NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have recently become a tulip-bulb-level mania among the digerati — with artwork, music, tweets and other content selling for millions of dollars in some cases.
But Ellen DeGeneres fans, it seems, aren’t irrationally exuberant about the NFT hype: Her first non-fungible token sales netted a total of $30,955. NFTs let people buy and sell ownership of digital assets, certified through blockchain-based technology.
DeGeneres’ first NFTs went on sale Monday, and the proceeds are going to World Central Kitchen, the food-relief org founded by Chef José Andrés. The show began promoting the stunt last Friday online, and DeGeneres announced the NFT sales on Monday’s “The Ellen Show” — with her monologue about NFTs sold as the premium auction lot. She also tweeted info about the auction to her 79 million Twitter followers.
The NFT of DeGeneres’ monologue was sold for $14,555 to someone with the screen name “@immortal_cod,” who is now the (proud?) owner of the 4-minute, 24-second 4K video clip. The winning bidder also gets a digital copy of “Woman With Stick Cat” — the selfie of DeGeneres holding the sketch she made to gently satirize the whole NFT fad — and physical copy of the pic signed by Ellen.
In a second auction, four “limited edition” copies of the “Woman With Stick Cat” image were bought for $2,500 (out of 10 available). And in the third sale, open to anyone, 64 people paid $100 for a digital copy of the selfie during the 24-hour sale period.
DeGeneres in the monologue poked fun at her own mystification over NFTs. “This term has been all over the news recently, but most people know what it is — including me, but that is not going to stop me from trying to explain it to you,” she said.
In the end, “Woman With Stick Cat” did not come near the sky-high prices some other NFTs have gone for. The most paid for an NFT is believed to be “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” by the artist known as Beeple, bought for $69.3 million (in digital currency) in an auction held by Chrisitie’s last month.