The creator of the viral “Leave Britney Alone” video has sold the original footage as an NFT (nonfungible token) to an anonymous buyer for over US$44,000 (RM181,698), according to a report by website Insider.
Crocker listed the video for sale on Foundation – an NFT marketplace – on April 12, where the starting price was 10 ETH (ethereum cryptocurrency) or US$23,842 (RM98,438). It was then sold to a bidder who placed 18.6942 ETH or US$44,560.99 (RM183,983).
In the artwork information, Crocker said the video was originally uploaded onto YouTube under the account ItsChrisCrocker on Sept 10, 2007 where it garnered more than two million views in 24 hours.
Crocker released the video then as a response towards negative media coverage of Britney Spears after her performance at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. Then a teenager, a tearful Crocker pleaded to the media in the United States to stop criticising Spears out of concerns for her emotional wellbeing.
The video received widespread publicity and led to Crocker appearing on talk shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live. At its peak, the video hit more than 40 million views, according to a Guardian report.
Rolling Stone reported that the original upload is no longer available on YouTube after Crocker deactivated the account in 2015.
Now aged 33, Crocker told Insider that despite getting millions of views, no money was ever made from the famous Leave Britney Alone video as it was not monetised.
He added that the money from the NFT sale will be used towards helping family members. As a self-proclaimed “viral video pioneer”, Crocker has one million followers on Instagram and over 300,000 followers on Twitter.
NFTs are unique digital tokens using blockchain technology to verify ownership of digital files which has gained some popularity among collectors in recent months.
Last month, American artist Beeple sold an NFT of his artwork for US$69mil (RM284mil) at a Christie’s auction.
In February, artist Chris Torres, the creator of the Nyan Cat GIF, sold a 10th anniversary edition of the GIF for about US$590,000 (RM2.4mil) during an online auction.