Student Lists His Soul as an NFT (Seriously)

We’ve all heard of the concept of selling one’s soul. But what is the value of a soul? Worldwide fame? A huge fortune? Well, for one Hague art academy student, the value of his soul is the cost of an NFT.

You read that right; Stijn van Schaik, a student of the Hague art academy, has listed an NFT for sale on OpenSea. This NFT is not for a piece of art, a meme, or a digital item. Instead, it is for his own soul. 

Deals With the Devil

On Schaik’s profile, a message reads, “Hello person, welcome to my profile. I am selling my soul on here. Feel free to ask me anything about me or my soul while I still own it.”

The soul in question is minted on the Polygon blockchain and is being sold for .11 ETH. So, what do you get when you buy the NFT of a soul? According to Schaik’s official website and profile, the owner of his soul NFT gets the right to publicly declare themselves the owner of his soul.

They might also transfer ownership of his soul to anyone else that they desire, sacrifice it to a deity, and use the soul in any way they wish. While this might seem like an elaborate prank, it is very real.

It is not clear how or if the contract can be enforced but there is a rather interesting disclaimer attached to the terms and conditions. 

“In the event that Stinus’ ‘Soul’ does not exist as an independent entity outside of the whole “one-ness” of reality as commonly described in some belief systems, and in the event that this belief about the nature of reality reflects actual reality, this contract will remain in effect for whatever period of time or non-time and to whatever degree that Stinus’ immaterial essence is distinguishable in any form, manner, or state of being from the sum whole of immaterial or material existence.”

This disclaimer suggests that the contract is only binding for as long as the ‘soul’ itself of the seller continues to exist. While this might spark a complicated discussion on the validity of souls and the ethics of selling them, this whole incident does test the limit of what we can or should do with NFTs. 

The Worth of a (Digital) Soul 

Believe it or not, this is not the first time that a person is trying to sell their soul online. Back in 2004, a man listed his soul for sale on eBay but the listing was eventually taken down. While this new listing by Schaik makes for a funny pop culture moment, it does bring into question the limits of NFTs. 

It’s been said in the past that practically anything can be minted as an NFT. We’ve seen it with things like memes and tweets but a soul is perhaps one of the more interesting on the market. For now, it is only a matter of time before you find out if anyone bought Schaik’s soul and if others will be listing theirs.

Tokoni Uti

Tokoni Uti

Tokoni Uti is a freelance writer from Lagos, Nigeria who has written extensively on blockchain and cryptocurrency for years. Her work has appeared on sites like BTCmanager and Blockchain Reporter. She has a degree in Corporate Communications.

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