In the latest sign that the market for initial coin offerings has probably peaked, Bloomberg is reporting that a company is planning to launch an ICO with the explicit goal of raising enough money to purchase the only extant copy of “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin”, the rare Wu Tang Clan record and current record holder for most expensive single album ever sold. Martin Shkreli once paid $2 million for the record.
Behold Wu-Tang Coin, the digital token at the heart of a purported ICO whose sole purpose is to raise money to buy and publicly release the Wu-Tang Clan album that convicted fraudster Martin Shkreli once spent $2 million on.
The coin launched Monday, according to its Twitter account, which has a whopping 13 followers. Rare Music Ltd., the company behind the efforts, is seeking to raise $3 million to $4 million, according to a white paper listed on the internet. Because of its decentralized nature, the creators of Wu Tang Coin claimed in a White Paper that an ICO would be able to circumvent legal restrictions barring the owner from publicly releasing the album for commercial purposes until the year 2,103.
The goal of the project is to release the album for free on the internet. The company says coin holders will be compensated with "gifts" to incentize participation.
A straightforward purchase of the album by a music company would be pointless because the album cannot be “commercially exploited” in a reasonable amount of time. Therefore,
we propose to:
1. Raise funds via an ICO and attempt to negotiate a purchase with the album’s current owner.
2. Give Wu-Tang Coin donors to the ICO (i.e. owners of Wu-Tang Coin) gifts to incentivize participation.
3. Release the album on all free and paid streaming music sites after a short amnesty period (six months) designed to give owners of Wu-Tang Coin time to enjoy the album exclusively, before everyone else.
As we reported earlier this month, the ownership of the Wu Tang album is in doubt after Shkreli sold the album on eBay for just over $1 million – about half what he paid for it in late 2015, shortly before being labeled “the most hated man in America” after his former company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of Toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim by 5,000%.
After being convicted on three counts of securities and wire fraud after the conclusion of a month-long trial in Brooklyn Federal Court, Shkreli's bail was revoked shortly before the auction ended and he was sent to a notorious federal jail in Brooklyn to await his sentencing in January. Prosecutors asked that his bail be revoked after a published what he described as a satirical post saying he would pay a $5,000 bounty for a strand of Hillary Clinton's hair. It's unclear what will happen with the Wu Tang album.
Read the White Paper in full below: