All about the ‘meme-ification’ of NFTs


As the iconic ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ viral video is sold as an NFT for US$760,999, we look at the memes that have made headlines as an emerging crypto-art subculture

The iconic ‘Charlie bit my finger’ went viral 14 years ago, garnering over 800 million views since its drop. But the original video is no longer on YouTube.

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Why is that, you ask? The video has sold as an NFT (non-fungible token) for US $7,60,999, joining the band of early 2000s memes that have profited across de-fi (decentralised finance) spaces.

When the video, featuring now UK-based teenage brothers Charlie and Henry David-Carrs, went online in 2007, it also landmarked YouTube as an international family site for home-style vlog videos.

Viral videos and memes have been on the NFT bandwagon for a while. The iconic ‘Disaster Girl’ photo, a 2007 photo of Zoë Roth smiling at an burning home in her neighbourhood spread like wildfire across the web, sold in April for US$5,00,000.

In the same month, 10-year-old earworm ‘Nyan Cat’ — which sees a smiling, rainbow-emitting cat gliding through space — sold for US$8,50,000. Its creator Chris Torres has been vocal about crypto art offering meme creators like himself a way to directly profit off of work that has otherwise spread freely across the web.

‘Bad Luck Brian’ (whose real name is Kyle Craven), ‘Overly Attached Girlfriend’ (aka Laina Morris), and the adorable ‘Success Kid’, a photograph taken by Laney Griner of her son, Sam, have all sold in recent months as NFTs. Perhaps this is an interesting way for the crypto-space to archive Internet pop-culture history.

But the original meme NFT has to be the ‘Homer Pepe’, a piece of crypto art that looks like an amalgamation of the glum-faced, red-lipped Pepe the Frog and Homer Simpson. In 2018, online marketer Peter Kell purchased the ‘Rare Pepe,’ as it was known, for approximately US$39,000.

The NFT-craze gets weirder…

There have been some bizarre entities in NFT auctions, including Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet.

Roman Kropachek, an American serial IT entrepreneur, is auctioning the first-ever NFT-house on the moon with a starting bid of US$1,00,000. The project, in development by a team of architects and 3D visual artists with more than 1500 hours invested in its design, has received plenty of skepticism.

Meanwhile Brooklyn filmmaker Alex Ramirez-Mallis and four friends got together to turn audio recordings of their flatulence into NFT. The starting bid is roughly US$85.

So, which other memes or entities do you think would make interesting NFTs?



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