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The stars of YouTube sensation “Charlie Bit My Finger” plan to auction off the iconic video as a non-fungible token, joining a growing legion of internet celebrities who seek to cash in on the NFT wave.
The auction is set for Saturday — 14th anniversary of the uploading of the video to YouTube in 2007, Charlie and Harry Davies-Carr told The Post. The auction will take place on CharlieBitMe.com.
“NFTs is the new thing,” said Charlie, now 14, in an interview from the family home in Marlow, England, about 30 miles from London. “When we posted, YouTube was the new thing, but now NFTs is the exciting new thing.”
Following the auction, the famous video will be removed from YouTube after accumulating more than 881 million views over the years, the brothers said.
The pioneering clip is among the earliest posts on the internet to go truly viral. Charlie and Harry, now 17, will join several others who enjoyed early internet fame, such as the so-called Disaster Girl, to auction off their viral piece of the internet as an NFT.
The pieces of digital art have been fetching eye-popping prices at auctions in recent months. The movement has caught so much attention that major, centuries-old auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s have now sold NFTs.
NFTs are digital assets that represent ownership of virtual items like art and sports memorabilia, acting as a certificate of authenticity. Ownership of NFTs are recorded on a blockchain network, which supports cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. The “Charlie Bit My Finger” video will be recorded and sold over the Ethereum blockchain.
“We were one of the first to embrace YouTube and we’re being one of the first to embrace NFT’s and cryptos,” said Howard Davies-Carr, Charlie and Harry’s father who recorded and posted the original video when his sons were 1 and 3.
Howard added that it’s not about the money. The family has no expectation for the amount it can expect from the auction. He added that it might even be a net negative for the family.
“The person who wins will also get a chance to reenact the video,” Howard said, adding that the family would be willing to fly to meet the auction winner. “We’re going to do that at our expense, that’s fine. We could come out of this badly. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The auction will be hosted through Origin Protocol, a decentralized platform that’s focused on launching NFTs. The company has worked with a slew of celebrities, including DJ 3LAU and YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul, in recent months to auction off their NFTs.
Matt Liu, co-founder of Origin, said the NFT movement is more than just a bubble. He added that there are various reasons why people might want to buy an NFT, even though copies of image or video still usually exist elsewhere on the internet once they’ve been purchased.
“There’s a million copies of the Mona Lisa circulating, either as physical or digital images, all over the world, but everyone knows that there’s only one,” Liu said. “Even though there are still other digital copies, there’s one that’s basically been authenticated by the creator of this content.”
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