On this planet of non-fungible tokens, nothing is off the desk. After seeing individuals able to pour out ridiculous amounts of money to personal NFT’s of farts, cat footage, and Lindsay Lohan fanart, you is likely to be questioning what absurd shit will discover its manner onto the blockchain subsequent. And apparently, the reply is clipart. Clipart of a rock. Clipart of a rock that anybody can obtain without spending a dime right here, however that can also be being offered on the blockchain for the worth of a small house.
If studying that doesn’t make you need to stroll into the ocean, then excellent news: You, too, can personal one of many EtherRock up for sale proper now, for the low, low price of $272,679. And that value is barely going to maintain going up. When the nameless dev behind this undertaking first rolled out these collectibles in 2017, there have been solely 100 pet rocks put into circulation. As the location explaining the undertaking points out, this restricted run implies that “every new virgin rock will get an increasing number of costly.”
Additionally they helpfully added that these digital rocks don’t serve a objective “past having the ability to be introduced and offered, and supplying you with a powerful sense of delight in being an proprietor of 1 of the one 100 rocks within the sport.” So, yeah.
Apparently, that pitch was sufficient to carry crypto collectors on board. Two weeks in the past, the angel investor-turned crypto personality Gary Vaynerchuk tweeted about EtherRock as one of many “pre-2019 NFT initiatives” to regulate over the subsequent decade. Nearly instantly, individuals started throwing down money, and their costs skyrocketed. Since Vaynerchuk’s tweet went out, transaction records present the worth of a single pet rock going from 1.2 ETH (roughly $3,700 USD) to 32 ETH (roughly $99,200 USD) to 80 ETH (roughly $248,600 USD). Over the previous day, consumers have spent greater than $664,000 mixed on these collectibles, that, once more, are actually simply barely tinted variations of the same royalty-free clipart that anybody can obtain.
Completely different people have completely different motivations for getting one among these rocky buddies. One purchaser defined in a Twitter thread that their $46,300 buy was a method to personal a little bit of NFT historical past.
“As we get into an age of digital collectibles, being one of many earliest types of the artwork and the primary do one thing provides them provenance that’s invaluable,” they wrote. “The pet rocks current the proper shock worth, it’s so silly that it’s good. Destiny loves irony.”
One other purchaser who dropped about $25,000 on his personal rock told Motherboard that these buys have been both “the stupidest or probably the most unbelievable determination of our lives.” He added that whereas he thought the idea was dumb at first, “FOMO kicked in,” the way in which FOMO tends to do, and $25,000 later he had a tiny piece of NFT historical past of his very personal. And I completely get the sentiment—the web’s structure is doomed to rot from within as time goes on, leaving all of us with the job of archiving or buying bits of web historical past earlier than they’re gone for good. However when that piece of historical past is a few low-res clipart of a rock, you’re in all probability higher off saving your cash and downloading that factor without spending a dime.