Can I Get Rich Off My Memes Now?

Closeup of a llama with large teeth from an underbite

Who wouldn’t want their clever meme or TikTok video to go viral? The payoff of internet fame can bring you a dose of serotonin and perhaps, gets you a free red Toyota Truck loaded with cranberry juice. But of course, that was before a jpeg could land you millions of dollars. If you missed the news, there is a fast-spreading sale of digital art, music, videos, and even sports clips.

What is an NFT?

To keep it simple, an NFT or non-fungible token is a digital item with value. With NFT’s, you can buy or sell essentially what amounts to a digital file, such as a gif or jpeg. The file is documented on the blockchain as being the unique version, separate from say, the same exact gif you shared with your friends in a chat. It’s a little mind-boggling, but the idea here is the “original” digital asset is valuable since it’s rare. Only one person can own it. Your friend could argue they have access to the same gif, but you can say, you own the one on the blockchain–think, bragging rights.

So Can I Sell My Tik-Tok Video?

Theoretically, yes. But you have to find someone who will buy it. However, you absolutely can put it up for sale, along with that hilarious meme you made. But this is also a way to sell other works, such as original music, movies, poems, and more. If you want to try, check out Rarible.com for one marketplace where you can put your digital files up for sale. And if you’re more of the collector or investor type seeking to make a purchase, check out Opensea.com. There are plenty of other places, but these are two to get you there.

What Could Go Wrong?

Remember the Beanie Baby craze, the dotcom bubble, the housing market crash, and of course, Gamestop? Sometimes people get a little overly excited about the idea of making quick, easy money. There is the risk that investors begin purchasing these digital assets in hopes of turning a profit by selling them again, only to find nobody wants to buy a bit of computer code for thousands of dollars anymore. And that could be bad for one person, but consequential for many. And then there is the environmental impact. Many NFT sales use cryptocurrency, a carbon consuming currency due to its high energy use. The sale of NFT’s may make you an owner of a non-physical item, but the impact on the real world is huge.

In Close

You can buy, trade, and sell your Tik-Tok video, giphy, music, memes, and more. Essentially, if it’s stored on your computer, you can put it up for sale. And yes, you could get seriously rich. But you could also get caught up in the frenzy, trading, and selling where you find yourself unable to pay the electric bill that gives you access to exact files that put you in this mess. Although, maybe neither comes to be true and all you have is a chuckle about the time you tried to get rich with a meme. Either way, give all the risks and pros a careful weigh out before you jump in.

 

By Thomas Guzowski, U of R Employee
Thomas Guzowski, U of R Employee Assistant Director of Marketing Thomas Guzowski, U of R Employee