How a cute family video sold for $760,000 in an ‘NFT’ auction
And, now for something lighter. The family video opens with two young English boys, Harry, 3, and Charlie, 1, sitting comfortably in a high, leather chair.
“Charlie bit my finger - again!”
At first, Harry is teasing Charlie with his finger; but when he puts his finger into Charlie’s mouth for the second time, Charlie bites Harry tenaciously. Harry howls, “Charlie. that really hurt me” as Charlie, nonplussed, continues to grin happily while hamming it up for the camera. This hilarious, yet touching, 55-second YouTube video uploaded in 2007 by two devoted parents is one of the most watched videos in YouTube history, gathering more than 885 million views as at June 1, 2021.
Fourteen years later, Charlie and his brother, Harry, are now young men looking toward their futures, while their parents are the recipients of the highest price paid-to-date for a YouTube video - auctioned as a NFT (non-fungible token) on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
Competitive bidding was high with the final price topping out at over $760,000. At the website, Charliebitme.com, see the bidding process. The link is shown below.
When this precious snippet of a daily event in this family’s lives was uploaded, NFTs did not exist. Could anyone have conceived of such a financial surprise in the future?
Charlie’s toothy satisfied grin, for ever immortalised, is not the first of this new digital phenomenon, or the most expensive of this craze.
The digital artist Mark Winkelmann aka Beeple sold his NFT collage, Everydays: The First 5,000 Days at a Christies auction for $69 million. The collage consisted of the 5,000 digital assets, one a day for 5,000 days – starting more than 14 years ago.
We’ve also read about an NFT by Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, who auctioned his very first Tweet when he launched Twitter: price tag – $2.9 million; one of Lebron James’s slam dunks – over $200,000; Crossroads – a short political art video on the 2020 election, again by Beeple - $6.6 million; Axie Infinity Genesis Land - $1.5 million, etc. Most of the top -selling NFTs were produced on Ethereum blockchain platforms.
The NFT craze has become so popular now that CNBC, on March 23 2021, featured a lengthy article by Todd Hazelton, titled “How to make, buy and sell NFTs”. People are spending millions of dollars on NFT collectibles of all sorts, from sports trading cards and highlight reels to digital houses, augmented reality sneakers and music.
You can not only make NFTs, you can buy and sell them on various platforms using cryptocurrency and a digital wallet that can be fun, profitable, or to build a collection that one assumes may appreciate in value. Auction houses, such as Christies, participation in NFT offerings has added enormous legitimacy to the entire concept.
Hmm! Wonder what the IRS taxation ruling is on possible NFT gains?
What is an NFT?
NFTs allow you to buy and sell ownership of unique digital items and keep track of who owns them using the blockchain. NFT stands for “non-fungible token”, and it can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, kicks, songs, or items in video games.
An NFT can either be one-of-a-kind, like a real-life painting, or one copy of many, like trading cards, but the blockchain keeps track of who has ownership of the file.
NFTs are a new form of digital trading and art collecting that did not previously exist. Art collectors place significant value on new, authentic and scarce originals on all manner of genres. The old saying, “Beauty (value) is in the eye of the beholder”, has never been truer. Things become a medium of value in numerous ways:
• When it is an original work of an artist, inventor, car, process, musician, etc.
• When there is only one of a kind;
• When someone wants to own it;
• When a willing buyer and a willing seller effect a mutually, satisfactory transaction.
Who would have ever thought – a 55-second video of the cutest kids would meet that criteria, too?
An NFT is still little known outside the global financial realm. The above description above provides a little illumination for those unaware.
I’ve mentioned this digital concept of traditional art, only to receive a stare of incomprehension and disbelief that anyone would spend such enormous sums for something so intangible that it cannot be displayed on a wall. One dismissive comment is: “This is what you buy when you have so much money, you don’t know what to spend it on.”
Actually, NFTs are a symbol of far more than that now. Learning about NFTs is one thing; becoming a participant involves as host of continuous digital education; new websites, new social media platforms, the process of turning a digital asset into an NFT, new terms, new forms of money…
People. It is a whole new digital world out there.
Readers, some curious questions:
When / if NFTs become mainstream, how long that will perception of value last, before some of us, or all of us, launch up our own special memories in the hope that they’ll become valuable? Maybe not worth $760,000 or $69 million, but a few hundred dollars could be fun to add to the grocery budget.
• Maybe we can leave our NFTs to our beneficiaries in our estates, as long as the technology does not make them obsolete
• Will popularity eventually diminish like beanie babies?
• And what about the grid? What do we do if that goes down on a wholesale basis?
Next article: Lots more to explore in further Bermuda All things digital. Plus, a digital coin was produced in ten minutes and named after a Bloomberg journalist.
Charlie Bit Me, NFT Auction https://www.charliebitme.com/#/auction/39
Charlie Bit Me – Again! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM
The Verge. Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million through a first-of-its-kind auction at Christie’s
Jacob Kastrenakes@jake_k Mar 11, 2021
How to make, buy and sell NFTs, Todd Hazleton, CNBC
• Martha Harris Myron, CPA JSM, a native Bermudian, is the author of The Bermuda Islander Financial Planning Primers, International financial consultant to the Olderhood Group International, and financial columnist to The Royal Gazette. All proceeds from these articles are donated to the Salvation Army, Bermuda. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org