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Are You Sitting on a Million Dollar NFT?

Posted by
Ian Kane

Forgotten videos and images could net a tidy profit

The hype around NFTs right now is palpable. Every conversation whether starting with decentralized finance or gaming seemingly hinges around this innovative class of tokens. In short, NFTs have brought about a revolution in how we monetize intellectual property. Vitally, not just for commercial entities but also for average joes. Namely, creatives that want to build more direct connections with fans and earn fairly at the same time. 

Recently we have seen a slew of self-made creations selling for exorbitant amounts. In many of the cases, the creators probably didn’t ever see that much value in the video or image. Perhaps they even forgot about it. Additionally, in the case of famous meme images now selling. It would appear the world was just waiting for a vessel to deliver these. Enter non-fungible tokens or NFTs. 

According to the DappRadar July Dapp Industry Report, the NFT space has amassed over $1.2 billion in sales volume during July alone. Besides Axie Infinity, approximately 80% of it comes from Ethereum’s primary and secondary markets. While Flow’s NBA Top Shot and Wax’s Alien Worlds are two of the most traded projects, the lion’s share of the volume is definitely happening on Ethereum. Clearly, the appetite for NFTs is not dissipating anytime soon. 

It could have been me! 

Nonetheless, to the point at hand. Ask yourself one question. Have you ever created a viral video or image? I personally have only done this once in my life. In 2007 I was lucky enough to be having a drink with friends in a rooftop bar as we caught sight of a woman trying to park her Toyota MR2 (very small, Japanese sports car) into a space that was: A) a bus lane and B) was big enough to park a bus in. Needless to say, she failed miserably and the 5-minute video recorded on my Nokia, soundtracked with Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama, and uploaded to YouTube became a viral hit. Importantly in 2007 YouTube was in its infancy and getting noticed wasn’t like it is today. 

Now, for reasons self-inflicted by my own sense of kindness and stupidity that video is no longer in my possession. Either as a YouTube video or original file. All I can find now is someone that has posted it as their own that must have ripped it from another source. In fact, you will see my comment underneath from 8 years ago. At the last count in 2011 on my own YouTube channel, it was up to 18 million views. For the naysayers – I gain zero from lying about this. Just take it from me. I am still very upset and it’s been almost 15 years! 

My thought pattern was that if that video had achieved 17 million views by 2011 that it could be up to 100 million today and that as a result, it may have some value as an original video file. Alternatively, as it’s very old and pixelated it could be worth nothing. Ultimately, it is worth zero to me as mentioned – I no longer have the original file. 

Charlie Bit My Finger 

The iconic Charlie Bit My Finger video will soon be leaving Youtube as the owner of the original video has sold it. The 2007 clip had garnered some 883 million views on YouTube. The video was auctioned by the family in its original home movie setting as a non-fungible token (NFT). ​​One of YouTube‘s first viral mega-hits, the clip of two young British brothers known for its catchphrase “Charlie bit my finger,” sold for $760,999.

In addition to being the sole NFT holder for the video, the family also offered the winner of the auction the opportunity to create their own parody of the video featuring the original — albeit much older — stars, Harry and Charlie Davies-Carr. The family shared how they plan to spend the money in a statement to ABC News that noted they were pleased with the outcome of the auction and lauded their successful partnership with NFT-sales platform Origin Protocol. A bidding war broke out near the end of the NFT’s one-day auction, pushing the price higher before it was eventually purchased by an anonymous bidder going by the username “3fmusic”.

When this video first started doing the rounds on the internet 14 years ago I am sure those brothers did not envisage that one day it would be worth over half a million dollars. 

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Disaster Girl Meme

Another case of finding value many years after its original inception was the sale of the original Disaster Girl meme image. The picture of four-year-old Zoë Roth taken by her father as she seemingly smiled as a building burnt in the background was recently sold as an NFT for $473,000. The image has been prolific across the internet for many years and Zoë Roth, now 21, said she would donate the money to charities, and use it to pay off her student loan. 

In this instance, and similarly to the brothers in the previous example the sale feels extremely justified. Imagine having your face splashed across the internet for years without receiving a penny in the way of remittance for that. Even at the lowest level some attribution to the original author at least. 

Over the past months, we’ve seen many internet memes being sold as NFTs. Ranging from Nyan Cat to Bad Luck Bryan and from Success Kid to Scumbag Steven and Overly Attached Girlfriend.

The sky’s the limit 

Imagine for example a time where there are vast libraries of such media. Purchasable with the rights to use commercially and then once finished – resell.  To perhaps better explain, imagine an advertising company wanted to create a campaign using real users’ videos from TikTok or YouTube and string them together to create an advert. Finding, contracting, and negotiating with each clip owner would be laborious and potentially very expensive. If in the future advertisers were simply presented with a catalog then things would become easier. Moreover, the original creator would continue to earn from any re-sales after the rights had been utilized.   

These two examples represent the tip of the iceberg for how NFTs will be utilized as we move forward in their development. Leveraging original creations and realizing a profit could just be the start. Potentially, you are sitting on one. 

The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds positions in ETH, BTC, ADA, NIOX, AGIX, MATIC, MANA, SAFEMOON, SDAO, CAKE, HEX, LINK, GRT, CRO, SHIBA INU, AND OCEAN. 

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