13 March 2023 14:17, UTC
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Nonfungible token (NFT) memes have brought mainstream attention to the world of NFTs and digital art, helping to expand the market and increase its legitimacy. The high prices paid for some NFT memes have demonstrated the value of online culture and the emotional connection that people can have to internet memes. NFT memes have also created a new way for creators and artists to monetize their work, potentially leading to new opportunities and revenue streams in the digital economy.
What are NFT memes?
NFT memes refer to internet memes that have been turned into nonfungible tokens, which are unique digital assets that are verified on a blockchain. These NFTs allow the original creators of the memes to authenticate and monetize their work. Some examples of NFT memes include the Nyan Cat, the Disaster Girl and The Keyboard Cat.
Related: What is crypto art, and how does it work?
The pixelated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body became the first meme to be sold as an NFT in February 2021 for around 300 Ether (ETH).
As the first meme to sell for such a high price, the sale of the Nyan Cat NFT was a watershed event in the NFT community. This transaction contributed to the legitimacy of the idea of digital art sales as NFTs.
A photo of a young girl with a mischievous smile standing in front of a burning house sold for nearly 180 ETH as an NFT in April 2021.
The sale of this NFT, “Disaster Girl,” proved that even relatively obscure memes might be valuable as NFTs. Also, the sale received a lot of media attention, which raised NFTs’ profile even more.
This popular Shiba Inu dog meme became an NFT sensation in 2021, with the original “Doge” meme selling for 1,696.9 ETH in June 2021.
The success of the Doge NFTs helped to cement the popularity of the Shiba Inu dog meme in the NFT space. The high prices paid for some of these NFTs also helped to generate significant mainstream media coverage.
A meme of a businessman holding a graph showing a stock’s upward trajectory sold for $10,000 as an NFT in May 2021.
The sale of the Stonks NFT showed that even more esoteric memes can have value as NFTs. The sale demonstrated the potential of NFTs as a fresh method for creators and artists to recoup their costs.
Pepe the Frog
A green anthropomorphic frog that became a symbol for the alt-right and then a meme sold as an NFT for $1 million in May 2021.
The Pepe NFT’s $1-million sale sparked debate because the alt-right has been linked to the meme. It did, however, show that even contentious memes can be useful as NFTs.
Charlie Bit My Finger
A viral video of two young British brothers sold as an NFT for 389 ETH in May 2021. The high price paid for this NFT demonstrated that viral films, in addition to static photos, may be lucrative as NFTs.
Related: How to store NFT assets — A beginner’s guide
A meme of a feline with a permanently displeased expression became an NFT in May 2021 and sold for over 44.2 ETH.
The Grumpy Cat NFT’s sale proved that memes with animal subjects might be just as lucrative as those with human subjects.
A gorilla that was shot and killed in a zoo in 2016 became an internet meme and sold as an NFT for 30.3 ETH in May 2021.
The sale of the Harambe NFT demonstrated how some people have an emotional attachment to particular memes and are prepared to pay exorbitant rates for them.
Good Luck Brian
A photo of a teenage boy with braces and a vest that became an NFT in April 2021 was sold for 20 ETH.
The popularity of the Bad Luck Brian NFT proved that memes, even those that are somewhat dated, can still have a place in the NFT market.
The Keyboard Cat
A video of a cat playing a keyboard sold for over 33 ETH as an NFT in March 2021. The high price paid for this NFT demonstrated that videos can also be valuable as NFTs, not just static images.
The meme features a young boy with a determined expression, clenching his fist, and has been widely used as a symbol of accomplishment and success. This photo was sold as an NFT for 15 ETH.
The growing argument regarding the utility and legitimacy of NFTs is reflected in this meme. NFTs are viewed as a speculative bubble by some, while others see them as a novel and exciting opportunity for artists to make money off of their work.
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