Tech CEO Elon Musk is a well-known meme fan. In fact, some would call him a meme-lord. He even acknowledged it in his tweet from last summer.
Who controls the memes,
controls the Universe
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 26, 2020
He has called them “modern art” and constantly reposts these memes on Twitter to his millions of followers. Although many people enjoy his memes, others do not because he hardly credits the original creators.
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However, the fact remains that people have benefitted from Musk’s practice. In January, shares in Japanese video game maker Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. rose 4.4% in Tokyo in one day following a meme Musk tweeted. It featured a character from the company’s Idolmaster franchise.
Eva Beylin, a self-proclaimed hobby artist, also recently took advantage of Musk’s favorite pastime.
Musk Reposts A Meme
On October 21, the Tesla CEO posted a meme showing a couple lying on a sofa, looking at Bitcoin and Ethereum prices. It showed Bitcoin trading at $69,000 and Ethereum at $4,200. Although, Bitcoin has not hit $69,000.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 21, 2021
The creator of the meme is 28-year-old Eva Beylin. According to CNBC, when she discovered that Musk posted her meme, she was over the moon.
“The ultimate prize of memeology is for the ultimate meme lord to use your meme,” she said, even though she did not get credit.
She later named the meme “Love in The Time of Web3,”
— Eva Beylin (@evabeylin) October 21, 2021
Beylin is the director of The Graph Foundation, which supports blockchain data protocol The Graph. She is passionate about Web3, the decentralized iteration of the internet that powers blockchain-based applications like NFTs.
After Musk posted the “Love in The Time of Web3”, it got a lot of attention. At the time of writing, it has 696k likes and 89.9k retweets on Twitter. That night, Beylin listed it as an NFT on marketplace Zora. Two days later, an anonymous buyer bought it for five wrapped ether, about $19,800 at the then pricing.
The buyer has already relisted the meme for 69.42 wrapped ether, about $275,000. If it resells, Beylin says she will earn a 15% royalty. “It is surreal,” she says.
The Origin Of The Meme
Beylin is not the original creator of the picture, although it was her idea to create the meme. She picked it from another Twitter user who edited the crypto prices and tweeted it as a joke.
Oh my god, we did it guys! pic.twitter.com/U47KGSqejD
— ShΞgen is eating candy 🍬 🎃 (@shegenerates) October 20, 2021
Beylin gave the user 20% of the proceeds from the NFT sale as compensation. She tells CNBC that Shegenerates had no problem with Beylin using her edit.
“Personally, I have [Musk] blocked on Twitter, so I only saw it after Eva [Beylin] posted about him sharing it. I wish I got all those likes myself because I can only imagine how much serotonin my brain would make with all that attention, but memes are permissionless, so it’s just cool to see things I shared around,” shegenerates says.
Beylin says she does not know the creator of the image portraying the cartoon couple. She also tells CNBC that she plans to reinvest in other artists by buying their NFTs.
“As a hobby artist, I’d never be able to reinvest in art or have my art paid for [without NFTs]. So, my thing has always been reinvesting back into NFTs,”
Featured image from The New York Times