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Crypto Entrepreneurs Fail to Capture Elon Musk’s Attention With $600,000 Goat Statue

AUSTIN, Texas—Even as a cold night settled in outside Tesla’s headquarters here Saturday, a group of cryptocurrency entrepreneurs had no plans to leave until Elon Musk, the man they named their currency after, erected a sculpture of 12,000 pounds accepted. a mr. Musketeer riding a rocket.

It’s the latest stunt in the cryptocurrency space, where jokes and memes about digital currencies regularly flood social media. But a 6-ton sculpture as a marketing gimmick is not that common.

The creators of Elon GOAT say the name of their cryptocurrency was inspired by their respect for Mr Musk. They and his other fans think he is the “greatest of all time,” or a “GOAT.” They took the admiration literally and spent $600,000 to build a sculpture of Mr. Creating Musk’s head, with a gold-plated dogecoin chain attached to a goat’s body. The rocket can move and point towards the sky as if it is taking off. Gas lines run through it so flames can shoot backwards.

They transported it to Tesla Inc. say

headquarters, hoping that mr. Musk would accept the gift. The creators call the event “GOATSgiving.”

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But about two hours after the co-founders of Elon GOAT parked the sculpture right outside the Tesla building, there was no sign of Mr. Musk doesn’t.

Dustin Dailey, a security officer at Tesla, walked up to a group of about 15 people and said they could not remove the sculpture on behalf of Mr. Musk does not accept, but will find a place for it on their property if Mr. Musk gives the thumbs up. -on.

But so far Mr. Musk has not yet given any indication that he would accept it or whether he knew the image was there. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment

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“I’m pretty sure he knows about it,” said Mr. Dailey said of the sculpture. “It’s all over Twitter.”

Alec Wolvert, an Elon GOAT co-founder and chief marketing officer, said they plan to camp on a piece of public land along a toll road overlooking the headquarters until Mr. Musk accepted the sculpture.

“We are going to stay here as long as possible,” said Mr. Wolvert said. “I’ve even heard some people say they’re going to tie themselves to it.”

The idea of ​​the sculpture came together last year. “It was a prank that just came about,” said Ashley Sansalone, an Elon GOAT co-founder.

The cryptocurrency entrepreneurs asked Kevin Stone, a metal sculptor in British Columbia, Canada, to create the giant sculpture with Mr. to make Musk’s head. The goal: to mr. Getting Musk to tweet about the sculpture to his more than 118 million followers and draw attention to their cryptocurrency, the ElonBOK.

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Metal sculptor Kevin Stone worked on the sculpture of Elon Musk for almost six months.


Photo:

Kevin Stone

“Elon that we tweet will legitimize the sign,” Mr. Sansalone, 40 years old, said.

Mr. Sansalone said he works full-time on the sign and previously ran a construction company and traded energy. Unlike bitcoin, ether or dogecoin, the Elon GOAT token is far from a household cryptocurrency name. It ranks far outside the largest cryptocurrencies by market value, according to CoinMarketCap.

Mr. Musk’s head, which took nearly six months to complete, was designed by Mr. Stone made. The goat body and rocket were made by others in Phoenix to speed up the project, Mr. Sansalone said. Then all the pieces were assembled and attached to the back of a 70-foot long semi-truck trailer.

“When I first saw the statue, my jaw dropped,” said DeMarco Hill, 51, who saw it in September in Goodyear, Arizona, where he lives. He grabbed his 12-year-old son and they followed. “It was something you have never seen in your life.”

Mr. Hill, a truck driver who owns his own company, Stay Ready Trucking, thought the stunt was so entertaining that he called Mr. Sansalone and asked if he could participate. Mr. Sansalone said Mr. Hill is necessary because only someone with a special license could drive around the pile of metal.

He has since driven the sculpture through California, Arizona and Washington before bringing it to Texas. People who drive by, honk their horns or give a thumbs up, Mr. Hill said.

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The sculpture was parked outside Tesla’s headquarters.


Photo:

Adolfo Flores/The Wall Street Journal

“When I pull over on the side of the road, it’s like people gathering,” he said. “It’s getting crazy.”

Mr. Sansalone said the sculpture has received a mostly positive response. He has not yet heard that someone mr. Musk’s face was mistaken for someone else’s. “I would say he’s probably the most relevant person on the planet right now,” Mr. Sansalone said about mr. Musk, the world’s richest person who owns Twitter Inc. recently bought for $44 billion.

In September, the sculpture sat in front of Tesla’s office in Palo Alto, California, during the company’s artificial intelligence conference. Tesla employees crossed the street to take photos with the sculpture, Mr. Sansalone said. Mr. Musk was at the conference, according to Twitter posts he made, and Mr. Sansalone assumes the billionaire saw the sculpture.

“All there was to look at was an illuminated rocket set up in the middle of the street,” he said.

On Saturday night, the group remained hopeful.

At one point in the evening, a group of about 20 people waiting outside began chanting “Elon claim your goat” in the hope that the god of crypto, as one co-founder put it, would hear them.

“I’m a big fan of Elon and I want to give this man his flowers while he’s alive,” said Aamir Manzoor, a 36-year-old from Toronto who is an Elon GOAT holder. “He did a lot for the world.”

Mr. Sansalone said supporters and holders of the cryptocurrency left around 10pm on Saturday. The plan now that Mr. Musk has not accepted the sculpture is to take it on tour.

Founders of the sign are already planning an Elon Santa lineup for Christmas and the launch of a toy drive for children at hospitals, Mr. Sansalone said.

Write to Joseph Pisani at joseph.pisani@wsj.com, Alyssa Lukpat at alyssa.lukpat@wsj.com and Adolfo Flores at adolfo.flores@wsj.com

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