Why Was There an $11.7 Million Gold Cube in Central Park? Crypto, Of Course



For one day only, a solid gold cube weighing over 400 pounds was on display in New York’s Central Park. Why? It was a part of European artist Niclas Castello’s foray into cryptocurrency.

Castello created the gold cube with his digital currency and NFTs in mind. NFTs are cryptographically unique tokens that demonstrate ownership over a digital or physical asset. The artist’s token, Castello Coin ($CAST), does not yet have data on CoinMarketCap, but the tokens are being sold on his website for $0.45 each. U.S. residents are not allowed to buy though, likely due to regulatory concerns, and investors must spend a minimum of $1,144 to get in.

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Castello told Arnnet that he designed the physical cube as “a conceptual work of art in all its facets” with the aim of creating “something that is beyond our world—that is intangible.”

The cube was cast in Arau, Switzerland, using 24-carat, 999.9 gold. It is not for sale, but it has an estimated value of $11.7 million. The cube is a few feet high, about the size of a tree stump or a stool. Castello’s cube was installed in New York City’s Central Park at 5am ET yesterday and remained there—flanked by a team of security guards—until sundown. The New York Times has called the cube “Instagram bait.”

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According to Castello’s website, the cube links “the classical to the digital world” with the aim of onboarding more people into the world of cryptocurrency. He views $CAST as “digital gold” and created the token in Switzerland, like the cube itself. $CAST was developed by Swiss blockchain company DSENT AG.

As for what $CAST could be used for, it isn’t yet clear. The marketing surrounding the token says its use cases are for the “promotion of artistic talent,” to “invest in exclusive products” and to buy NFTs, but little other information is currently known.

Castello will be auctioning some NFTs on February 21, which have not yet been revealed.

The gold cube can be considered a physical representation of the $CAST token, and perhaps even crypto more generally and Bitcoin, specifically. Bitcoin is often referred to as “digital gold” because investors consider it a hedge against inflation, similar to its physical counterpart. Blockchain networks, such as the one that underpins Bitcoin, also gather information in “blocks.”

So Castello’s solid gold block could be, in some ways, the ultimate physical metaphor for cryptocurrency.




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