Web3 initiative Reli3f has raised over $1.5 million for Ukrainian relief efforts

Reli3f, a humanitarian initiative born of an innate artistic commitment to telling stories in troubled times, launched its second Nonfungible Token (NFT) collection on Thursday, raising over $300,000 for recognized Ukrainian charities and raising its grand total raised over $1.5 million.

Founded in late February this year by several respected Web3 entrepreneurs – Satvik Sethi, Andrew Wang, Giovanni Gussen, Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, Raskalov and developer SignorCrypto – Reli3f has brought together the talents of 62 artists around the world to realize the enormous philanthropic potential of NFTs to demonstrate for social good.

The team chose to spread the fund of the first collection across a number of companies, including 46.25 ETH each to Razom Ukraine, Serhiy Prytula Foundation, Valery Sozanovsky Headquarters and CEO Club – as evidenced by the Gnosis Multi-Sig wallet. Another 40 ETH was donated equally to Outright Action International and Web3 For Africans in Ukraine via the Royalty fund.

The team welcomed the dynamism and cultural engagement of their first collection – which included acclaimed artist fvckrender, Cool Cats co-founder, Clon and Creature World creator Danny Cole – and reiterated their commitment to support the matter of releasing a second series.

Drop 2 featured Reli3f team member Aleksandra Artamonovskaya alongside Coolman universe creator Danny Casale and music icon Sia under her alias Bianca ‘de Medici, among many others.

According to Sethi, only five of the thirty-seven artists featured in the debut collection chose to withhold their earnings and, in those cases, only send funds to their loved ones in Ukraine or to improve personal circumstances.

All other funds were reallocated back to the charitable treasury, a trend repeated in the second collection.

Drop 2 showcased a variety of artistic disciplines from a generative algorithmic piece based on the artist’s unique hash seed, as in Gavin Li’s “Motherland,” a defiantly symbolic photograph depicting a righteous protester during the Maidan revolution in Ukraine in February 2014 in Den Didenko’s “Ray of Freedom from Darkness” to a visually playful, thematically intricate Hidden-Object Picture Book like in Sergius’ “Revelation”.

Pictured: Gavin Li’s Motherland

Cointelegraph Tech Reporter Tom Farren spoke with Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, Satvik Sethi and Andrew Wang to learn more about the project’s original origins, artists’ willingness to participate, and the future of Reli3f amid operationally agile models for the decentralized autonomous organization to learn (DAOs).

This Zoom interview has been slightly adjusted for clarity and adapted to reading restrictions.

“What’s interesting about this drop is that there are many artists who have never made an impact before or don’t consider themselves traditional NFT artists. We tried to be really balanced and not just take famous people, but people who come from different regions and have different life stories.” – Artamonovskaya

Realizing the occurrence of gas wars in Drop 1, the team agreed to change the mechanics for Drop 2 and provide a Blind Mint Open Edition where all interested parties had the opportunity to create as many as they wished for within fifteen minutes a to buy price of 0.05 ETH.

In total, Drop 2 raised 86 ETH during the minting period, equal to $260,000, and has since traded another 21 ETH on OpenSea at the time of writing.

Artamonovskaya: “I was in Ukraine between mid-January and mid-February and was feeling a bit depressed because reading the news and seeing the things people were writing would kind of scare you. And then I remember that moment when my dad came home and gifted me this set of pastels and black paper. I’ve influenced photography before and done some glitch art, but I haven’t really drawn in pastels since middle school.

“One day I was sad, so I started drawing. I shared my art on Instagram and one of the collectors who follow me said if you mint this I’ll buy it. I thought what, really?! [laughs].” These two pieces were subsequently sold on OpenSea for 0.25 ETH each.

Her piece for Reli3fs Drop 2, entitled Alba Dreaming of Home, was inspired by both a stenciled mural of a dog in her hometown and Banksy’s infamous Balloon Girl, attempting to capture the pain of displacement and lack of belonging through it Eyes of a household companion so important to the lives of many modern families.

Artamonovskaya speaks from his own experience as a Ukrainian citizen said that “Without momentum, it can become a war stuck in our territory and just become the norm. We just want this to end so people can go home and start rebuilding.”

Sethi gave some insight into the achievements of the first drop, revealing that they “had tons of artists who reached out to us and said, ‘Why didn’t you ask us to be a part of it and we’d love to help?’ ‘ after witnessing the virus exposure.

Sethi also explained that Drop 2 “was a month in the making” and that “we didn’t set ourselves a time limit” like that first collection, but that the creation process is organic.

The burgeoning of Web3 digital communities, originally on Clubhouse and now predominantly on Twitter, has enabled what Wang calls the “power of network effects.” In other words, the easily accessible and rapidly scalable capacity for influencers and luminaries to catalyze social and cultural innovation within the space.

“I think what made Reli3f interesting for a lot of people was that it wasn’t just a use case for the freedom to transact via crypto, or even a use case for using art to donate, but a use case for the like Community can be called to action almost instantly.” – Wang

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Clarifying the principles of both investment and social DAOs, Wang shared an insightful perspective that DAOs “do not have to exist forever or long-term,” going on to say that “sometimes DAOs can be really effective when it comes to making a… To get benefit – fall or do something for a specific goal at a specific time and then afterwards either dissipate or slow things down until needed again.

He cited the Constitution DAO as a prime example of an initiative created solely to buy the United States Constitution. Although their first attempt was unsuccessful, they could use the oscillatory nature of their model to reform if necessary.

With that ideology in mind, he ended the conversation by saying, “I think Reli3f can help build the future, but it doesn’t have to be the future.”