- The original "Charlie Bit My Finger" video was uploaded in 2007 and was seen over 882 million times.
- The family auctioned the original video as an NFT and it sold for over $760,000.
- The original video will be taken down from YouTube after the sale was final, as promised.
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The family behind the early viral hit, "Charlie Bit My Finger," auctioned the original video as a non-fungible token (NFT) and it sold for over $760,000.
In the video, the two brothers are seen playing together on the couch when Harry Davies-Carr, who was three years old, playfully puts his finger in the mouth of one-year-old Charlie Davies-Carr. Harry laughed and said the famous line, "Charlie bit me!"
The 2007 video had been viewed over 882 million times on YouTube, and the family vowed to delete the video from the social platform after the sale was final. The auction started on Saturday - which marked the 14th anniversary of when the video was uploaded - and ended on Sunday.
The sale of the video marks yet another early content creator breaking into the NFT space and profiting off the early viral videos. The people behind viral videos and memes including the "Leave Britney Alone," "David After Dentist," the "Disaster Girl" meme, and the Nyan Cat meme have all sold the original files of their viral content as NFTs - with some making as much as half a million dollars.
Harry, now 17, told Insider through email on Friday that the family is working with Origin Protocol - a digital marketplace for NFTs because they offered them a "personalized auction" that is dedicated to the sale of their one NFT which was hosted on CharlieBitMe.com. This is a change from the popular websites like Rarible and Foundation that other viral creators have used.
On the website, the family wrote that the winner of the auction will get to film their own version of the parody with Harry and Charlie, who is now 15.
Harry told Insider that the family did so because they "wanted to commit to the whole evolving ethos of NFT" and "give it a new life."
The boys' father, Howard, who recorded the viral video, told Insider they did benefit from the YouTube Partner Program after it launched in 2008. The program, which allows content creators to monetize their videos using ads, is still in use today by many content creators. "Our family did benefit financially and this really allowed us to provide the boys with a great start to their lives," he told Insider.
However, they went into this auction with no expectations except with a commitment to meeting up with the winner and offsetting the environmental costs that have worried many cryptocurrency critics.
According to the Verge, "Individual pieces of crypto art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are at least partially responsible for the millions of tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions generated by the cryptocurrencies used to buy and sell them."
To help, the family said they will be donating to "carbon offset costs of mining bitcoins before we even worry about having anything left over." Whatever is left will be put towards the boys' education, "which will hopefully include universities," Harry told Insider.
The boys' father said they understood that the future of content sharing is changing and wanted to change the way they engaged with their audience. He told Insider, "NFTs allow us to engage with the fans in a different way."
Charlie added that they wanted to "be at the beginning of this new platform just like we were with YouTube."