Animal Money

Animal Money is an economic experiment in auctioning off a piece of art as it's being created, with a Twitch livestream, a Uniswap pool, and the $ANIMAL ERC20 token.


This began as an experiment in an alternative auction mechanism where someone who accumulates a majority ownership of the $ANIMAL ERC20 token on Uniswap can claim the primary piece of art (the original painting, and an exclusive NFT) while other $ANIMAL buyers can claim secondary pieces of art (quality prints, with limited run NFTs). An additional twist is that the process of creating the painting is being livestreamed on Twitch, while the auction is happening. We were curious if seeing the painting come together would affect the behavior of $ANIMAL buyers as they try to accumulate a majority share. Once we had the $ANIMAL token and Uniswap pool, we began to think about other use cases for the token and how a creator token can create a renewable economic benefit to the artist. We decided to expand the utility of the token to include the right to mint exclusive NFTs of pieces of art in Animal Money's back catalog. As the artist accepts payment in their own token, in this case, $ANIMAL, he can cash out by trading the $ANIMAL back into the Uniswap pool. This allows the artist to benefit from any increase in the market price of $ANIMAL from fans or speculators who buy $ANIMAL tokens, either because they want to buy the artists' future NFTs themselves, or they think other people will. Twitch: Uniswap pool: Website: Instagram: Twitter thread:

Animal Money showcase

How it's made

We used Hardhat to deploy a basic OpenZeppelin ERC20 token and set up a Uniswap pool through the web3 interface. The hardest part, honestly, was swallowing the gas fees. Lessons learned: We could have done a better job in setting the initial price for $ANIMAL, which was too low at ~$1, and setting the threshold to win the original artwork, which was too high at 50%. We can correct that by setting lower prices for future art + NFTs (like 10 $ANIMAL) and seeding another liquidity pool with a higher initial price, which should correct the price on Uniswap through arbitrage.

Technologies used