AUSTIN, Texas — It can seem hard to avoid Elon Musk these days, especially if you live in Central Texas near Tesla and other companies led by the billionaire.
And if that weren't enough, self-described "massive Elon fans" are driving a giant sculpture of Musk's face — on the body of a goat, riding on a rocket — around the Austin area.
The owners of the sculpture run a cryptocurrency firm called Elon Goat Token and say it is meant to pay homage to Musk's contributions to cryptocurrency. The sculpture 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.
It sits on the back of a semi-trailer and is more than 30 feet long, 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, and lighting.
As a way to market and promote the cryptocurrency platform, Elon Goat Token owners hope to give Musk the statue in person.
While there's no telling if Musk will accept the sculpture, owners hope to deliver it on Saturday to Tesla headquarters after a company event, "GOATSgiving," a gathering for fans of Musk and cryptocurrency. Attendees are invited to join the delivery as well.
Musk has yet to acknowledge that he is aware of the statue or say whether he will be in Austin that day.
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Richard Latimer, a co-founder of Elon Goat Token, said the sculpture has led to a lot of turned heads, playing well into the marketing goal to "just be crazy and out there."
“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," Latimer said.
Its creators say the monument to Musk cost $600,000 to build. The project was funded primarily through fees on cryptocurrency transactions and funding from cryptocurrency community members, the company's founders said.
What 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.
How did the Elon Musk sculpture come to be?
Ashley Sansalone, one of the crypto firm's founders, 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.
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.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Giant Elon Musk statue will be left at Tesla as gift from crypto fans