Why there’s an Elon Musk goat statue in Austin, Texas
If you live in Central Texas, it can seem hard to avoid Elon Musk these days. Tesla and other companies led by the billionaire seem to be constantly adding to their Austin presence, and Musk himself seems to never be out of the news cycle.
And if that weren’t enough, now there is a giant sculpture of Musk’s face — on the body of a goat, riding on a rocket — being driven around the Austin area.
No, we’re not kidding.
The owners of the sculpture are self-described “massive Elon fans” and run a cryptocurrency firm called Elon Goat Token. They say the sculpture was created in Elon’s honor, and it is intended to symbolize that Musk is the GOAT — an acronym for Greatest Of All Time — which is why the billionaire’s head is on the body of a goat.
The sculpture’s owners plan a “GOATSgiving,” a cryptocurrency- and Musk-themed event, on Saturday in Austin, and say they hope to deliver the sculpture to Musk by the end of the week.
The whole plan might seem far-fetched and probably has left most people who see it around town with a lot of questions. While there’s no telling if Musk will accept the sculpture, the American-Statesman has gotten at least some answers about the situation:
Is this real?
Yes, this is real. Musk can be a polarizing figure, but he has some very loyal fans. When Tesla held its grand opening party in April for its Autin manufacturing facility, people flew in from around the country, even without tickets, to try to get into the party, and people even moved to South Texas to be near a facility operated by Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX.
The owners of the sculpture say it is meant to pay homage to Musk and his contributions to cryptocurrency.
The sculpture in part is also to promote the Elon Goat Token, a digital token and cryptocurrency platform. The social media posts for the sculpture call it the world’s first “Crypto token marketing concept.”
The website says that the founders “believe that Elon’s potential acceptance of this biblical-sized gift could catapult $EGT (the symbol for the accompanying cryptocurrency) into the limelight and accelerate its various initiatives.”
Richard Latimer, a co-founder of Elon Goat Token, said the sculpture has led to a lot of turned heads, photos and questions, playing well into the marketing goal to “just be crazy and out there.”
We threw the idea together over a long night. It was a 3 am idea with a long conversation behind it,” Latimer said. “We dedicated the statue to (Elon Musk) because he stepped in for crypto at a good point and blew everything up. With everything he has done with (cryptocurrencies) ) Doge and Baby Doge and a few other coins, we decided why not do the same thing, but really go out there and go above and beyond and to bring something to him.
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How big is this thing, and what did it cost?
Its creators say the monument to Musk cost $600,000 to build.
It sits on the back of a semi-trailer and is more than 30 feet long, with the goat body, which sits on the rocket, taking up the majority of the length. It’s also 20 feet tall, and Musk’s head, which is wearing a Dogecoin necklace, is about 6 feet tall. The sculpture also includes such features as simulated rocket fire, smoke, lasers, lighting and music.
What is the plan for the monument?
The cryptocurrency firm plans to gift the sculpture to Elon Musk on Saturday, but not without kicking off the delivery day with a party. On Saturday, Elon Goat Token plans to host “GOATSgiving,” a gathering of Musk and cryptocurrency fans. The event, which begins at 2 pm and is open to the public, will take place at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack, where the organizers plan to hang out for about three or four hours, play music and gather as many Tesla drivers as possible.
The sculpture will then be taken to Tesla headquarters. Attendees also are invited to join the drive to Tesla’s headquarters, which moved to the site of the company’s southeastern Travis County manufacturing facility last year.
Ashley Sansalone, one of the crypto firm’s founders, told the Statesman: “We’re going to deliver it to Elon on the 26th and just hope he takes it.”
Musk has yet to acknowledge that he is aware of the statue or say whether he will be in Austin that day.
“In a perfect world, he’d meet us there; we really have no idea. We’re not in communication with him, so we don’t know what he’s thinking. We know there is a good chance he knows what’s going on.” Sansalone said. “But this is very random and impromptu.”
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What, exactly, is an Elon Goat Token?
Cryptocurrency is a type of digital asset that can be used to make online payments and can come in different forms, each with different values, from Bitcoin to Dogecoin, a type of meme coin that has been a favorite of Musk’s. The billionaire first gave his support to bitcoin in 2021 when he bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin through Tesla, though the company sold off most of it early this year. Musk has since been more into Dogecoin, which is based on the Shiba Inu meme, and occasionally tweets about cryptocurrency.
The team behind the Elon Goat token operates a platform for cryptocurrency users to list their own tokens and cryptocurrency. The firm founders also have an “Elon GOAT Club” and NFT collection. NFT, short for a non-fungible token, is a type of collectible digital asset you can buy and sell. In this case, the firm also has goat-themed NFTs that people are able to buy, sell and collect.
How did this all come together? How long did it take?
Sansalone said that the project started after he was asked to consult on an Elon NFT project, which led to the idea of building a physical monument of the Elon GOAT NFT project.
After consulting a designer in California, they decided it made the most sense to put it on a trailer. With the statue movable, Sansalone said it made sense to just drive it to Musk.
As soon as he came up with that idea, I just said, ‘Well, let’s just drop it off with Elon then if we’re going to make an Elon Goat on a trailer.’ We’ll just give it to him,” Sansalone said.
The actual construction of the sculpture started about a year ago, and before it came to Austin, it toured a number of states, including Arizona, Washington and California.
Sansalone said most people who see the sculpture in person have had positive reactions, though he acknowledged that online the statue has received some negative comments from people who, he said, are “against capitalism or Elon.”
“We started a token project around it and built a community around it. And just been a really fun, interesting journey, to say the least,” Sansalone said.
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How did they pay for this?
The $600,000 project was funded primarily through fees on cryptocurrency transactions and funding from cryptocurrency community members, the company’s founders said.
“The volume from community members buying and selling the cryptocurrency goes into a marketing wallet, a developing wallet. And then we paid for it through the development and the marketing, which is just this idea, essence,” Sansalone said. “That’s what’s really the focus of the whole project.”