The above picture is the famous Nyan Cat meme that has been on the internet for ten years now. Given its digital presence, anyone can download the file. Many people must have sent the Nyan Cat gif in chats. When something is this publicly available for people to use, why was it bought for more than US$ 600,000? This is where NFT comes in.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. As the name suggests, these tokens are non-exchangeable as each of them have a unique property to it. Unlike fungible things like money or bitcoins, an NFT cannot be given a value and exchanged for another NFT of equal value.
Now, coming back to the Nyan Cat. In celebration of this viral half cat half pop tart meme’s tenth anniversary, its creator, Chris Torres, put an improvised Nyan Cat gif for auction. The gif was finally sold for about US$ 600,000. What the buyer got is an NFT that represents that they have ownership of the gif.
In other words, an NFT is a token that holds the value of owning a digital asset. The people who buy the NFT do not have the crypto art to themselves but rather a certificate that says they own it. NFTs have existed since 2014. It is only now that the NFT craze has boomed. However, Beeple, the digital artist who sold the most expensive crypto art said that crypto art is a bubble and it will burst in the future.
In the meantime, NFTs are being sold for millions of dollars. Here are some of the notable ones.
The different things that were sold as NFT
EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS for US$ 69,346,250
The well-known auction house Christie’s sold Mike Winkelmann’s (famously known as Beeple) digital art piece titled EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS. It was the first time a major auction sold a digital work. The NFT of this crypto art was sold at a record-breaking value of US$ 69 million, making it the most expensive JPG file ever sold to date. It was also the first time an auction house accepted a cryptocurrency – here Ether – as payment.
Before this Beeple has sold the NFTs of his other works too. To name a few, Crossroad and Crypto is Bullshit that sold for more than US$ 66,000 each.
CryptoPunks #3100 and #7804 for US$7.58 million and US$7.57 million respectively
CryptoPunks are ten thousand distinctive characters created by Larva Labs. Initially, anyone with the Ethereum wallet could buy it. However, given its limitations, all the CryptoPunks were sold. Now, people who own it are selling the NFT of the CryptoPunk they bought.
CryptoPunks #3100 and #7804 are two of the nine alien punks in the entire collection. These two were sold for US$7.58 million and US$7.57 million respectively. CryptoPunk #3100 is an alien wearing a headband. CryptoPunk #7804 is an alien wearing shade, a cap and smoking a pipe. Moreover, nine other CryptoPunks were auctioned at Christie’s and went for US$ 16.9 million collectively.
Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet for US$2,915,835.47
NFT is not only for pictures, gifs and videos but also words. Jack Dorsey, who is the CEO of Twitter, sold the NFT of Twitter’s very first tweet for US$2,915,835.47. He put the tweet on a website called Valuables where people can sell their tweets. Celebrities like Elon Musk, Kat Dennings, Soulja Boy and even Beeple have put their tweets on sale on this platform. The person who bought the tweet is Sina Estavi, the CEO of a blockchain company called Bridge Oracle. For anyone wondering why to spend that much on a tweet, Estavi referred to the tweet as the ‘Mona Lisa’ of tweets and added that it is worth more.
Forever Rose for US$ 1 million
Even before NFT gained its popularity, this particular crypto art by Kevin Abosch titled Forever Rose was sold for US$ 1 million in 2018. Ten buyers bought it together using cryptocurrency with each paying one-tenth of the price. According to Crowdfund Insider, “The Forever Rose is an ERC20 token called ROSE on the Ethereum blockchain that is based on Abosch’s photograph of a rose.” “The buyers each receive 1/10 of the ROSE token. The purchasers can decide to sell their partial rose.”
‘Disaster Girl’ Meme for US$ 473,000
Remember this picture of a girl in front of a burning house that went viral and became a meme? The girl in the picture is Zoë Roth and her father took this picture in 2005. Now about 15 years later, Roth has sold the NFT of this internet sensation for US$ 473,000. Ben Lashes, who helped in selling other internet memes like Doge, Success Kid and Grumpy Cat, also helped Roth make this sale. Roth said that she will be using part of the money to pay off her student loans and give the rest to charity.
A clip of Lebron James Dunking for US$ 400 thousand
NBA has its platform where the NFTs of the clips from the basketball games are being sold as collectables. When someone buys it, they get a digital token that says they own the video. They do not get a physical copy of the video or even the broadcasting rights. Among the many NBA clips sold on this platform called NBA Top Shot, Lebron James’ dunking, which honoured the late Kobe Bryant, was sold for US$ 387,600. It is estimated that more than US$ 230 million was spent selling and trading cards on the NBA Top Shot platform.
The Definition of NFT
While people are buying the NFT of different digital assets, soon someone will own Mariam Webster’s definition of NFT. Merriam Webster has put the definition for auction in the NFT sales platform called OpenSea. The highest bid is currently about US$ 21 thousand and the auction will end on May 15, 2021, at 11:59 AM CST.