Nine years after Kyle Craven became the talk of the internet, he now has the last laugh.

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March 15, 2021 2 min read

The subject of a viral 2012 meme banked on his popularity, selling it as a non-fungible token (NFT) for more than $36,000 on Tuesday.

According to Benzinga, Kyle Craven, whose less-than-flattering yearbook photo became the subject of memes, sold the original image for $36,134 via the digital art marketplace Foundation.

Nine years ago, Craven’s friend Ian Davies shared the photo on Reddit with the caption “Takes driving test … gets first DUI.” Though the original post didn’t get much traction, it did eventually spark a series of copycat memes collectively called “Bad Luck Brian.” Some of those memes were shared on popular sites, such as 9gag, Pinterest, Funny or Die and Buzzfeed.

The “Bad Luck Brian” meme is just one of many popular digital keepsakes that the Foundation has auctioned. Business Insider points out that the website also sold the Nyan Cat meme as an NFT for approximately $600,000 in February.

In recent months, public figures such as Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, Grimes and Lindsay Lohan have hopped on the NFT trend. Last week, for example, Dorsey auctioned his first-ever tweet. As of this writing, Sina Estavi, the head of software firm Bridge Oracle and blockchain service CryptoLand, has the highest bid for it at $2.5 million.

A non-fungible token is a digital asset that is stored on a blockchain. Unlike hard currency, it cannot be exchanged for a good or service, as contributor James Murphy notes. Still, many people appear to see some value in it: Just last month, NFTs doubled their total volume in USD. 

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Roland Millaner