Someone called “Dr_Dumpling” dropped 171.99 ETH on the OpenSea market to buy the ten-second clip.
Two weeks ago, Saturday Night Live ran a sketch about NFTs involving Pete Davidson and the rapper Jack Harlow. Not long after, they decided to auction the parody sketch on the OpenSea platform. It sold for $365,000.
Last night, an NFT of the NFT sketch (really, a ten-second video clip and associated token) sold for 171.99 Ethereum tokens.
NFTs are non-fungible token. A kind of cryptocurrency derivative that often act as a link to a file and auctioned off as proof of ownership. The market for these digital collectibles exploded in February, as artists made millions off JPEGs and GIFs, though there are signs are the hype has died down a little. At the height of the boom (bubble?) a digital artist named Beeple sold an image for $69 million through Christie’s.
Someone called “Dr_Dumpling” snagged SNL’s NFT, which entitles them not only to the token itself, but also to two tickets for a live SNL taping. So far, Dr_Dumpling has yet to re-list the NFT on the secondary market.
Some have hailed NFTs as a progressive, democratic force in an art market that’s rigged in favor of the biggest players; others question the logic of spending $69 million on an image file, and say NFTs will only deepen economic inequality.
There’s also an ecological question, since most NFTs are built on the Ethereum blockchain, which uses the energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism. As transactions mount, so does the energy cost. And as people continue to mint “artworks” in hopes of making a quick buck, the network congestion and gas fees won’t get any better.
OpenSea, the crypto art marketplace where SNL auctioned off its NFT, raised $23 million in Series A financing last month.
Following in the footsteps of companies like The New York Times, Taco Bell, and Charmin, all of which have given away their NFT earnings to charities, NBC is handing the money off to Stop AAPI Hate. Props to them!
After Nyancat, beeple, and now SNL, who’s next on the NFT train ?