What are NFTs? Iconic internet memes & collectibles being sold for thousands
The NFT boom might have cooled off over the last few months from when they were everywhere in early 2021, but the blockchain collectibles are still raking in thousands of dollars. So… what are they exactly?
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are collectible assets that can be bought and sold for other cryptocurrencies, such as Etherium or Bitcoin. They have picked up widespread attention and adoption in 2021, with some selling for millions of dollars.
What are NFTs?
An NFT is technically a unit of data (think: lines of code) stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain which is public and viewable by anyone, that certifies a certain digital asset (the NFT) to be unique and therefore not interchangeable (or non-fungible).
Unlike Bitcoin where every coin is interchangeable or all the same, each NFT is different and therefore worth a different amount. So, NFTs are not cryptocurrency, but the two are closely related.
What makes an NFT?
NFTs can be used to represent things like pics, videos, audio, and practically any other type of digital file. Access to the original file is not restricted to the buyer of the NFT though, which is where you get the meme to just right-click and save an NFT instead of paying for it.
While these copies of the digital item can be obtained by anyone just like the meme says, NFTs are tracked on blockchains to provide owners with an official proof of ownership, though this is separate from copyright.
Speaking of memes, Zoë Roth, the subject of the famous “disaster girl” meme, sold an image of her grinning at a camera in front of a burning building on April 17, 2021 for 180 Ether, which is worth just under $500,000.
In 2007, the Disaster Girl image was picked up and repurposed online, and ultimately spread to every corner of the internet, retaining its popularity for more than a decade and up until now.
Chris Crocker, the star of the viral YouTube video “Leave Britney Alone,” also sold the video in which they passionately defended Britney Spears as an NFT for 8.69 ether in 2021, which amounted to roughly $41,000 at the time. Chris told Business Insider that the money would go towards helping their grandmother and paying for gender transition surgery.
Not only that but “David after dentist,” was also sold. The viral video from 2009 shows a 7-year-old David DeVore Jr. on strong medication after tooth extraction. He asks “is this real life?” before suddenly screaming.
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David’s family, working with NFT sales platform Views, closed the auction with a final buying price of 3.30 ETH, which worked out to roughly $11,500 when the 2021 deal went through.
Now, the creator behind the term “cheugy” has launched the word itself as an NFT and is currently taking bids. It was originally coined by 23-year-old Gaby Rasson who says the word is “used to describe anything that is untrendy, out of date, or trying too hard,” and it recently gained huge traction on TikTok.
If it follows the success of the others it could go for thousands, and it certainly won’t be the last with Views planning to sell NFTs related to the Pizza Rat and Neekolul’s Ok Boomer TikTok.