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Once Upon a Time in Shaolin: From Martin Shkreli to NFTs


PleasrDAO, a crypto collective specializing in acquiring culturally significant items, recently revealed its newest NFT release. This time, it’s for the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which will be released partially to NFT holders over time.

The legendary hip-hop group produced a single physical copy of the album, encased in a silver and nickel box, treating it as a unique piece of art. Adding to its exclusivity and mystique, the album was never released digitally or made available for streaming.

The decision to launch this offering comes after PleasrDAO acquired the album for $4.75 million through an auction. The sale was made possible by the United States government seizing and selling the rare album as part of a legal ruling against Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive convicted of fraud.

NFT Offering and Distribution

Beginning today, PleasrDAO provides access to secure, blockchain-based album versions for $1 via a designated site. The NFTs are located on Base, an Ethereum layer-2 platform operated by Coinbase.

However, a legal agreement with the purchaser stipulated that the album could not be commercially exploited before 2103.

Therefore, the album is encrypted, and each purchase advances the 2103 decryption date by 88 seconds. Copies are tradable as $ALBUM, and each purchase unlocks a new album sampler created by Cilvaringz exclusively for this drop.

Cooperation among Privy, Crossmint, and Holograph will oversee the allocation of these NFTs. Buyers can acquire the NFTs using credit cards or Apple Pay. Additionally, they will receive a newly created crypto wallet that will generate and store their purchased NFT.

This initiative aims to make blockchain technology more accessible to hip-hop fans eager to hear this legendary album. By offering the NFTs at an affordable price and simplifying the purchasing process, PleasrDAO hopes to bring blockchain into the cultural mainstream.

PleasrDAO’s Acquisition and Lawsuit

PleasrDAO made headlines by acquiring the album in 2021, as it sought to connect cultural artifacts with blockchain technology. However, the company has since taken legal action against Shkreli, alleging that he unlawfully duplicated and streamed the album without permission. Shkreli initially purchased the album for $2 million in 2015 but was required to surrender it to cover a $7.4 million forfeiture order resulting from his conviction for defrauding hedge fund investors in 2017.

Public Exhibition and Future Release

Apart from the NFT sale, MONA in Australia will showcase Once Upon a Time in Shaolin at an upcoming exhibition from June 15-24. This will mark its inaugural public playing, and buying an NFT will grant access to an album sampler and help push forward its full release by 88 seconds for each purchase. The official release date for the full album is October 8, 2103.

NFTs have the potential to impact the music industry by offering new ways for artists to engage with their audiences. Using blockchain technology, musicians can create unique, tokenized assets providing exclusive content and interactive experiences.

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