Early viral YouTube hit ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ is to be removed from the website after selling as a non-fungible token (NFT).
The video, which has been viewed over 880million times, was first uploaded by the Davies-Carr family in May 2007.
It has now sold at auction to a person known only as ‘3fmusic’, who purchased it for $760,999 (£538,000) after a bidding war with ‘mememaster’.
The clip was due to be removed from the site yesterday (May 23), but is currently still online as an unlisted video.
Other longstanding memes recently sold as NFTs include ‘Disaster Girl’, a picture of a young girl smiling in front of a burning building, which sold for $473,000 (£341,000), and ‘Nyan Cat’, which sold for $580,000 (£409,000) in February.
Chris Crocker of the viral clip ‘Leave Britney Alone’ sold the video as an NFT for $41,000 (£28,890), and said the funds will help pay for their grandmother’s care, as well as transition surgery.
NFTs have also made significant impact in the music industry this year, with the likes of Eminem, Grimes, Kings Of Leon, Gorillaz, Lewis Capaldi and Aphex Twin all selling work through the format.
An NFT, as NME‘s Mark Beaumont explained in a blog, is a form of cryptocurrency asset. Most cryptocurrencies are fungible (or ‘spendable’) tokens; you can exchange them for other cryptocurrencies or spend them on goods where they’re accepted.
“Non-fungible tokens act like digital gold bars, rare trading cards or paintings kept in safe storage – they’re kept on the blockchain (basically a Cloud for financial assets, but where everyone with an account keeps a note of what you own) in your name but you can only sell or trade them as collectibles,” he wrote.