After film stars like Amitabh Bachchan and sports celebrities like Yuvraj Singh launched their digital collectibles, making their way into the trending non-fungible token (NFT) market are memes that will be available to buyers from January 19.
Memes are a type of content in the form of a picture, video or a phrase that are often humorous, which a lot of people send to each other on social media.
It is the virality of memes that made Kyle Fernandes launch NFT marketplace Meme Club NFT. Fernandes is a computer science engineer who in 2019 along with his friend Taaran Chanana started MemeChat, a platform that allows users to create memes.
“NFT as a concept is like it was built for memes. We can link the author of that piece of content and then empower the creator economy and they can create wealth via NFTs,” Fernandes, Founder and CEO, MemeChat told Moneycontrol.
So what type of memes will be offered as digital assets and for how much?
Fernandes gave some examples that will be offered as digital assets including Friday meme NFT, Kamlesh meme NFT and Cat meme NFT. These memes have been shared around 10,000-25,000 times on social media.
“We have tied up with creators to offer 50 meme NFTs in the first week of launch. Eventually we want to create a marketplace where all creators are creating content. Creators can create content on MemeChat and then the NFTs will be linked on Meme Club,” Fernandes said.
MemeChat has hosted over 20 million memes since its launch.
He added that along with viral memes as NFTs, Meme Club will also let buyers be a part of the community that decides which meme MemeChat will make viral.
MemeChat, which saw its user base grow from 1.3 million in March last year to 4 million now, is behind many viral clips including the rap called Rasode Mein Kaun Tha by YouTuber Yashraj Mukhate, which became a memefest. Fernandes added that MemeChat’s Instagram pages have a following of over 300 million.
This is why he thinks that memes as NFTs will find strong traction with buyers. While Meme Club will be offering NFTs in the price range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 to start with, Fernandes said that as they get a better understanding of what people want, the platform will be launching more NFTs and expects a rapid increase in prices.
Built by a team of five people including Fernandes, Meme Club was made at a cost of Rs 2-3 lakh and Rs 3-4 lakh was invested to roll out perks like merchandise for buyers.
Asked if the launch of an NFT marketplace would help MemeChat attract a larger audience, Fernandes said the platform’s user base is growing at a rapid pace with 20,000-25,000 downloads a day. “What the NFT marketplace will do for MemeChat is create a strong business model for us,” he said.
Fernandes could be right because globally meme NFTs have made millions.
The NFT of the Doge meme with an image of a Shiba Inu dog, one of the most popular memes, was sold for $3.8 million. Last year, the NFT of the viral video called Charlie Bit My Finger sold for around $730,644.
Globally, experts say that meme NFTs picked up pace since last year but its origin can be traced back to 2018 when the NFT meme known as Homer Pepe, which looks like a blend of Pepe the Frog and Homer Simpson from The Simpsons, an American animated sitcom, was bought for $39,000 and was sold last year for around $312,000.Fernandes expects a similar kind of gold rush for meme NFTs in India.