The memorable 55-second video of a British infant named Charlie biting his brother Harry's finger, first uploaded to YouTube in 2007 and then quickly going viral, has been taken off of the video-sharing service for good. One of the most-viewed viral videos ever, with over 880 million views to date, is gone. The video's creators have deleted the video from YouTube on May 23rd to turn the viral sensation into a 1/1 NFT up for auction. It's part of the recent craze for non-fungible tokens, crypto-digital art that replicates scarcity through constantly checked digital certificates of authenticity for collectors and speculators.
The "Charlie Bit My Finger" creators are turning the video into an NFT "memorializing them in internet history forever" according to a statement (via Newsweek). The winner of the NFT auction "will also get the opportunity to create their own parody of the video featuring the original stars, Harry and Charlie." The auction is, as the time of this writing, currently live with a bid of $12,500 and will close on Sunday, May 23 at 10 a.m. ET. You can follow the auction for yourself here.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have exploded in popularity in recent months, but they remain controversial. Digital certificates of authenticity that prove the copy of the image or video they're attached to is the creator-sold and authentic "original", NFTs are seen by many artists and creators as a way to maintain the integrity of ownership of their work as well as make considerably more money off of their digital creations while critics note the environmental threats NFTs pose due to the considerable amount of energy required to power the servers that run the "system" as it were.
The "Charlie Bit My Finger" video is just the latest viral interment item to get in on the NFT craze. Zoë Roth sold the NFT of the iconic "Disaster Girl" meme photo of herself as a child for nearly half a million dollars while the "Bad Luck Brian" meme photo NFT sold for $36,000. And it isn't just real-person memes that are selling on the NFT market, either. The Nyan Cat meme sold for nearly $600,000 as an NFT in February.
Outside of memes and viral videos, even entertainment is getting into NFTs. Earlier this week it was announced that Rick & Morty creator Dan Harmon's new TV series, Krapopolis, will be "the first-ever animated series curated entirely on the Blockchain" with FOX and Bento Box Entertainment launching a "dedicated marketplace for Krapopolis that will curate and sell digital goods, ranging from NFTs to a one-of-a-kind character and background art and GIFs, as well as tokens that provide exclusive social experiences to engage and reward super fans."
What do you think about the "Charlie Bit My Finger" video departing YouTube and being sold as an NFT? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.