Michelle Wong ’19, contributing writer
HODL! HODL! HODL! Blockchain! Decentralization!
These are just some of new terms that will be featured in the museum’s bathroom walls as the Smith Museum of Art plans their Initial Coin Offering (ICO). This decision was made after the college decided to divest in fossil fuels. This means that instead of investing in something unsustainable, the College will be financially sustaining itself. As of right now, the coin’s official name is yet to be determined. A revenue of $1 billion is expected if Smithies adopt this new crypto coin.
Although the world of business, finance and other miscellaneous industries have caught on to this newest technology trend, the museum prides itself on founding the first ICO related to art.
“At first I was like, what is an ICO? Immediate Cop Officer?” museum head Barbara ChainBlocker said. “And then I was like, damn. We could make — I mean, raise a lot of funds from this.”
The museum plans on selling its coins immediately at the well-attended Night At Your Museum event. Plans on integrating the coin system into next year’s Night At Your Museum are well underway. According to ChainBlocker, the specifics on how to use these coins have yet to be released.
“We can’t wait any longer. We figure that since it’s the most popular event at Smith, we could probably attract a lot of people, even before we write the whole whitepaper. Now that the college has chosen to divest in fossil fuels, we have to find alternative methods to raise funds for the museum,” ChainBlocker said.
Students have mixed feelings about the ICO. Some plan on investing, but some are a bit hesitant.
Rachelle Crypto Wong ’18, a computer science major and president of the Smith Blockchain Club, is among the many students excited but unsure about what the ICO entails.
Wong said, “I’m thinking about investing just because I think it’d be pretty cool to own some coins related to Smith. But I don’t know what the coin is worth, or if the museum knows what they’re actually going to do with my money...but I’ll keep them as a good memory of my time here.”
Despite these reservations, Wong reassured us that The Smith Blockchain Club has expressed enthusiasm for the coin offering.
“We are so excited to have cryptocurrency adopted right here on campus. Next will be the Ice Cream Coin for people to trade spots in the scooping line at Tyler!” Wong said.
The coin will be the club’s pride and glory supporting their thesis on the future of cryptocurrency on college campuses. “I think eventually Free and For Sale will be decentralized after people buy the coin. Even though the museum is supposedly going to use it just for funding, I think people will start to trade naturally. This is looking good for discussions at our club.” Wong said.
Whether the value of this coin falls to nothing or goes “to the moon!”, this is a first for college museums everywhere.
The Smith Blockchain Club meets every Friday at 7 p.m. in the Friedman Apartments to talk about weekly charts, ICOs and news about Blockchain. In June, the SCMA will release a full report on its plans for ICOs in the museum. At the moment, graduating seniors will receive priority in applying for an ICO. For more information on the proposed plans, visit the SCMA website.