fundamentals and I think it’s extremely likely pplpleasr has a massive career ahead of her,” the investor said. “As the first minted NFT of someone who will likely have millions of followers and more iconic work in the future, it seemed it could become priceless.” 

Rel Por also believes that Uniswap is a “a protocol that I think will be as synonymous with the future economy as Google is with the internet.” 

The combination of the two, plus the art itself, which, as a longtime user of Ethereum, resonated with Rel Por, led the investor to bid 275 ETH before losing the winning bid to PleasrDAO.

The DeFi world feels a little warmer having seen the ecosystem’s members come together and support one of the space’s preeminent artists.