Gold Cube in Central Park Is a Bizarre Crypto Ad - DMT NEWS

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Gold Cube in Central Park Is a Bizarre Crypto Ad

A giant cube an artist claims is made of $11.7 million worth of gold was carted throughout New York City Wednesday, first being plopped  down in Central Park before later making a stop at a private dinner for Wall Street bigwigs. And, as if that display by German artist Niclas Castello wasn't tone-deaf enough, it's also an ad for a forthcoming cryptocurrency: Castello Coin (CAST).

The cube, which is supposedly made of 186 kilograms of gold, had been promoted with tag lines like “Never before in the history of humanity has such an enormous amount of gold been cast into a single, pure object.” Lisa Kandlhofer, a Viennese gallerist who was at the cube’s launch, described it “as a sort of communiqué between an emerging 21st-century cultural ecosystem based on crypto and the ancient world where gold reigned supreme,” according to Artnet News. Castello told Artnet News that he hoped to “create something that is beyond our world—that is intangible." A security guard who taking a more objective look at the object told the New York Times that it was “pretty plain.” After all, it is just a cube.

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The cube attends a Wall Street dinner. (Photo credit: Sandra Mika)

The cube, however, is only one part of the story. It's supposed to act as a "physical brand ambassador" for a cryptocurrency called Castello Coin which is so bizarre as to defy belief. 

First, Niclas Castello is not listed as being part of the team behind the coin or even an adviser to the project. The coin's purpose is to simply be a currency for "high value economic goods and art," and claims to be in compliance with Swiss regulations. The project's tagline is "The Art of Payment." That being said, the website says U.S. citizens are not eligible to participate despite the project being unveiled in the heart of New York City. 

The details get even weirder. The team behind the coin claims it has gone through a private pre-sale phase already, which funded the gold cube, and it's now in a public sale phase. To buy the coin, you have to use the website, which tells you how much the coins are worth (currently 0.44 euros), and input a figure above 1,000 euros, the minimum investment. 

Once you do that, you're taken to a Google form where you're asked to put in information and advised that the team will be in touch over email. According to the project's whitepaper, nearly half of all CAST tokens will be held by the team, their partners, and in a "reserve." Without speculating on CAST specifically, that kind of distribution is normally concerning for potential investors. 

Of course, there will also be an NFT sale of some sort in 18 days, which also requires a Google form to sign up for. The promotional video is even stranger.

A gold cube surrounded by security in a public park during a housing crisis and paraded to a Succession-like dinner, which doubles as a bizarre cryptocurrency play—is this an artistic gag and indictment of the commodification of physical materials and digital assets? Evidence of an artist selling out beyond all measure? Both? Neither? We're not sure anymore, but we’re also not sure it matters. It’s a tiny cube.

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It's a cube. (Photo credit: Sandra Mika)


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Jordan Pearson, Khareem Sudlow