Can’t tell your NFTs from your OAG? Rebecca attempts to explain it all… For the LOLZ, of course.

First, a history: In the beginning, there were the cat memes [1]

Happy Cat – posted to Something Awful in 2007 in the style of 4chan’s LOLSPK

This was the first[2] of the Advice Animals – an image macro that used a stock photo with overlaid text as if the animal was giving advice.

The success of which caused the Advice Animals to spawn in their multitudes – keeping the same basic premise – a pithy statement (often with the bait(above) and switch(below) punchline) written in Impact or Arial Black in white with a black shadow.

But there was something missing…

On another subject;

The term NFT has recently come to our attention, but the roots are way older.

Non-Fungible[3] Tokens are unique digital items stored in a blockchain. A blockchain is a chain of records in which each record has its own time, location and code hidden and stored. If you set up a chain of records, you can pass this blockchain around, and people can access, store and make their own sub-records without having to bother you – but you know that it’s safe because the original can’t be changed.

For the non-digital, imagine a physical library within the internet. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are copies of books – easily swappable. NFTs are the rare signed copies. Each is kept hidden away, and they are not removed from the library for any reason.

This is why NFTs are such a big business. They allow you to “own” an item that you can’t store, but is safe from any sort of harm [4]

Games, Music, Art, Tweets and – of course – Pornography have all been created and sold this year for record-breaking sums. February this year saw the NFT of Nyancat sell for $600,000.

Not the NFT. This is an FT Nyancat

NFTs require their own currency to bid and sell with. CryptoPunk / CryptoKitties were some of the first in 2017, but they had been following the work done by EVE Online’s ISK and Valve’s “Hat” economy.[5]

Even the BBCs new Doctor Who Game uses NFTs as playing cards.

There has been, as of this year, $50 million changed from real money into this virtual money. Many people have seen this as very dangerous, which I outline here [4]

But back to Advice Animals:

On June 6th 2012, Laina Morris uploaded a parody of Justin Bieber’s boyfriend with a unique look.

The Crazy Girlfriend Praying Mantis meme now had a real human face, and an army of internet fanboys.

Unlike Scumbag Steve (Blake Boston), Success Kid (Sammy Grimer)  and others, Laina leaned into the success and started making numerous videos and appearances where she would assume different characters – but often return to the disturbing stare.

Over the next few years, Laina would start vlogging events and even make guest appearances on shows like Geek and Sundry’s Tabletop, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and even as an Overly Attached Computer for Samsung.

Channelling Annie Wilks and Dr Harleen Quinzel, the Overly Attached Girlfriend had become a phenomenon, but it was exceptionally hard on young Laina being thrust into the limelight so suddenly. In a YouTube video in July 2019, she announced that she was standing down from OAG.

Then, in April of this year, she announced an NFT. The OAG would be on sale. A one-off original to remember her by:

The internet heard and opened their digital wallets.

ETH is the digital currency used for Ethereum (one of the largest blockchains) – the conversion rate is $2110 = 1ETH at the time of writing.

Laina Morris had just received approximately $400,000 for her OAG NFT. That’s probably not the end of the story – but it’s nice to know that sometimes we can have nice things. [6]


[1] The term ‘meme‘ (from the Greek ‘mimema,’ meaning ‘imitated’) was introduced in 1976. The first recognised meme was the graffito “Kilroy was here”, back in the 40s.

[2] By “first” I, of course, mean “thought to be the first”. The internet is renowned for plagiarism, copyright theft and slapping “FIRST” on everything in their purview. I know Caturday was back in 2004 – but this was the point it became a “thing”.

[3] Fungible: The item can be broken down into valuable items, and each one is indistinguishable from the other. (Copyable)

[4] Oh boy…

The Perils of NFT

  • By changing physical money to digital money, you are giving full ownership of that money to the owner of the blockchain. While the money cannot be taken, it relies on the blockchain being available. If the blockchain is deleted for any reason (power loss, terrorism, bankruptcy) the money ceases to exist.
  • Because the blockchain requires power to keep going, it uses a lot of power. Validating blockchain transactions at the moment uses the electrical output equivalent of Sweden.
  • While the blockchain is present-proof, future-proofing has not been proven. A simultaneous DDoS could damage the blockchain, rendering it inoperable.
  • It creates a second layer of capitalism, one that can only be reached by those with access to the means of production.
  • As there is no traceability, money laundering and other illegal activities rely on the protection of the cryptocurrency provider.
  • Anyone can upload an NFT and claim to be the originator, thus gazumping the actual artist.

[5] This video is of two characters in-game betting on hats (FTs) worth $9,000+ using Rock, Paper, Scissors. If I get enough interest, I’ll do an article on why.

[6] To those who question why people spend money on these things rather than feeding starving cats in Milton Keynes, I’ll just say it’s their money to do with as they wish. There are people far richer spending money on far sillier things, and we don’t tell your family what you spend your money on, do we?

Please note: This is an article specifically about NFTs for the interested geeks. There is likely to be alterations, arguments and changes between writing this and publishing it. I’ve tried to provide the most reasoned arguments for and against.

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