About six years ago, a friendship breakup meme got viral and now just a couple of days after World Friendship Day, the meme was auctioned off as NFT for $51,530 or 20 ETH. This also marks the first meme NFT from Pakistan. The sale was conducted on the digital art marketplace Foundation by London- and Lahore-based startup named Alter.
After the platform fees, the major chunk of the auction earnings is going to the creators of the meme – Raza and his friends. Alter will also be taking a minor split from the proceeds.
The origin of the meme is a story about Asif Raza who decided to post an image on Facebook denouncing friendship with his best friend after a fight. The image was a shoddy Photoshop job and went viral as the “Friendship Ended with Mudasir” meme. In the original post, he had written: “I declare that I left my past best friend Mudasir Ismail.” He had also added that Ismail had become “proudy” and “selfish” and mentioned that “now Salman Ahmad Naqash is my best friend.”
The auction has been widely appreciated by NFT collectors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Zain Naqvi, co-founder of Alter says that some digital creators in Pakistan find it difficult to jump onto the NFT bandwagon due to shifting cryptocurrency policies and limited opportunities. But Raza says that he plans to create similar memes to put up for auction in the near future.
For those who are unaware, an NFT is a crypto asset that represents an intangible digital item such as an image or video. NFT owners are recorded on the blockchain, meaning that NFTs can be traded as stand-ins for the digital assets they represent. NFT sales are on the rise and it surged to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, up from just $13.7 million in the first half of 2020.