- The “Doge” meme, which emerged online in 2013, sold as a nonfungible token (NFT) on Friday.
- The $4 million sale marks the highest bid for an NFT meme thus far.
- “Doge” joins the ranks of other viral videos and memes to earn their creators money via NFT sales.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The iconic “Doge” meme smashed the record for the most expensive meme nonfungible token (NFT), selling at auction on Friday for more than $4 million.
The sale of the famed image of an excited Shiba Inu was first reported by NBC News. Friday’s sale made “Doge” the highest-earning NFT meme of all time, NBC News reported.
The meme was put up for auction on Tuesday on the auction site Zora, and the winner, @pleasrdao, was named on Friday with a bid of 1,696.9 Ethereum cryptocurrency, which is worth about $4 million.
The meme was sold by Atsuko Sato, the owner of the eponymous “Doge.”
“Doge” emerged online in 2013 as a meme using overlaid Comic Sans text to describe the dog’s fictional inner monologue. It quickly became one of the internet’s most ubiquitous images, with others sharing the meme with their own spins on the dog’s internal monologue.
Text used over the “Doge” meme typically uses an improper modification structure, crafting phrases like “much hungry” or “very NFT.”
After the meme became popular in 2013, two software engineers created a cryptocurrency called Dogecoin as a joke in the meme’s honor. But, as Barron’s reported in May of this year, the crypto is “too important to laugh off.”
“Doge” joins the ranks of several other memes and viral videos whose creators have cashed in on fame through NFT sales.
In April, the “Disaster Girl” meme, a 2005 photo that became one of the most famous memes on the early internet, was sold as an NFT for nearly half a million dollars. The Nyan cat gif was sold as an NFT for close to $600,000 in February. Other viral images like “Bad Luck Brian” have sold for tens of thousands of dollars.
NFT sales are helping some online creators finally earn additional money off of their famous content. The creator of the “David After Dentist” YouTube video from 2009, which depicts a boy experiencing the side effects of medication after a dental procedure, told Insider he would use the money from that video’s NFT sale to help finish paying off his two sons’ college tuitions.
Chris Crocker, an entertainer whose famous 2007 “Leave Britney Alone” video sold for over $41,000 in April to an anonymous buyer, told Insider in a previous interview that the video, which defined his online persona, made him no money at all.
“I didn’t really get anything from [the video] other than to be put in a box for the next 14 years,” Crocker told Insider.