Elon Musk, the billionaire, is well-known for his fondness for memes. He routinely retweets them to his 61 million Twitter followers.
Others have benefited from Musk’s behaviour, including self-proclaimed “hobby artist” Eva Beylin, who dislikes his reposting since he frequently fails to acknowledge the original meme producers.
Musk retweeted Beylin’s meme on Wednesday, and she was ecstatic. “To have the greatest meme lord utilise your meme is the ultimate reward in memeology,” Beylin, 28, tells in an interview.
“I am over the moon,” she adds, adding that she is a great admirer of Musk despite the fact that Musk did not give her any credit.
Beylin’s meme, dubbed “Love in the Time of Web3,” shows a cartoon couple savouring the current bitcoin and ether values, which are $69,000 and $4,200, respectively. While the price of bitcoin has not yet reached $69,000, the figures are a clear reference to meme culture.
Beylin is excited about Web3, the decentralised iteration of the internet that drives blockchain-based applications like NFTs, as the director of The Graph Foundation, which promotes the blockchain data protocol The Graph.
Following Musk’s post, “Love in the Time of Web3” received a lot of attention. Beylin placed it as an NFT, or nonfungible token, on the Zora marketplace that night, and it sold to an unknown bidder two days later for five wrapped ether, or roughly $19,800 at current prices.
“It is surreal,” Beylin says.
Despite the fact that it was Beylin’s idea to create the meme, she did not design the cartoon couple’s image or modify the bitcoin and ether pricing.
After witnessing another Twitter user change bitcoin values and tweet it as a joke, Beylin was inspired to create the meme.
Beylin compensated the user, who goes by the handle @shegenerates by giving her 20% of the revenues from the NFT transaction. Shegenerates told reporters that she was cool with Beylin utilising her edit.
“Personally, I have [Musk] blocked on Twitter, so I only saw it after Eva [Beylin] posted about him sharing it. I wish I got all those likes myself because I can only imagine how much serotonin my brain would make with all that attention, but memes are permissionless, so it’s just cool to see things I shared around,” Shegenerates says.
Beylin has no idea who created the image of the cartoon pair. Because of the legal ambiguity surrounding NFTs, it’s unclear if the usage of this image violates any potential copyright restrictions.
Beylin intends to reinvest her part of the sale by purchasing NFTs from other artists.
“As a hobby artist, I’d never be able to reinvest in art or have my art paid for [without NFTs]. So, my thing has always been reinvesting back into NFTs,” she says.
“Love in the Time of Web3” has already been relisted for 69.42 wrapped ether, or roughly $275,000. A bidder has already offered 6.94 wrapped ether, or roughly $27,500, for the meme, which is less than the buyer’s asking price.
Beylin will receive a 15% royalty if it is resold, she claims.