Taco Bell jumps on crypto art train, sells out of taco gifs in 30 minutes

Mar 10 2021, 5:58 pm

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The latest craze in cryptocurrency has had art collectors buying a video clip of LeBron James dunking for $208k, a digitized version of a Banksy artwork for roughly $380,000, and now some — wait for it — digital tacos.

Welcome to the wild world of non-fungible tokens. The burgeoning blockchain-based market has been making bank, with its USD value doubling in total volume in February alone. All the buzz has even got prestigious auction house Christie’s on the bandwagon.

Before you go Googling what on earth non-fungible means, bear with us. An NFT in basic terms is a type of virtual currency that represents ownership of a one-of-a-kind digital asset. Fungible means interchangeable—like cash (a fixed value)—so since NFTs are non-fungible, they aren’t readily exchangeable. Think of a one-off piece of art or antique (or a digital taco).

So what exactly is this Taco Bell art we speak of? On Sunday, the fast-food chain and subsidiary of Yum! Brands released five taco-themed gifs up for auction on digital asset marketplace Rarible, with five editions each.

If you thought that wouldn’t be nearly as much demand for digital tacos then there would be for, um, actual ones, you’d be mistaken—the 25 NFTs sold out in 30 minutes.

Amongst the artsy gif collection was a swinging pendulum taco, a purple holograph taco, and a grainy full-colour taco—all with the vibe of video installations you see in art galleries.

Proceeds went to the Live Más Scholarship via the Taco Bell Foundation, and according to an article by The Verge, the NFTs also included a $500 Taco Bell gift card.

All this hype might have you wondering if these non-fungible tacos are just about owning something exclusive—or if they’re also likely to give collectors a good investment.

Since NFTs are one-of-a-kind, their price is likely to rise with time. That said, we are talking about tacos here, not the Mona Lisa—however, nothing is ever certain in the world of crypto.

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