"Coffin Dance" meme has just sold for over $1,000,000 as an NFT

The funds from the sale will go to Ukraine.
Christopher McFadden
Coffin dance guys.techpoint

In non-fungible token (NFT) news, a popular 2015 video of Ghanian pallbearers, commonly known as the "Coffin Dance" has just sold for 327 Ether (ETH). Converted to fiat currency, that comes in at around $990,934 at the time of writing. 

The NFT's creator, Benjamin Aidoo, quickly took to Twitter to announce the amazing sale and to also thank the bidders for making the NFT such a huge success. This sale is not for personal profit, as it turns out, as the funds will be used to send financial aid to beleaguered Ukrainians. 

The original meme was created by the Ghanian pallbearers to signify an untimely end, and it quickly became the perfect response to a laughable but life-threatening mistake made by a hilarious character. The meme soon became incredibly popular and was accompanied by a 2010 electronic dance music (EDM) track called Astronomia, created by Russian composer Tony Igy. 

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But, you might ask, given the widespread availability of the meme online, why has someone paid around $1,000,000 for his particular one? To understand this you need to understand what an NFT actually is. 

 The basic concept is that each NFT is unique, or non-fungible, and cannot be replicated or copied. It is one-of-a-kind.

Cryptocurrencies, like the Ether, used to buy this NFT are the opposite. There can be many of them, and each has the same value. 

By converting, or minting, the famous meme as an NFT it has its own unique metadata which is the real value of the NFT, not necessarily its "visual" or "audio" properties. When you buy an NFT you are really buying exclusive rights to this metadata that acts as an official certificate of ownership. 

This is the value that the winning bidder has won. 

This information is stored on the Ethereum blockchain using something called the ERC-720 standard. It contains two main pieces of information about the NFT including its "tokenID" (its unique identifier) and the contract address (an alphanumeric address on the blockchain). Both of these are generated when the NFT is "minted" on the blockchain, much like a record on a database. 

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The important thing to note is that while the buyer now owns this metadata, they don't have exclusive rights to the actual meme itself. The original intellectual property rights still are, and will always be, the pallbearers who originally created it. 

Much like Leonardo da Vinci will always be the creator and "owner" of the IP surrounding the "Mona Lisa", irrespective of who owns the painting today or in the future. 

According to the World Economic Forum, “Some buyers think they acquire the underlying work of art and all its accompanying rights. However, in reality, they are simply buying the metadata associated with the work; not the work itself.” 

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