Picture this: you forever have sole digital ownership of “Pete,” a technology-infused piece of art depicting GrepBeat’s very own Managing Editor Pete McEntegart.
“The Pete,” up for auction on OpenSea, is a non-fungible token (NFT) art piece. The proceeds of the art’s sale will be donated to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. So go bid right now! [Note: You’ll need to have or create a crypto “wallet,” but that’s a small price to pay for a masterpiece like this.]
The auction will remain open until this Friday, April 9, at 11 a.m. ET. The auction’s winner will be announced on The Friday Nooner. [Update: the winner was Steve Klein, the former CEO and Co-Founder of Statuspage.io, which was acquired by Atlassian in 2016. The winning bid was 0.075 Ether, which was worth about $160 at press time. Thanks, Steve!)
What is an NFT, you may ask? Non-fungible tokens are digital certificates of ownership for specifically digital assets. These smart contracts have code that publishes into a token on a blockchain like Ethereum. Each NFT is unique (i.e. “non-fungible”) and thus deliberately rare.
Some of the more common types of NFTs are jpegs, gifs, videos and tweets. In fact, Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet—“just setting up my twttr”—for $2.9 million to benefit charity. But any digital asset can find itself as an NFT.
Once NFTs are purchased, the owner can sell or distribute it, but the creator can put limits on where it is used.
Buying an NFT can have a variety of purposes. They can be financial investments or a more emotional purchase, to feel closer to the creator of the NFT.
Companies are now looking at how to use NFTs to expand their brands. That’s why Taco Bell sold five taco-inspired gifs for $1, which increased to thousands of dollars in value with resale.
NFTs act as a further expansion of blockchain, with the tokens making an explosion in the art scene as well.
Cue the next great NFT in the art world: The Pete.
“The Pete” is part of the new GrepBeat collection, which is described on OpenSea as “unique in its insightful and piercing commentary on the human condition. Through pixel positioning and color fusing, even the novice observer can appreciate the innovative techniques that showcase a depth of emotion with each swipe of the mouse.”
The original artist is a bit of a mystery.
“Not much is known about the original artist except he (or she) has been known to go by ‘Grepo’ and frequent nearby cafes, often muttering odd phrases of appreciation for Little Waves Coffee and Parlour ice cream while lacing their language with Olde English profanities,” the OpenSea listing reads.
The piece of art’s depth might very well pierce your soul.
“Note the artful pixel detail around the eyes,” the OpenSea description reads. “At first, you see curiosity, maybe annoyance. But with time, you see into his soul and wonder, ‘Does he see mine?’ This piece will certainly become a masterpiece and climb to prominence in the art world as the Mona Lisa of the modern era.”
For more information on “The Pete” auction to benefit the North Carolina Museum of Art—and most importantly, to make your bid!—go here.
[SPOILER ALERT: The auction was won by Steve Klein, the former Co-Founder of Statuspage.io, which was acquired by Atlassian. Steve’s winning bid of 0.075 Ether, which was worth about $160 at that time, was donated to the North Carolina Museum of Art. Thanks, Steve!]