When life gives you lemons, make a meme out of it! Memes have existed for so many years that bring us together as a global community. Although these are just light-hearted jokes, they hold a lot of significance to the modern world.
Memes are made to laugh a little, but NFT space takes it to the next level. Memes that have always been an internet trend are now valuable digital assets to own for investors and collectors. As the NFT industry continues to grow, people are finding new ways to make money and give value to digital content; memes are one of them.
Memes in the crypto community have become more than just digital content to share jokes, they are now turning every legendary meme into an NFT that anyone in the world can own.
But before we dive into how memes became a digital asset, here are some crypto memes for you to enjoy:
Best of NFT Memes 2022
As the crypto market continues to look bearish, NFT space is making humor out of it by creating memes.
Like every year, 2022 also saw some of the greatest memes that you might have missed, but we didn’t. So, here are some of our favorite personally picked memes of 2022:
Crypto is tanking, welcome to part-time jobs
Although this is not a meme, it is still a long-running joke in the crypto community. Since all the crypto billionaires are financially dependent on the crypto charts, once it goes down, they will have to return to doing part-time and corporate jobs.
Mcdonald’s social media team didn’t miss out on the chance to tweet that when the crypto crashed. They made a classic light joke by putting salt to the injury.
In response, the crypto community dissed them over ice cream machine repairs and also replied with some memes of their own like this one:
Here’s another meme for the crypto community:
A meme for the NFT newbies
NFTs have brought many new investors and collectors to the marketplace. As a beginner, they are still in the phase of learning and are more prone to fall for scams. So, here are two best memes by the veteran collectors that closely describe newbies:
Don’t be a dumb ape, be a smart ape and invest longer.
The dream of financial freedom
NFTs have become a great source of investment that can pay you back faster than crypto trading. Every NFT investor dreams of becoming financially independent or having enough assets to enjoy the champagne in a private yacht. However, sometimes these dreams are just castles in the air.
Here’s a perfect meme for the NFT investors:
Vitalik Bear costume meme
Although there’s nothing wrong with wearing a bear costume at a conference, especially when you’re rich and have no worries at hand. Vitalik Buterin wearing a bear costume at an event caught the internet’s attention.
The post is funnier when you know the context of the time it was posted. During the event, the crypto market experienced a small crypto crash causing panic among the investors, but the programmer seemed indifferent about it.
Rich people buying Beeple NFTs
Beeple is now the best-selling artist whose NFT sold for $69M. Since then, every Beeple NFT bid has become too expensive for a small investor to win. Although this is a win for Beeple, it is painful for his old fans. Here’s a meme that describes it well:
The reality for every small investor
How many times did you bet all the savings for that one NFT but were outbid ten times higher by a rich investor? Because we have simply lost count. This meme is the perfect representation of every small crypto investor in the world.
Tom Brady’s short-term retirement
You may have seen many celebrities dropping their own NFT projects, but you might have never seen someone drop off their career for an NFT startup, Tom Brady did it. The Super Bowl champion became a center of attention when he announced he’s retiring from NFL to focus on his NFT startup called Autograph.
However, this retirement didn’t last too long because 40 days later, the 44-year-old football player announced he will be playing his 23rd season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB. Tom eventually became a meme on the internet.
The tax dilemma
We don’t know about you, but we barely even have the bones left in our wallets with all those taxes.
NFT Roadmaps meme
With so many NFT collections dropping almost every month, it has become quite hard to know which one is authentic. Although investors always look closely at the creators, artists, and contributors involved with an NFT project, there’s no guarantee whether they will succeed or not.
NFT projects tend to show castles in the air but give nothing in the end, just like the beer foam in the above tweet that is all air and no beer.
The biggest example is Pixelmon, a company that raised $70M funds but dropped an incomplete NFT called Kevin, who also became a meme in the NFT community.
NFT rug pull meme
Even with the most convincing roadmaps and whitepapers, some NFT projects turn out to be rugpulls. The recent scandal of Azuki’s founder being involved with Rugpull projects angered the NFT community but that didn’t stop them from posting a meme about it:
Guess no one believed Zagabond’s justification.
Apart from the above-mentioned memes are the NFT memes that once were shared around on the internet but later became a digital asset due to the value they hold.
NFT mania: 10 classic memes that turned into NFTs
As the NFT community is busy making memes over their sufferings, the creators and investors are turning them into a money-making asset.
Over the past year, the NFT community has seen many classic memes turned into NFTs minted by uploaders and owners. The NFT memes range from old funny videos to classic characters that were once an internet sensation and are still widely used by social media users.
