Metal Tech

Are Mastodon Financial Geniuses for Selling Their New Album via BitCoin?


So much for Mastodon not taking risks. Given, you might still be disappointed by the music on Mastodon’s forthcoming album Once More ‘Round Sun (or you might love it — who knows?), but making the album available for purchase using BitCoin is most certainly a risk. It’s also a really fucking cool idea.

Rapper 50 Cent made headlines earlier this month by becoming the first major artist (to my knowledge) to make his album available for sale using BitCoin. Mastodon are most certainly the first major artist in the heavy metal sphere to do so.

Sure, Mastodon appear hip and get to grab all the headlines by embracing BitCoin, but this news goes far beyond that: the value of a BitCoin fluctuates over time, like any currency does, so Mastodon could stand to gain — or lose — a significant amount of money on this little publicity stunt.

Mastodon are selling Once More Round the ‘Sun for approximately 0.017 BitCoins, the equivalent of $10.99 USD in today’s value. One BitCoin is currently valued at $642.22, according to, but less than a week ago the value of one BitCoin reached as much as $662.46 and as recently as November 2013 one BitCoin was valued at only $239.29. Very much like a stock, the value of BitCoin is constantly fluctuating based on supply, demand and speculation.

So, let’s do some math to see how Mastodon’s investment might play out. Here’s a historical chart from showing the value of 1 BTC from January 2, 2013 through today:

BitCoin 2013-2014


Lots of fluctuation! Obviously Mastodon and their record label Reprise are betting that the value will continue to rise long-term. If they’d pulled this stunt in November of 2013 when $10.99 was the equivalent of 0.046 BTC, they’d have nearly tripled their money by now: the $10,990 they’d grossed by selling 1,000 albums would now be worth $29,542.12! They’d be kicking themselves for not having sold their BitCoins at peak value of $1,147.25 on December 4, 2013, though: if they’d done so they’d have grossed $52,773.50, almost FIVE TIMES the amount of money they’d have earned if they just sold the same 1,000 albums via good old fashioned U.S. dollars.

The other side of that equation, of course, is that the value of BitCoins could lose money. Aside from the aforementioned December spike, BitCoins are more or less at an all-time high in value right now. That’s a risk that the band and label are apparently willing to take.

Anyway… buy Once More ‘Round the Sun using BitCoin here if you so desire! You’ll get instant downloads of both “High Road” and “Chimes at Midnight” and a 320kbps MP3 download of the full album on release date, June 24th.

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