March 2, 2021

Cryptheory

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Russian Man Turns Video of Him Eating Live Bat Into NFT

2 min read

Russian performance artist Petr Davydtchencko has created a non-fungible token (NFT) of a video that depicts him eating a living bat in front of the European Parliament—and put it up for auction with a minimum bid of $4,500.

Why did he eat a bat, you ask? To protest Big Pharma, obviously.

“To those deeply hurt and offended by my action, I suggest you aim your anger at a bigger threat. The EU takes millions in lobbying money from pharmaceutical companies every year,” Davydtchenko explained in a press release shared with Decrypt, adding, “If the death of one living creature raises awareness of the millions of deaths as a result of government-sanctioned corporate manslaughter then I feel it is necessary.”

A man eating a bat
A still from the video, which is being sold as an NFT. Image: Petr Davydtchencko.

Non-fungible tokens are a special type of digital assets. Each one is unique, allowing for digital scarcity and enabling them to soar in value.

To financially support his cause, Davydtchencko is currently auctioning off the NFT on digital marketplace OpenSea. The starting bid is 2.5 Wrapped Ethereum (WETH)—an Ethereum-based token with its value pegged to Ethereum (ETH) itself—or roughly $4,540 at current prices. However, no bids have been placed so far.

Maybe that’s because apart from obvious ethical controversies, eating live animals—or even parts of them—is illegal in many countries under animal cruelty laws. Namely, in the EU, where the “performance” took place, “intentional harm to the life of an animal” is punishable by a €1,500 ($1,820) fine while “acts of cruelty” and “serious injury” could result in a €30,000 ($36,400) fine and/or two years in prison.

This is not the first bat-eating rodeo for Davydtchencko. Last June, a video of him eating another bat, reportedly procured somewhere in a cave in the south of France, went on show in Italy. And even prior to that, he has already been living off of roadkills for quite some time now.

“Petr Davydtchenko is a Russian artist born in Arzamas 16 – a closed military bunker in Russia. In 2017, he commited (sic) to living life on the run, dedicating his work to the cultivation of road kill as sustenance,” according to Davydtchencko’s account on OpenSea.

As Decrypt reported, the crypto art scene has been booming lately, with NFTs selling for outrageous prices. In January, for example, Rick & Morty creator Justin Roiland sold his debut crypto art collection for roughly $1.65 million in total. And now NBA Top Shots are the new big thing.

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