Following are the 10 NFT memes that were sold out for thousands of dollars:
1: Nyan Cat: $600,000
Nyan Cat is the first-ever meme to be sold in the marketplace. The creator behind Nyan Cat, Chris Torres is among the pioneers of introducing memes into the crypto world as NFTs. He put the Nyan Cat in the marketplace at the price of 300 ETH, around $600,000 on 9th February 2021, and instantly got sold.
This caused a sudden spike of interest among investors and creators with the possibility of NFT memes becoming the new trend in mainstream pop culture.
The CEO of Foundation, Kayvon Tehranian says, “One thing I would just share with you is that Nyan Cat was worth almost a million dollars when it was auctioned. But I can tell you right now, if you auctioned it again, it would be worth more than that.”
Ever since the Nyan Cat was sold, many memes owners also decided to mint their NFT on the marketplace. In a way, Nyan Cat is a trend-setter for NFT memes in mainstream pop culture.
2: Bad Luck Brian NFT: $36,000
If you grew up with the internet, you might remember some of the earliest memes that were widely used on Facebook or Twitter in almost every situation, Bad Luck Brian was one of those classic memes.
It didn’t end with just becoming a meme; instead, the crypt community turned it into an NFT and sold it at the price of $36,000 in the marketplace in March 2021.
3: Grumpy Cat Meme: $78,000
We all have seen the Grumpy cat meme on Twitter, Facebook, and even on Reddit. So, what if we told you this is also an NFT meme owned by an anonymous user? With all the NFT craze, Grumpy Cat also made it to the crypto universe.
Grumpy Cat became an internet meme when the owner of Tardar Sauce (its real name) posted an image on Reddit on September 23, 2012, with the caption “Meet Grumpy Cat.” The internet is already a fan of cats, the image became more than just an adoration.
Grumpy Cat was featured in the “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” movie, A Grumpy Cat book became The New York Times’ best-seller, and Grumpy Cat also became a mascot for “Friskies.” All because of one image.
Sadly, the Grumpy Cat passed away in 2019 but the memes have kept her alive. The Grumpy Cat NFT meme was listed by the owner on 13 March 2021, which sold out instantly for 44.2 ETH, around $78,000.
4: Scumbag Steve NFT: $57,000
The Scumbag Steve is an image of a 16-year-old Blake Boston captured by his mother in 2006 and was uploaded on MySpace, which became a center of laughter among users. The meme doesn’t just end there, Blake decided to make this image the cover for his rap album, Beantown Mafia.
Seeing that the internet still hasn’t moved on from the classic meme, Blake decided to mint it on the marketplace. The NFT meme sold out for $57,000, bringing him more profit than his rap album.
5: Overly Attached Girlfriend: $400,000
Uploaded by Morris for Justin Bieber’s contest “Girlfriend,” a POV video about an Overly Attached Girlfriend made the world burst into laughter 10 years ago. This video was not only Morris’ pathway to becoming an internet personality but also widely used on Twitter and Reddit in almost every situation.
Later in 2019, Morris retired from YouTube as she suffered from symptoms of depression and anxiety but the meme never died out. In 2021, the crypto community brought the meme back by turning it into an NFT.
The Overly Attached Girlfriend NFT meme was sold for 200 ETH, around 400,000 dollars, becoming one of the most expensive NFT memes in the marketplace.
6: Disaster Girl: $500,000
Even if you aren’t a fan of memes, you still have seen or used this meme at least once in a lifetime. Disaster Girl is all of us in real life, ignoring our burning problems or seeing things or people we hate burn while we smile at the camera.
This image was taken by Dave Roth in 2005 of his daughter, Zoe, while a house burns in the background for a magazine contest. The image became a massive global hit with millions of memes made on it.
Later, in 2021, Zoe herself decided to mint her meme as an NFT. Surprisingly, the internet hasn’t moved on from the legendary meme as an anonymous user bought the Disaster Girl NFT meme for 180.00 ETH, around $500,000. Lucky for Zoe, she paid off her tuition fee with all the earnings in one go!
7: Doge: $4M
Doge is the Shiba Inu named Kabosu owned by Atsuko Sato. In 2010, the owner decided to upload a few pictures of her dog on the internet. Within those pictures was a unique image of Kabosu with a curious expression that went viral with the name of Doge.
Now Doge is the face of an official crypto coin called DogeCoin, backed by Elon Musk. This coin was also made as a meme but later rose to become one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the market.
Doge became an NFT meme worth millions of dollars; in fact, the Doge NFT meme was sold for 4 million dollars in 2021, breaking all-time sales records for all NFT memes. Now, it is worth $7.2M.
