Irene Zhao (IreneDAO)
Yuqing Irene Zhao, also popularly known as IreneDAO, is a 28-year-old Chinese influencer and model based in Singapore. She is best known for having launched her own series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) labelled IreneDAO in January 2022, and having reportedly earned up to S$7.5 million in trading volume just after 10 days.
Early Life and Career
According to LinkedIn, Irene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and New Media from the National University of Singapore (NUS), having studied there from 2012 - 2017.
After graduating from NUS, she worked as a commodity broker for globalORE, an e-commerce solutions provider for physical iron ore trading and price discovery. She also worked as an freelance Instagram influencer, working with various companies such as Huawei, Shopee and Lazada for their online advertising campaigns.
In January 2020, she was appointed Chief Marketing Officer at Konomi Network, a decentralised finance and fintech company. She left the company in January 2022.
In December 2021, Irene co-founded So-Col (short for Social Collectibles) together with business partner Benjamin Tang, where she is currently working at. According to its company profile So-Col offers a blockchain-based decentralised finance platform which “aims to help content creators monetize their content by converting social media content into NFTs, and build communities with their fans”.
Notable Media Mentions
The launch of IreneDAO NFT series
In a media interview, Irene said that the idea of launching NFTs was first inspired when she created a sticker pack of herself on Telegram for her fans, and a fan later suggested that she mint them as NFTs. Taking in the suggestion, she subsequently tokenised the stickers into a collection of 1,106 NFTs, and hosted them on NFT marketplace Opensea on 14 January 2022.
The collection is labelled IreneDAO, consisting of her name and the term ‘DAO’ which stands for ‘decentralised autonomous organisation’, an online investment club based around cryptocurrency. The slogan for the collection is SIMP: Simplicity, Integrity, Meaning, and Purpose.
Each IreneDAO image features an image of Irene with a mint-green background, and flanked by popular crypto slogans such as “up only”, “have fun staying poor” and “damp it”. As of 26 Jan 2022, the cheapest NFT (“SIMP”), is priced at 0.8 Ethereum worth approximately S$2,500, while the most expensive NFT (“have fun staying poor”) is priced at 1,000 Ethereum, worth over S$3.1 million.
Irene’s NFT collection has amassed a total trading volume of approximately 2,300 Ethereum, worth over S$7.5million within just 10 days of launch. Notable personalities who have bought her NFTs include Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz and YouTuber Logan Paul.
References / Citations
- Kow, Zi Shan. “S'pore-based influencer Irene Zhao rakes in S$7.5 million in 10 days via NFTs of crypto memes”. Mothership. 24 January, 2022. Accessed 25 January 2022.
- Zhao, Irene. “Irene Zhao LinkedIn Profile”. LinkedIn. Accessed 25 January 2022.
- Wright, Keira. “IreneDAO NFTs causing a stir on crypto Twitter”. CoinTelegraph. 18 January, 2022. Accessed 25 January 2022.
- Rashid, Amierul. “Simping for Irene Zhao: Singapore-based influencer's photos generate $7.5m as NFTs”. AsiaOne. 24 January, 2022. Accessed 25 January 2022.
- Seng, Sabrina. “S’pore Influencer Irene Zhao Sells NFT Memes, Makes $7.5M In 10 Days”. Mustsharenews. 25 January, 2022. Accessed 25 January 2022.
- Gottsegen, Will. “Simpin' Ain't Easy: The Business Sense Behind IreneDAO”. Yahoo! News. 21 January, 2022. Accessed 25 January 2022.
- IreneDAO. “IreneDAO NFT Collection”. Opensea. Accessed 26 January 2022.