The infamous Internet meme “Pepe the Frog” will be immortalized in non-fungible token (NFT) collectible form by the frog’s original creator Matt Furie. Of course, Pepe has been featured in blockchain art before and a series of cards were created via Counterparty in 2016. However, despite the number of NFT rare Pepes on the web, Furie says when it comes to his famous frog, “Everything else is a bootleg.”
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“Nothing beats the real thing,” the creator of the notorious Pepe the Frog Internet meme told the Washington Post (WP) this week. Matt Furie is well known for creating Pepe the Frog back in 2005 in a comic called “Boys Club.” When the picture hit the web, it went viral on Myspace, Reddit, 4chan and Tumbler, and later was recognized as one of the most popular memes of the last decade. Now Furie is getting into the non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles game and he’s bringing Pepe with him.
Furie has launched a web portal called pegz.fun and it features animated 2-D and 3-D creatures that Furie crafted. Users can even sign up for “plops” which seem to be an airdrop of some kind featuring Furie’s NFTs. One of the NFT pegz features a colorful depiction of Furie’s famous Pepe the Frog character. While speaking with WP, Furie said a lot of NFT artists were creating interesting pieces.
“The NFT world is new, and there are a lot of optimistic people creating cool things,” Furie said during his interview. “Pepe does not have the baggage here that he does in the ‘real world,’ and I like working with utopians and optimistic freethinkers. There are so many possibilities,” the Pepe creator added.
Pepe the Frog Creator: ‘Nothing Beats the Real Thing’
Now, Pepe is no stranger to blockchain as Bitcoin.com News has reported on the crew who created a series of Rare Pepe blockchain-based trading cards in 2016. The creation of these cards on Counterparty was after the Anti-Defamation League deemed Pepe as a “hate symbol.”
When NFTs started making headlines again in 2020 and into 2021, an NFT called “Homer Pepe” sold for $320,000 in February 2021. Furie briefly touched upon the flurry of Pepe NFT’s that were invoked before his pegz concept during his WP interview.
“Everything else is a bootleg, and I’m very inspired by bootlegs in my life and in my art,” Furie said. “But nothing beats the real thing,” he added. Pepe the Frog’s creator further noted:
This new space is laying the groundwork for the Internet 3.0. In the future, you’ll be able to trace memes back to their source.
The popular NFT artist Matt Kane spoke about Furie’s entrance into the NFT space and applauded the meme pioneer. “Matt Furie created Pepe, which inspired Rare Pepes, which provided us the proof-of-concept on which the modern NFT scene became based,” Kane remarked. “So for Matt to have had such a successful entrance to NFTs, it created a beautiful circle.”
Of course, Furie’s other colorful pegz designs are just as fun as the frog, according to the Internet meme creator. “We want to throw a rave in the metaverse for disco Pepes, lizards, tongue-waggling-whachamacallits, blobbies, gooies, pricklies and everyone,” Furie concluded. “Viral media is inside of our heads, our subconscious. It never ends. It’s best to make friends with the worms in our minds and to dance with them.”
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