The close-up of a little girl smiling slyly at the camera while in the background the firefighters try to tame a burning house: it’s the meme of Disaster Girl, and it is unlikely that you have managed to avoid it in these years spent on the internet.
The little girl in question is called Zoe Roth, and she was only four years old when in 2005 her father immortalized her in that iconic photo, which would win a photo contest and then be swallowed up by the multifaceted ingenuity of the web when it comes to producing memes, reappearing at every auspicious occasion in a new guise.
Well, the news today is that Zoe managed to get something out of it, selling the photo as an NFT and earning a whopping half a million dollars. As many will know, the acronym stands for Non-Fungible-Token, a system that allows the purchase and sale of unique digital objects in order to keep track of the real owner of the original image through the blockchain; if on the web there are thousands of photos with Disaster Girl, only one, the NFT, can be considered the original.
So it took 15 years, but the network has finally become a mature place where you can reap the harvest, also thanks to the success of cryptocurrencies.
The photo was sold at an auction organized on the Foundation platform to a user named @ 3FMusic, a music studio based in Dubai, per 180 Ethereum, which is the second best-known cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, whose value just today exceeded $ 3,000. At the time of the sale, the value was around $ 475,000, but with the recent rise it is now over $ 570,000.
Interviewed by New York Times, Roth said he will use some of the proceeds to pay off his student loans and the rest will be donated to charity; the girl has retained ownership of the copyright of the image which will earn her 10% of any future sale of the NFT in question. To be honest, Disaster Girl isn’t the first meme to be up for auction: first it was Nyan Cat and also the pixelated glasses of Deal With It, but there is also room for wrestling.