An NFT (non-fungible token
) of "Doge," the joyous and ubiquitous Shiba Inu image that has become one of the internet's most famous memes
, made history when it sold for more than $4 million, making it the most expensive meme NFT to date.
According to the Doge auction site, a bidder named @pleasrdao won the NFT with a final bid of 1,696.9 Ethereum, which is about $4 million in cryptocurrency.
An NFT is similar to a one-of-a-kind trading card in that it is typically stored on the Ethereum blockchain, which is essentially a digital ledger for cryptocurrency, and is valued based on rarity.
Doge, the meme on which this NFT is based, arose from a combination of two things. For starters, the term "doge" is a colloquial term for any dog used online. The image of the dog we know as Doge comes from teacher Atsuko Sato, who posted photos
of her rescue
Shiba Inu dog (whose real name is actually Kabosu) online in 2010.
Those photos quickly went viral
on the internet, with Reddit dubbing this particular Shiba Inu "Doge."
Fast forward to 2021, and Doge is now associated with Dogecoin
, a popular cryptocurrency branded after the meme, and Sato took ownership of her own dog meme by auctioning it off as an NFT this week, according to NBC News
, with a “portion of the proceeds from the sale of the NFT going toward several charities, including the Japanese Red Cross Society and the World Food
of memes have become very popular in recent weeks, with popular ones such as "Disaster Girl" and "Overly Attached Girlfriend" selling for 180 Ethereum (more than $450,000) and 200 Ethereum (more than $410,000), respectively. There are even entire companies sprouting up dedicated to minting, marketing, and distributing NFTs made from memes. One called Net Gems is currently attempting to auction NFTs of memes.