‘The Revolutionaries Will Be Televised’: PleasrDAO Launching Live Auctions With Snowden, Ellsberg NFT

The community that purchased Martin Shrkeli’s Wu-Tang Clan album in July 2021 pivots to hosting its own sales, starting with an NFT by Edward Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg and the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

AccessTimeIconJan 10, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 10, 2023 at 11:29 p.m. UTC
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It purchases a series of culturally significant artifacts. Now crypto investment collective PleasrDAO is pivoting to host virtual live auctions with the creation of PleasrHouse, the group said Tuesday.

Its inaugural sale this Thursday will feature a non-fungible token (NFT) created in collaboration with whistleblower Edward Snowden, political activist Daniel Ellsberg and The Freedom of the Press Foundation, which was teased in a tweet by PleasrDAO saying, “The revolutionaries will be televised.”

PleasrDAO, a group of decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFT traders, first made news in June 2021 when the group purchased a fraction of the popular Doge NFT for $4 million, which grew to a valuation of $225 million by September of that year. In 2021, it purchased convicted pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli’s sole edition of the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” album.

As the DAO is shifting to hosting its own sales of these items, Jamis Johnson, chief pleasing officer at PleasrDAO, told CoinDesk it aims to facilitate sales with on-chain transactions, affording users frictionless participation in the auction. In a press release, PleasrDAO described PleasrHouse as “a new experiment created to disrupt the shared experience of live art auctions” that will focus on exploring the importance of unique art through interviews and other media.

The premier NFT on sale is titled, “Wouldn’t You Go To Prison To End This War?”, the words Ellsberg said just after he surrendered to officials for leaking the "Pentagon Papers" in 1971. The token features the video of the interview with the Pentagon Papers superimposed on it. Proceeds of the sale will be donated to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Daniel Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy.

“They were fighting for freedom of information being available to the public. And I think that that's kind of at the core of the ethos of crypto, to not allow ourselves to be limited by the government, right?” said Johnson. “Those two concepts are very adjacent.”

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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.


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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.