The original “I Can Has Cheezburger?” meme has become the latest symbol of popular culture to be immortalized as an NFT.
The meme’s creator, Eric Nakagawa, announced his foray into a series of lolcat NFTs on Feb. 23. “Happy Cat” — the crown jewel of Nakgawa’s NFT release — is being auctioned on NFT marketplace OpenSea, with the highest bid currently sitting at 0.25 ETH.
The 10 piece series, titled “No Fries Today,” comprises early lolcat memes and meme-inspired artwork. Some proceeds of the sales will be donated to charitable organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Internet Archive, and the World Wildlife Foundation.
Each NFT includes the backstory explaining how the meme it represents was originally created, with Nakagawa stating he exhumed image files from his “ancient personal archive” for the series.
While Nakagawa tells Cointelegraph that he “definitely jumped the gun on Happy Cat,” he says he has a couple of other collections rearing to be released.
NFTs have been on a tear during 2021, pulling $60 million in daily sales on Feb. 23, with many popular tokens drawing inspiration from well-known memes..
A NFT version of “Nyan Cat” — the heavily memed video of a flying toaster-shaped feline — sold on Feb. 21 for nearly $580,000, on the Foundation marketplace app.
In January, American collectibles giant Topps released a series of caricatures based on a meme-able picture of Bernie Sanders, selling 8,876 packs of NFT cards over a three day sale.
Nakagawa is no stranger to cryptocurrency, currently working as head of Open Source in the Blockchain department of Novi Financial — the Facebook subsidiary overseeing development of its crypto asset project, Diem.
After co-founding the popular picture sharing website icanhascheezburger.com in 2007, he briefly joined Ripple Labs as Director of Growth in 2013, before taking a position as Startup Outreach at the Dogecoin Foundation the following year.
While working with Dogecoin, Nakagawa organized “doge4water,” a fundraiser that collected 40 million DOGE for a Kenya-based charity — worth $33,000 at the time.