The frenzy for digital artwork is going nuts. One of the Internet’s most famous memes just became a $550 million asset overnight as a non-fungible token (NFT) depicting the dog image known as Doge soared in value. As of this writing, the $DOGE coin is trading near the top 20 assets on the popular decentralized exchange OpenSea. And that’s after it doubled in price in less than 24 hours, according to CoinGecko.

The NFT version of the meme, which shows a shiba inu dog wearing a smirk and inspiring the creation of cryptocurrency Dogecoin, was sold for $4 million on the auction website Zora Friday to an unnamed buyer with the Twitter handle PleasrDAO. The purchase was verified by internet meme database Know Your Meme and will give the new owner rights to part of the NFT’s circulating supply.

It might seem like a lot to pay for a jpeg, but it’s a small price to pay for owning a piece of the digital world. Doge has spawned an entire community, including the crypto-based currency of the same name and a massive online fanbase that includes celebrities like Elon Musk. And it’s a big deal for the NFT market, which has seen growth in popularity as more consumers become familiar with virtual assets and how they can be traded on exchanges.

Aside from the $DOGE coin, NFTs in the form of collectible items and e-sports assets have also recently exploded in value. In fact, total NFT volume is up 10-fold this month on OpenSea, despite lingering concerns over pump-and-dump risks and oversupply of some assets.

But not all NFTs have the potential to be valuable as meme-related ones. Some, like the Doge coin, are simply too big for investors to digest.

For this reason, some creators and investors are taking steps to break up the big NFTs into smaller pieces that can be bought and sold in the market. This is called fractionalizing the NFT. It’s a little bit like splitting up a painting at the Louvre so that anyone can own a tiny portion of it.

NFTs that have been fractionalized include Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days,’ which was sold for $69 million in an auction earlier this year, and the now-defunct ‘Feisty Doge,’ which once held the record of highest valuation for an NFT.

NFTs in the form of e-sports are also becoming more popular with the release of new games and apps. For example, the Cool Dogs PFP NFT series, which is a collection of 5,000 programmatically generated NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain that resemble the popular Cool Cat NFTs, recently sold out in its mint last week. The team behind the project is now launching 3D versions of the NFTs and airdropping them to Cool Dogs holders in return for the Doge token, which gives owners rights to part of secondary sales revenue. You can add the Cool Dogs NFT to your MetaMask wallet to view its holdings and trade it on a decentralized exchange. dog nft

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