In brief

  • Remember the “Bad Luck Brian” meme?
  • It’s an NFT now.
  • Someone bought it for $36,000.

“Bad Luck Brian,” an artifact from the halcyon days of top-text/bottom-text impact-font image macros, has returned in NFT form; earlier this week, it sold for $36,000.

It’s part of a slate of auctions on the NFT marketplace Foundation, organized by the digital artist Chris Torres. Torres is responsible for Nyan Cat, which is a cat with a Pop-Tart for a torso—last month, he turned it into an NFT and sold it for over $500,000. Other early-2010s memes in the campaign include “Keyboard Cat” and “Scumbag Steve.” 

The market for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, started picking up speed late last year; these are cryptographically secured collectibles that can take the form of anything online, from images, to music, to tweets. Back in October, an NFT attached to a Bitcoin-themed physical artwork sold at Christie’s for $131,000.

In 2021, the market has expanded significantly. NFT sales topped $340 million last month, which is more than all of 2020 combined.

Last week, musician and visual artist Grimes sold a collection of multimedia artworks on the Winklevoss twins’ NFT marketplace, Nifty Gateway, for around $6 million. And earlier today, Beeple—now the most recognizable name in crypto art—sold an NFT for a mind-boggling $69 million

Per a description on Foundation’s website, the two friends who masterminded the original “Bad Luck Brian” meme are involved with the new NFT.