YouTube star Chris Crocker, who shot to online infamy for their ‘Leave Britney Alone’ viral video, has sold the original clip as an NFT (non-fungible token) to potentially fund their transition.
The 2007 clip, which became one of YouTube’s first-ever viral videos, saw Crocker offering a tearful and passionate defence of Spears in the middle of the singer’s very public breakdown.
The video has now sold to an anonymous buyer online for 18.69 ether, which is roughly equivalent to around $41,000 (£29.7k).
Speaking to Business Insider, Crocker explained that selling the video was their way of reclaiming the clip after years of relentless mockery and abuse.
“I felt like a lot of people might misconstrue why I wanted to sell it,” Crocker said.
“But the real reason is because I felt like I took a lot of hits — you know, literal hits,” explaining they had been “physically assaulted at gay clubs” and received death threats.
Crocker added that the money made from the sale would go primarily towards helping their grandmother, but any additional funds will be put towards their gender transition surgery.
“I would absolutely put that towards, like, me being able to become myself”, Crocker said.
An NFT, as NME‘s Mark Beaumont explained recently in a blog, is a form of cryptocurrency asset. Most cryptocurrencies are fungible (or ‘spendable’) tokens; you can exchange them for other cryptocurrencies or spend them on goods where they’re accepted.
“Non-fungible tokens act like digital gold bars, rare trading cards or paintings kept in safe storage – they’re kept on the blockchain (basically a Cloud for financial assets, but where everyone with an account keeps a note of what you own) in your name but you can only sell or trade them as collectibles,” he wrote.
However, they are not without controversy – it was revealed recently that the sale of the digital items can have a huge effect on climate change.
Elsewhere, Elon Musk recently announced plans to release a song about NFTs as an NFT.