An entirely different online rendition of the Nyan Cat meme from the year 2011 fetched about US$590,000 in an online auction held on last Friday, February 19.
Since the past few weeks, online buying and selling of non-fungible tokens – popularly known as NFTs – have elevated much, as cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin boomed.
NFT art products – which function as a kind of digital asset or for that matter a token – have in a few cases fetched over US$3.5 million a piece, helping the crypto art market that is as of now valued at over US$100 million.
When we talk of Chris Torres, who is the inventor of Nyan Cat, the NFT sale showed off his first foray into crypto art.
“I’m very surprised with the success, but I think I’m most glad knowing that I’ve opened the door to a whole new meme economy in the crypto world,” Torres revealed to Nasdaq.
Torres again mastered the initial animated GIF for its 10th anniversary and held a 24-hour auction at the crypto art stage Foundation on February 18.
— Know Your Meme (@knowyourmeme) February 20, 2021
The platform itself had only been launched about two weeks before and permits artists such as Torres to keep on making a profit through their work if a buyer resells the piece later on for additional profit.
Bids for Nyan Cat began at 3 Ether (ETH), or about US$1,544.38, and stopped at 300 ETH, about US$590,000, during its sale.
The majority of crypto art platforms apply Ethereum as a device of payment. ETH is the second biggest cryptocurrency by market value after bitcoin.
Rising for auction yesterday afternoon, @PRguitarman’s Nyan Cat crypto art was sold on @withFND earlier today for about half a million dollars.
The buyer was unknown, appearing as “oxy7eb2 … 3f6b” on Foundation’s site. The account is probably the sole owner of the digital meme, as Torres reported in The Verge he has no intentions to sell further copies of the image in the future.
Regardless of the sale, the existing Nyan Cat GIF and video will as of now be available for distribution online. The crypto art sale permits the buyer to function as a collector of sorts – as the owner of a digital piece of art based on a well-known meme.
The Nyan Cat meme rose on YouTube and immediately turned out to be internet famous. The video shows an animated cartoon cat that has a Pop-Tart toaster pastry for a torso. The video proceeds with the cat as it flies through space, leaving a rainbow trail. The sequence is set to Japanese pop music and as of now has garnered over 185 million views on YouTube.
Nyan Cat is not one of the first crypto artists to fetch such a huge chunk of money. On February 21, a group of about 34 digital collectable pieces of art, named CryptoPunks, fetched about US$1 million in ETH. In December 2020, the digital artist Beeple displayed an NFT art collection that fetched over US$3.5 million.