8: Charlie bit my finger: $771,000
Charlie bit my finger is an adorable video that gained around 900 million views on YouTube. The video later entered the blockchain world in 2021 as an NFT meme which sold for 389 ETH, around $771,000.
The family removed the video from YouTube once it sold out to maintain its scarcity in the marketplace. Only the NFT meme owners can see the legendary video that holds many memories about the old internet.
9: Leave Britney Alone: $41,000
If you thought a YouTube video couldn’t possibly become an NFT meme, well you were wrong. Leave Britney Alone is an old video uploaded by Chris Crocker in 2007 that became an internet sensation by recording 2M in 24 hours, making it the first viral video to reach this many views.
Crocker made the video to defend Britney Spears against the tabloids which became the talk of the town on the internet and soon became a meme in the mainstream media. Later in 2021, the YouTuber minted their video as NFT which sold out for $41,000.
10: Success Kid NFT: $32,000
Success Kid is one of the best memes to be born on the internet. This image was a failed attempt of a mother trying to capture her 11-month-old kid, Sammy. She uploaded it on Flickr, where it turned into a meme and spread on other social media platforms like wildfire in the early 2000s.
The fist-pumping toddler turned into an NFT meme and was sold at the price of 15 ETH in 2021, which is around 32,000 dollars. We don’t know about Sammy, but his image has already achieved an NFT success.
Other than the above-mentioned memes, many other famous memes became sensational hits in the NFT space such as Harambe NFT, Friendship Ended with MUDASIR NFT, Side Eyeing Chloe NFT, Why You Always Lying NFT, Creepy Chan NFT, and many more.
Why are owners selling their memes as NFTs?
Seeing the sudden burst of creators minting memes as NFTs on the marketplace, many people wonder, why are meme owners so interested in selling their NFTs online. To which, Chris Torres, the creator of Nyan Cat, has the perfect answer.
He shared his experience of his image being used commercially. He previously sued Warner Bros for using the car for commercial uses. In an interview with The Guardian, Torres said, “It has been pretty much a constant for me that my ownership of Nyan Cat has been brought into question. When something is on the internet, people assume it is something that can be taken for commercial use, without attribution.”
When Torres decided to turn Nyan Cat into NFT, all his concerns went away. He says, “When Nyan Cat the NFT was sold, I got messages from so many other meme creators. They all had the same story. They created something and put it out there not knowing what would happen. The internet took over and they lost control … these people were looking to me for help in getting a little bit of control.”
In other words, NFTs have given creators and owners control over who gets to see and share their content and who doesn’t. Jeff McCurry, the photographer of the famous Harabe meme, also shares his experience. He said: “I didn’t mind the meme people. I wasn’t bothered about them. But when professional publications used the photo without my permission, that was disappointing. It shocked me how much they did it.”
Despite having the copyright to the original Harambe image, it still didn’t matter to the brands because there was no one to hold them accountable until the NFTs arrived with the concept of ownership. McCurry was thrilled by this technology because this meant no one could misappropriate his image for personal interest.
Similarly, other meme owners such as Zoe from Disaster Girl, and Kyle Craven from Bad Luck Brian were also able to pay their college tuition after selling their memes to the rightful owners instead of leaving them on social media.
So, in a way, NFT memes have brought something positive for the meme owners other than being a center of jokes and humor.
Criticism of NFT memes
Many critics are against NFT memes as they believe that they will become a capital product. If memes become monetized, no one will make jokes to share but to sell, and this can be damaging to the whole global community. Memes were made for free and should always be free without any copyright ownership involved.
Although many people believe that NFT memes are a time investment and might lose their worth in the coming years. They see cryptocurrency and NFTs are bubbles that keep filling up with high prices and will burst into lowest lows at some point, similar to the Wall Street Crash in 1929.
Future of NFT memes
If you told someone from 2005 that the viral memes would become a digital asset worth millions of dollars, people would laugh at you and probably make a meme out of it. But now, it is not a joke anymore. Viral NFT memes hold much more value than any other art or digital content.
Despite the harsh criticism about credibility and market stability, NFT memes are bound to change the social media and NFT industry as more and more memes become monetized. In the near future, NFT memes can also become a strong source of income for meme pages and creators who have been making these masterpieces for free as a hobby.
Furthermore, since memes are part of pop culture, people would want to buy more rare NFT memes just to show them off on the internet. Just as Sotheby’s Max Moore says in The Guardian article, “Individuals value buying a piece of history. It comes back to human nature and the desire to own.” So, even if the ownership of an asset is not physical, it will still be valuable because it attracts pop culture.