On Wednesday, an NFT by Pak- one of the most successful crypto artists of all time- sold for $52.7 million. The astronomical number makes it the second most expensive single piece NFT ever, after Everydays: The First 5000 Days by Beeple.
There is more to the story- as there is with so many ultra-successful artworks. Here is all you need to know about Clock, its buyer, and its purpose.
What Is Clock?
Clock is an NFT from Pak’s collaborative series with Julian Assange- the WikiLeaks founder currently detained in London, facing a 175-year prison sentence if extradited to the USA. It is essentially a timer showing how many days Assange has spent in pre-trial custody.
The series is called Censored and evolves around the idea of free speech, anonymity, and the freedom of information. Pak is known in the industry for hiding their identity, refusing to be seen, or even use their own voice during interviews. It makes sense that they would join forces with Assange, who faces persecution for those very things.
Who Is Assange?
Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks. More so, he is an activist, journalist, and skilled programmer. In 2021, Assange made waves by publishing a series of leaked US government documents. He was not the leak- Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning was, but sharing the content on his site was considered a crime.
After many years of seeking asylum, Assange was detained by the London Police Force in 2019. Since then, the US has petitioned the UK government to extradite Julian Assange to face charges in the US for breaching government secrecy rules.
The request has, thus far, been denied, but the future is still uncertain. If it were to go ahead, Assange could face a 175-year sentence. Internationally, the arrest and detainment are highly controversial, with many believing it is a flagrant denial of the rights to freedom of information.
Whatever opinion you may have, the UK government refuses to grant bail on account of Assange being a verified flight risk.
More About the Sale
The buyer? A 10,000 strong DAO under the name of AssangeDAO- an organization dedicated to the pursuit of freedom for Julian Assange. People from around the world joined the group- which was created for the very purpose of buying this NFT- and pooled their money to win the bid.
AssangeDAO also broke records, raising the most market funds in Juicebox DAO history. In total, the group collected over $55 million- eclipsing the previous record of $47 million. The previous title holder was Constitution DAO, bidding on a rare copy of the US constitution.
What the DAO intends to do with the leftover funds is not yet clear, although we expect it to follow a similar theme.
As an activist group, buying Clock seems to be the beginning. The AssangeDAO has since launched a Justice Token that members can also buy. Apparently, all profits go directly towards supporting Assange’s legal defense.
Pak stated on Twitter after the sale went through that 100% of the money (16593 ETH) was also going towards the cause of fighting for his release. The Wau Holland Foundation is the leading organization in the current defense efforts, so it is likely the funds go directly there.
A sale this big is a major boost for the NFT industry. The political message behind it makes it an even bigger boost for freedom of information activists around the globe. All in all, Clock is an excellent example of how powerful and collaborative the NFT community is and how much influence potential it holds.
When you combine an artist as prolific as Pak, a political case as controversial as Assange, and 10,000 other passionate minds with a cause and an outlet, there is not much room to fail.
As for Julian Assange, it remains to be seen where his fate lies. The clock is ticking, currently sitting (at the time of writing) at 1037.