Meme-ing is for men, NFTs are for legends- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  It was recently announced the most viral YouTube video, ‘Charlie bit my finger’, will be sold as an NFT. Netizens were sad but the owner of the video seemed thrilled. An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a unique digital asset stored in blockchain. Any image, video or even a text moment like a viral tweet can be turned into an NFT and monetised further.

Until now, artistes have used NFTs to auction their art while Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet NFT and raised $2.9 million for charity.

In October 2020, Mike Winkelmann, a digital artiste popularly known as Beeple, sold an NFT of one of his artworks for a whopping $69 million, leaving the art world awed. Now, investors around the world are looking at Internet viral videos and it gets even more exciting here.

Speaking about this, Nischal Shetty, CEO and founder of the country’s largest bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange firm, WazirX, noted that the core idea of an NFT is about digital ownership of popular content.

“With NFTs, a particular piece of content could be created by someone and owned by someone else. Until now, influencers have not had any significant way of monetising their content, NFTs will be able to do that,” he says.

A celebrity or a writer could turn their work into an NFT, a unit of data stored on a blockchain, and monetise it in various ways while retaining the copyrights. Here are some viral Telugu videos that we think are perfect NFT material:

Kopadari Manishi – The infamous angry Telugu journalist

Krishna Mohan, a journalist working for a Telugu news channel, is fondly referred to as ‘kopadari manishi’ by netizens. The video, in which he takes a break from reading the news and gets angry with his colleague for not writing the news with proper punctuation, instantly struck a chord with Telugus. Who doesn’t love #GrammarNazi jokes! Now, the screenshots and the dialogues from this viral video have been turned into memes and kopadari manishi is a part of everyone’s digital life.

Actor Mohanbabu and the curious case of ‘Fasak’

Talking about a particular scene in one of the movies where his character instructs a person to kill his wife, making a hand gesture of slicing someone’s throat, Mohan Babu said, “Don’t kill so many like this. Only once. Fasak.” Now, Fasak is part of every Telugu’s vocabulary.

Mittu’s disastrous rant during a drunken-driving test

“Can you spell the word ‘psychology’?” Hyderabad Police were met with this Spelling Bee challenge from Mittu, a  resident of Madhapur. When asked to pay a fine for drunken driving, Mittu insulted the police on their language skills. This drunken rant inspired a series of memes and soon Mittu became an overnight star. Physics – The politician who studied Physics in his B.Com course

In an interview, Jaleel Khan, Vijayawada West TDP MLA started talking about his education and told the interviewer that Maths and Physics were his favourite subjects. When the interviewer countered him, Jaleel Khan got defensive and argued that Physics is also taught in a B.Com course. Though he clarified later that he confused his Intermediate subjects with those of B.Com, the earlier video continued to evoke laughter through memes and other spoof content.

Balakrishna throwing his phone at Sehari movie’s poster launch

Can you remember the last time this actor completed an event without giving out meme material for Telugu audiences? From his singing stint on a Telugu channel show to the recent poster launch of Sehari, Balakrishna hasn’t disappointed his fans — GenX, millenials, and even GenZ. At the poster launch, the actor pulled his mobile out of his pocket, seemingly annoyed at the call, and threw the phone onto the surrounding crowd in which a person caught it. Almost instantly, Telugu Twitter made countless memes and spoofs, and now the video is used all the time as a GIF in conversations.

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