“Doge Cryptocurrency,” the image of an animated Shiba Inu that has become one of the internet’s most famous memes, has sold for $4 million as a nonfungible token, making it the most expensive meme NFT of all time.
Atsuko Sato, the owner of Kabosu, the dog in the photograph, originally placed the meme up for sale on Tuesday, and it lasted for almost three days before being sold to @pleasrdao.
On Friday afternoon, a bidding battle for the meme broke out between users @twodollahotdoge and @pleasrdao on Zora, where Doge was being auctioned, pushing up the price until @pleasrdao won with the winning offer.
The term “Doge” comes from the “Homestar Runner” Flash animation. In a 2005 episode, Homestar Runner refers to another character as his “D-O-G-E.” Sato shared the photograph of Kabosu to her personal blog five years later, not thinking the shot would take on a life of its own.
Sato stated in a statement, “I took the images to update my blog.” “I shoot a lot of photographs every day, so that day wasn’t unusual for me. Kabosu enjoys having her picture taken, so she was overjoyed when the camera was pointed at her.”
In the early 2010s, the image of Kabosu made the rounds on sites like Tumblr and Reddit, and when a Reddit user referred to it as “Doge,” the moniker stuck, and the meme was formed.
“I was taken aback when I first learned about the Kabosu memes. I was horrified by the prospect of a single photo I’d carelessly uploaded on my blog spreading around the world to people I didn’t know,” Sato explained.
The picture of Kabosu with her paws crossed and a faint smile on her face is generally surrounded by bad English lines like “Wow, that was incredible. “You’re so scared” and “What are you doing?”
Due to Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency named after the joke, Doge’s popularity has recently risen. Although Dogecoin has been around for a while, its popularity skyrocketed this year after Tesla CEO Elon Musk backed it on social media.
The Japanese Red Cross Society and the World Food Programme will both benefit from a share of the revenue from the sale of the NFT.
NFTs are a type of authenticity certificate. The NFT is a series of one-of-a-kind characters. The characters are linked to a blockchain, which is a collection of computers that operate as a digital record that can’t be altered by any single computer. The same idea underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but unlike bitcoins, NFTs are nonfungible, or one-of-a-kind.
According to Decrypt, a cryptocurrency news website, an NFT of Doge would not serve as copyright. According to Decrypt, the NFT is more like a digital autograph from the meme author, verifying authenticity, much like a signed baseball card.
A recent inflow of memes being sold as NFTs has been dubbed a “meme gold rush” by some analysts.
According to the auction site Foundation, other memes that match Doge include “Disaster Girl,” which sold for 180 Ethereum, worth around $430,000 at the time of sale, and “Overly Attached Girlfriend,” which sold for 200 Ethereum, valued at around $482,000 at the time. According to The Washington Post, an NFT of “Pepe the Frog” sold for about $1 million.