Speaking to us , marketcap.guide founder Sam Feldman said he had deployed more than 100 billboards around the Texas capital city since July, each sharing a different message on Bitcoin (BTC), nonfungible tokens, and other aspects of the crypto space. Though the ads are aimed at encouraging adoption, funding for many of them came from tokenizing drone photos of the billboards and selling the resultant NFT.
The project claims to have spent more than $624,000 on the existing billboards before fully launching sales of the NFTs on Solana (SOL). According to Feldman, he plans to use 70% of the revenue from sales — bids are as high as $450 at the time of publication — to fund future billboards, with the remainder going to his team.
“It’s not just that we’re selling people a picture of a billboard,” said Feldman. “We’re asking people to believe in this idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy of billboards around the world where the more people that believe in it, the more it happens and happens and the more awareness spreads.”
Austin is already home to a number of crypto and blockchain firms as well as tech companies like Tesla. With so many billboards placed around the city over the last seven months, many residents have taken notice, with mixed reactions.
“Nobody has to put up billboards saying ‘the stock market is real’ or ‘gold is real’ or ‘real estate is real’ because they’re, well, obviously real and have intrinsic value,” said Redditor jimatx. “If you have to buy billboards to convince people your asset is real then maybe it ain’t so real.”
Feldman said though one of the billboard companies initially asked for a disclaimer similar to that of a political ad, the path in posting the pro-crypto messages has largely been clear of regulatory and legal hurdles. The marketcap.guide team may be looking at Miami and Los Angeles for the next rollout of billboards depending on how the campaign works in Austin.
“Our goal is that this billboard campaign will plant the seeds of understanding that there’s actually something to crypto,” said Feldman. “These short messages […] help people think in a not overly politicized, overly shill way.”
Austin has slowly become a hub for many crypto firms looking for friendly regulators and lawmakers. Texas Governor Greg Abbott previously hinted that he wanted the state to follow Wyoming’s example in passing more crypto-friendly legislation and become a “crypto leader” for BTC payments. Many crypto miners operating in Texas are temporarily powering down in response to a winter storm passing through the state this week.