The cryptocurrency collective built around a copy of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune Bible will no longer be a collective and is looking to sell its Dune Bible.
Spice DAO (short for Decentralized Autonomous Organization) recently launched the first phase of acquisition, a radical change of direction. After a series of setbacks in an ambitious plan for a cryptocurrency-based media studio, the group is cashing in on the people who own their $ SPICE token by withdrawing their funds from the group’s treasury. It will change its name to Spice Club, a members-only group rather than a body with a formal voting structure. And it will keep its maintenance costs to a bare minimum, a process that includes returning the fragile and precious book that inspired its creation.
I really wish it worked better
Members holding $ SPICE can earn revenue from the remaining Spice Club initiatives. The group hopes to cash in on book sales and a non-fungible token (NFT) collaboration with comic artist Frank Miller. But that plan is complicated by the dire state of the cryptocurrency market and the legal issues surrounding DAO and tokens like $ SPICE, plus doubts that the book could be auctioned for something close to its purchase price of around. $ 3 million.
The group’s current plan is to sell the Dune Bible in the fourth quarter of 2023, coinciding with the release of the film Dune: Part Two. The group has previously partnered with comic book publisher Frank Miller Presents on a pending NFT series. Any remaining $ SPICE holders could get some of their money back after these projects are released, even if the legal language is a bit toned down. On the Spice Club Discord, project manager Kortelin noted that the team is cautious in anticipation of possible cryptocurrency regulation. Alternatively, they can burn their $ SPICE and withdraw 0.3 ETH or around $ 450 per million tokens. The Group Treasury currently lists its net worth at around $ 1 million.
The Spice Club was one of many crypto DAOs, but it was exceptionally ambitious. Started as a crowdfunding venture to purchase a copy of Jodorowsky’s Dune Bible, it ended up with a multimillion-dollar treasure after winning an auction in November 2021. The DAO hoped to preserve the physical condition of Dune’s book by finding a way to digitize and publicly distribute its content and produce media similar to the never-before-done adaptation of Jodorowksy’s Dune. So far, the Spice Club has handled the first of these tasks and paid for the maintenance with its own funds. It also funded a competition to find stories that could be adapted into a TV miniseries and paid for a script by Love, Death and Robots writer Philip Gelatt. These projects, along with Frank Miller’s NFTs, were proposed by a small core team and then approved by people who bought $ SPICE tokens.
Spice DAO is now Spice Club
But in the months following the auction, the band encountered various problems, some predictable, others less so. He struggled to find a way to make the Dune Bible available to members without violating copyright laws. The group also bought the Bible just before a drop in cryptocurrency prices, which has since morphed into a full-blown slump, decimating their money, which was mostly held in Ethereum. Earlier this year, one of the founding members stepped down after being associated with a deliberately hateful individual of an online art project, leading Soban Soby Saqib, the project’s original poster, to distance himself from the operation.
As part of the recent move to the Spice Club, Saqib moves further away from the project, giving up access to the treasure.
Meanwhile, Kortelin told Discord that the book has no available buyers at this time, though it may change ahead of the expected sale next year. Either way, the book will likely be lower than its original retail price, which was unusually high for a copy of the Dune Bible, perhaps thanks to the crowdfunding hype.
I really wish it worked better, the DAO craze was at its peak when the community embarked on this journey together, Saqib posted on Discord after the liquidation operation began. At least DAO makes people healthy and doesn’t let pride get in the way.