“Doge,” the image of an excited-looking Shiba Inu, considered one of the internet’s most iconic and renowned memes, sold as a non-fungible token, or NFT, for $ 4 million, making it the most expensive NFT meme ever.
The auction winner @pleasrdao made a voluntary bid on Friday for 1,696.9 of the Ethereum cryptocurrency, valued at around $ 4 million, according to auction site Zora.
“We are so happy to be a part of this milestone in internet history. If a meme deserved to be the new NFT memes record holder, it’s Doge,” said Don Caldwell, editor. from the Know Your Meme Internet Memes Database, which certified Doge prior to the auction to ensure the meme was sold by its rightful owner.
Caldwell added that Doge, whom he called “one of the most iconic memes in internet history,” had already won Know Your Meme’s “Meme of the Decade” award in December 2019.
The meme was first auctioned on Tuesday by Atsuko Sato, the owner of Kabosu, the dog in the picture, and ran for about three days before being sold to @pleasrdao.
A bidding war for the meme erupted over Zora, where Doge was being auctioned, between users @twodollahotdoge and @pleasrdao on Friday afternoon, driving the price up until @pleasrdao won with the winning bid.
The term “Doge” comes from the Flash cartoon “Homestar Runner”. In a 2005 episode, the main character Homestar calls another character his “DOGE”. Five years later, in 2010, Sato posted Kabosu’s image on his personal blog, not realizing the photo would take on a life of its own.
“I took the photos to update my blog,” Sato said in a declaration. “I take a lot of pictures every day, so this day was nothing fancy. Kabosu loves having her picture taken, so she was delighted to have the camera pointed at her.
The photo toured sites like Tumblr and Reddit in the early 2010s, and when a Reddit user referred to Kabosu’s image as “Doge,” the name stuck and the meme was born.
“When I first discovered Kabosu’s memes, I was very surprised. I was terrified that a single photo that I accidentally posted on my blog could spill over into the whole world in places I didn’t know, ”Sato said.
The meme is usually formatted with the image of Kabosu with his legs crossed and a slight smirk on his face, surrounded by broken English phrases like “Wow. So scare” and “What ru doing?”
Doge’s popularity has recently seen a resurgence due to Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency bearing the meme’s mark. Although Dogecoin has been around for several years, it gained popularity after Tesla CEO Elon Musk endorsed it on social media this year.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the NFT will go to several charities, including the Japanese Red Cross and the World Food Program.
NFTs are a kind of certificate of authenticity. The NFT is a string of unique characters. The characters are connected to a blockchain, a group of computers that act like a digital ledger that no computer can modify. The same concept fuels cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but while bitcoins are all essentially the same, NFTs are non-fungible or unique.
A Doge’s NFT would not act as a copyright, however, according to Decrypt, a website that covers cryptocurrency. The NFT looks more like a digital autograph from the meme creator, Decrypt reported, certifying authenticity – similar to an autographed baseball card.
There has been a recent influx of memes sold as NFT, which some experts have called a “memes gold rush.”
Other memes that rival Doge include “Disaster Girl”, which sold for 180 Ethereum, roughly worth $ 430,000 at time of sale, and “Overly Attached Girlfriend”, which sold for 200 Ethereum, worth about $ 482,000 at the time, according to the Foundation auction site. An NFT of “Pepe the Frog” sold for around $ 1 million, according to The Washington Post.
Seven more Kabosu images, certified by Know Your Meme, will be sold as NFT and auctioned starting Friday.