A digital cat just sold for an ungodly amount of cryptocurrency.
Nyan Cat, arguably 2011's hottest cat meme, is back in the news this week following the sale of a digital recreation of the artwork for 300 ether. At the time of the Friday sale, that was worth just under $600,000.
Welcome to the wild world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), unique digital items authenticated on the blockchain, that are selling for upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Artists are selling NFTs via digital marketplaces like Rarible and Foundation — the latter being where Nyan Cat's creator sold the latest iteration of his iconic cat.
Just opened up the flood gates to the future of meme economy in the Crypto universe, no big deal~But seriously, thanks for believing in Nyan Cat all these years. I hope this inspires future artists to get into #NFT universe so they can get proper recognition for their work! pic.twitter.com/JX7UU9VSPb
— ☆Chris☆ (@PRguitarman) February 19, 2021
There's a reason this all sounds so familiar. Back in 2017, another type of digital feline took the cryptocurrency world by storm.
Cryptokitties, as the name might suggest, were cats on the Ethereum blockchain. At one point, the game of breeding, buying, selling, and hodling the cats because so popular that it actually bogged down the entire Ethereum network.
Going once, going twice, sold! 🌈Thank you to @PRguitarman for bringing us along for the historic ride. 🌐 @NyanCat forever. 💖 Rewatch the auction live stream → https://t.co/XJQI2O0Ula pic.twitter.com/ywpgglnGiw
— Foundation (@withFND) February 19, 2021
But that was then.
These days, even the famed auction house Christie's is getting in on the action. An NFT auction, facilitated by the company, is set to take place less than a week after the Nyan Cat sale.
Notably, people are minting and selling all kinds of NFTs — like, for example, the "E. Honda gif" that New Yorker contributor and co-host of the CoinTalk podcast Jay Caspian Kang recently sold for over $500 in ether.
— CoinTalk™️ (@COINTALKSHOW) January 30, 2021
Yes, you read that correctly. Someone paid the equivalent of more than $500 in order to be able to prove, via the blockchain, that they own the "original" GIF of a Street Fighter character slapping an ass.
Definitely no cryptocurrency bubble to see here.