The project, which was founded in the days following the conflict’s outbreak, has received widespread praise from the Web3 community for its conscientious intentions.
Reli3f, a humanitarian initiative founded on the innate artistic commitment to telling stories in times of adversity, launched its second nonfungible token (NFT) collection on Thursday, raising over $300,000 (R4.4 mil) for recognized Ukrainian charities and bringing their total to more than $1.5 million (R22 mil).
Reli3f, founded in late February this year by several esteemed Web3 entrepreneurs — Satvik Sethi, Andrew Wang, Giovanni Gussen, Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, Raskalov, and developer SignorCrypto — has brought together the talents of 62 artists from around the world to demonstrate the enormous philanthropic potential of NFTs for social good.
As evidenced by the Gnosis multi-sig wallet, the team chose to distribute the first collection’s fund across a variety of enterprises, including 46.25 ETH each to Razom Ukraine, Serhiy Prytula Foundation, Valery Sozanovsky Headquarters, and CEO Club. The royalties fund also provided an additional 40 ETH to Outright Action International and Web3 For Africans in Ukraine.
With the release of a second series, the team reaffirmed their commitment to supporting the cause, building on the momentum and cultural advocacy of their first collection, which featured renowned artist fvckrender, co-founder of Cool Cats, Clon, and creator of Creature World, Danny Cole.
Drop 2 featured Reli3f team member Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, the creator of the Coolman Universe, Danny Casale, and music icon Sia as Bianca ‘de Medici, among others.
According to Sethi, only five of the thirty-seven artists featured in the debut collection chose to keep their revenue royalties, and in those cases, it was solely to transfer funds to loved ones in Ukraine or to improve personal circumstances.
All remaining funds were returned to the charitable treasury, a pattern that was repeated in the second collection.
Drop 2 featured a wide range of artistic disciplines, from a generative algorithmic piece based on the artist’s unique hash seed, as seen in Gavin Li’s ‘Motherland,’ to a defiantly symbolic photograph depicting a righteous protester during the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in February 2014, as seen in Den Didenko’s ‘Ray of freedom out of darkness,’ to a visually playful, thematically intricate wimmelbilderbuch, as seen “What’s interesting about this drop is that there are a lot of artists who have never minted a work before, or who do not consider themselves traditional NFT artists.” We tried to be very balanced, taking people from different regions and with different life stories rather than just famous people.” Artamonovskaja
Recognizing the occurrence of gas wars in drop 1, the team agreed to change the mechanics for drop 2, deploying a blind-mint open edition in which all interested parties could purchase as many as they wanted within a fifteen-minute time period for a price of 0.05 ETH.
“I was in Ukraine from mid-January to mid-February and was feeling a little down because of the news and seeing what people were going through.
Artamonovskaja stated, speaking from personal experience as a Ukrainian citizen, that “Without momentum, it could become a war that is stuck on our territory and becomes the norm. We simply want this to be over so that people can return home and begin rebuilding.”
Following the viral success of the first drop, Sethi revealed that “tons of artists were reaching out to us saying ‘why didn’t you ask us to be a part of this, and we’d love to help’.”
Sethi also revealed that Drop 2 has been “a month in the making,” and that “we didn’t give ourselves a time constraint” like the first collection, preferring to allow the creative process to unfold naturally. You’d be scared if you read what we’re writing. Then I recall my father coming home one day and giving me this set of pastels and black paper. I’ve done some glitch art and minted photography before, but I haven’t drawn with pastels since middle school.”
“One day I was feeling sad, so I started drawing. I shared my art on Instagram, and one of the collectors that follow me said that if you mint this, I’ll buy it. I was like what, really?! [laughs].” Those two pieces subsequently sold for 0.25 ETH each on OpenSea.
During the minting period, the drop 2 raised 86 ETH, which is equivalent to $260,000, (R3.8 mil) and has since traded an additional 21 ETH on OpenSea at the time of writing.
The emergence of Web3 digital communities, initially on Clubhouse and now primarily on Twitter, has enabled what Wang refers to as the “power of network effects” to take place. In other words, the capacity for influencers and luminaries to catalyze social and cultural innovation within a space that is easily accessible and rapidly scalable.
Wang shared an insightful perspective that DAOs “don’t have to exist forever, or for the long-term,” adding that “sometimes DAOs can be really effective at putting out a use-case or doing something towards a specific goal at a specific moment in time, and then either disband or slow things down until they are needed again.”
He cited Constitution DAO as an example of an initiative created solely to purchase the United States Constitution. Although they were unsuccessful in their first attempt, they could use the oscillating nature of their model to reform if and when necessary.
With that ideology in mind, he concluded the conversation, “I think Reli3f can help build the future, but it doesn’t have to be the future.”