YouTubers and bold companies know how to use memes to boost their messages and products. Just watch anything by PewDiePie or check out the dance moves in Fortnite. But, is it possible to measure the value of a meme?
For example, how could we know if Doge is more valuable than Pepe the Frog? Two Swedish entrepreneurs, Johan Unger and Mattias Tyrberg, are trying to figure this out by launching MarbleCards. It’s a platform that allows people to create digital cards from anything on the Internet. With a marketplace for collectable Internet content, the MarbleCards founders think that eventually, the value of memes will reveal itself. Their trick is allow any web page to be turned into a card, but only once.
What is a Marble card really?
Johan: It is a digital card from anything on the Internet. If it has a URL, it can be made into a card. Each Marble card is unique and combines content from the web page with a generative art pattern into a unique digital item.
Marble cards are ERC-721 tokens on Ethereum, which guarantees ownership of each card and that it can only be created only once. There will only be one owner of the card Pepe the Frog on Wikipedia and one of Doge on KnowYourMeme. MarbleCards allow the creators and owners to sell these unique cards cards in auctions, which eventually will reveal which meme is the most valuable. The first person who buys a card will not pay much, but if it is popular, it’s price will rise over time.
Is there really a market for this?
Mattias: We believe so! We’ve followed the crypto collectible market since its inception and are happy to see projects like CryptoKitties, Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained gain traction in different ways.
These new platforms are bridging the gap between digital games such as Hearthstone and physical collectibles like Magic the Gathering. With non-fungible tokens, it’s possible to guarantee the authenticity, rarity and ownership of digital collectibles.
With only one card of each kind, what happens when you run out of memes?
Johan: That sounds like a first world problem! No seriously, we don’t think it will happen. The most popular memes on sites such as Wikipedia and KnowYourMeme will probably be sold quickly, but new memes are born every day.
The MarbleCards founders think of memes the way that Richard Dawkins originally described them: that any idea that spreads is a meme. So a popular song, a YouTube video or a catchy tweet are all memes if they spread. With MarbleCards, you can collect all of this, as well as any other idea or piece of digital information that’s valuable to you.
Collecting the Internet, are you guys serious?
Mattias: We are very serious and we have big plans for MarbleCards. One does not simply build an app on Ethereum. Launching the beta has been a lot of work and we have great ambitions for the algorithmic art in upcoming card designs. I mean, we essentially create beautiful frames for Internet content, so we really need to make these as interesting as possible.
The founders also plan to add gameplay elements, similar to what you can expect from an ambitious collectible card game. Only, with MarbleCards, people get to create their own cards. This is something completely new and we’re excited to see where it will go.
MarbleCards is launching soon, with KnowYourMeme.com as the first site available. Anyone interested in crypto, collectibles or generative art can check it out at www.marble.cards