Irene Zhao is a Singapore-based Instagram model who recently found great fortune in the non-fungible token (NFT) business. Her foray into the blockchain sector has been nothing short of extraordinary. Though she earned millions in her IreneDAO collection, her net worth in 2022 is still unknown. But as she just found her breakthrough, her value is just starting to rise.
Zhao is originally from Jiangxi, China. In 2008, she relocated to Singapore from her homeland as a teen. She went to the National University of Singapore to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in communication and media.
She landed her first job in globalORE as a commodity broker. But back in college, she decided to start an Instagram account, which she then used as a platform to be an influencer. She had the chance to collaborate with well-known brands in Asia like Acmé De La Vie and Zalora.
Now, she is close to reaching 430,000 IG followers. However, Irene felt that she was earning enough. So, she turned to the cryptocurrency space, working initially at KONOMI NETWORK, a crypto asset management company.
It began as a Telegram sticker pack, and a fan of Zhao under the alias “libevm” proposed that they be made into an NFT collection. Ghozali, a fellow Indonesian online personality who made $1 million from 1,000 photos minted as NFTs, inspired this idea.
And that they did. With libevm and business associate Benjamin Tang, she created the IreneDAO NFT collection and made it available on OpenSea in January 2022. Buying at least one of her 1,106 stickers also entitles you to join IreneDAO’s Genesis Tribe.
Irene likened her campaign to a decentralized version of membership subscriptions, like in OnlyFans and Patreon. Their slogan is “Simplicity, Integrity, Meaning, and Purpose,” or SIMP. Big figures such as Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz and Logan Paul were drawn to it.
In around 40 minutes after launch, 500 of her NFTs sold out. And in less than two weeks, it had a trading volume of around $5.5 million. The floor price is estimated to be $4,668 worth of ETH.
She stated the real earnings were closer to $300,000 once the news of her NFTs went viral. The rest of the revenue they amassed went to the IreneDAO community.
Zhao also said that funds raised from the project will be directed to the IreneDAO network, which will be utilized to test the best ways to integrate Web3 into their future goals.
As it turns out, the concept around her NFT collection is an experiment of something bigger to come. Irene had no intention of keeping any of the money she made from her collection.
She had just meant for this release to serve as a proof of concept or a new strategy for creators to get compensated. Zhao has been working nonstop on So-Col, or Social Collectibles, her own decentralized social media network.
With the transition to Web 3.0, content creators like Zhao will be able to collect revenues straight from their fans instead of going through a middleman like YouTube or Instagram in the present Web 2.0.