Dan Markham, the creator of the seven-million subscriber What’s Inside YouTube channel, has traded his Tesla Roadster for a single nonfungible token (NFT).
In a Sept. 15 video on his What’s Inside Family channel, Markham exchanged a blue Tesla Roadster — which he estimated could be worth “a quarter-million dollars pretty soon” — for a nonfungible token of a “positive porcupine.” The NFT was a creation of the VeeFriends project and owned by Eli Burton, the artist behind The Adventures of Starman graphic novel.
“Looking back on this in one year, two year, three years from now it could be a monumentally dumb decision but it also could be a great decision,” said Markham. “I think these cars have a lot of value for a long time and I do believe in NFTs.”
The YouTuber added:
“It's a picture for a car — clearly he's getting the better end of this deal.”
Burton said he had originally been planning to sell the digital art for more than $100,000 before learning of Markham’s offer. According to the graphic novelist, trading the NFT for the car was “as simple as supply and demand,” as there were 10,000 of the tokens currently available and each valued for a starting price of $60,000. VeeFriends lists 40 similar porcupines in a variety of backgrounds.
“There's almost no difference as far as the money perspective goes by having it –whether it's in a collectible car or a collectible NFT — it's still collectible,” said Markham.
Though the two collectors swapped the NFT on the blockchain, the trade was carried out largely in the real world, with Markham physically handing Burton the paper title and key to the Tesla. The porcupine is currently listed on OpenSea with a high bid of 16.339 Wrapped Ether (WETH) — roughly $56,445 at the time of publication — but Markham hinted that he planned to keep the NFT to gain admission to an exclusive conference for VeeFriends token holders.
Some crypto users have also been experimenting with linking NFTs to physical collectibles. In July, an entrepreneur launched simultaneous auctions for a job application from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and an NFT of the same. The physical paper ended up selling for $343,000, while the final bid for the NFT was 12 Ether (ETH), or roughly $27,460 at the time.