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Hypto will now let you own viral moments in internet history

Right now, if one of your clips goes viral, you get a flood of DMs from licensing agencies asking for permission to send it to news outlets. But what if instead, you could mint the clip into an NFT?

By Aimee Pearcy , written on March 15, 2021

From The Culture Desk

Hypto is an online marketplace for viral social content including videos, memes, and tweets. It will allow collectors to buy, trade, and resell viral content.

Since it was set up in early February it has grown rapidly. Last week, it was one of the most popular projects featured on Product Hunt

“People are craving something real, and this is a way to make that possible,” says Hunter Harrison, the CEO (Chief Enormous Officer) of Hypto. Harrison has a background in influencer marketing and product development. He was previously an influencer himself before he pivoted to working with influencers. “I don’t really enjoy attention,” he says. 

The word ‘Hypto’ was derived from combining ‘hippo’ and ‘crypto’. “Well, hippos are amazing creatures. Plus who doesn't love Hungry Hungry Hippos and 90s nostalgia,” Harrison says when I question the meaning. If this wasn’t already one of the most Millennial projects ever, it is now. 

 

Why is everyone suddenly obsessed with NFTs? 

A non-fungible token (NFT) is essentially a virtual representation of a unique digital or real-world asset. You might remember the Cryptokitties craze back in 2019 -- this project, which allowed users to collect and breed digital cats, was the first big boom of the NFT craze. In the two years since then, global searches for NFTs have increased by over 1,500%. 

“So much of the internet is fake. It has been for so long,” says Harrison. “I think this is a step in the right direction to bring some authenticity to the online and digital media space. We are in the early stages with NFTs, and a lot can happen...but that's one of the things that I'm most excited about. People are craving something real, and this is a way to make that possible.” 

Last week, the Beeple NFT, titled “The First 5000 Days” became the most expensive NFT ever sold at auction after it sold at Christie’s for over $60 million. Previously, the most expensive NFT -- also by Beeple -- was flipped by its owner for $6.6 million. 

Even Jack Dorsey is auctioning off his first ever tweet. Right now, the highest bid stands at $2,500,000 by @sinaEstavi. Dorsey recently announced that the auction will end on March 21st, and that he will convert the proceeds into Bitcoin and donate them to Give Directly’s Africa Response fund for COVID-19 relief. 

Frederick Kaufman recently wrote about the significance of this sale in OneZero: “Time itself is now for sale, and it surprises us not at all.” 

Many people have criticised NFTs. Former dot com business executive Seth Godin recently described the craze as a “non-transparent hustle with ‘bubble’ written all over it.” But regardless of your opinion, it’s impossible to ignore the ripples they’re making across the web right now. 

 

Minting viral videos into NFTs

Right now, if one of your clips goes viral, you get a flood of DMs from licensing agencies asking for permission to send it to news outlets. But what if instead, you could mint the clip into an NFT? 

“Most of it is a blur at this point,” Harrison says when I ask him how Hypto first got started. “We quickly went from helping influencers understand the space and how they can mint/distribute their content on existing platforms to building our own. Once we noticed all the limitations in the current NFT landscape, we saw an opportunity to make something specifically for them, and we haven't stopped pursuing that direction.

“The majority of current NFT platforms have -- almost exclusively -- focused on the Digital Art space. Our goal is to expand those borders, and provide viral content creators a seat at the table.”

Only the original creator will be able to mint their content. Every time it is resold or traded, some of the money will flow back to them. 

 

Hypto is already looking to the future 

“Imagine owning one of the top viral posts from the 2010s. That's such a big part of early internet history, and we believe that there is potential for it to hold significant value long-term.”

But when it comes to what the future of NFTs will actually look like, Harrison says it’s anyone’s guess. 

“In the short-term, I think they are going to quickly evolve into having more utility value in the real world. That's been a point of emphasis with some of our planning. Especially for future brand partnerships,” he says. 

“Imagine owning an NFT for a major brand that unlocks a special experience in the real world. Those applications are approaching...and will hopefully be a big part of our platform.”

 

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