Why the creator of Nyan Cat could have made millions, but didn’t

Nyan Cat turns 10 and the rise of NFT art.

Mar 29, 2021, 12:14 pm*

Internet Culture

 

Matt Silverman

In 2011, Chris Torres drew a pixelated cat with a Pop Tart body and a rainbow shooting out of its butt. It raised $100 for a charity in Texas.

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Ten years later, it’s not only one of the internet’s most iconic images (representing the silliness of the social media age), but has sold at auction as a non-fungible token (NFT) for 300 Ether—the equivalent of $590,000.

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So how can you own an internet meme, which is by definition a digital file that has been shared and remixed millions of times across the web?

This week on 2 GIRLS 1 PODCAST, Alli and Jen talk with Torres about the cultural impact of Nyan Cat, his strange online journey over the last 10 years, how he could have made millions from licensing deals and toys (but didn’t), and the pros and cons of NFTs and blockchain art.

Listen to episode 169 of #2G1P here:

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*First Published: Mar 29, 2021, 12:08 pm