Pepe’s rare NFTs aren’t the most popular digital art collectibles, but they do have an interesting history. Read on to find out what Rare Pepe NFTs are, why they’re relevant in Bitcoin culture, and whether you should consider collecting them.
What is Rare Pepe?
Rare Pepe is a subset of Pepe the Frog, a character that first appeared in Mark Fury’s 2005 comic The Boys Club.
Pepe the Frog is a green anthropomorphic cartoon with a human body. The cartoon character became an Internet meme in 2008 thanks to its popularization on the social networks Gaia Online, MySpace and 4chan.
In 2015, Pepe the Frog memes began to be used with hateful intent by the alt-right movement and white supremacists when Donald Trump announced his bid for the presidency.
Fury next year partner with the Anti-Defamation League in a social media campaign using #SavePepe to get the symbol back from those who used it to spread prejudice.
In 2014, a variation of the Pepe the Frog meme called “Rare Pepe” appeared on the 4chan board. They were shared as collectible cards, and some were watermarked with the words “RARE PEPE DON’T SAVE”. This meant that the artist did not release the image for public use. The following April, a collection of 1,200 rare Pepes was put up for sale on eBay. They reached a high price of $99,166 before being withdrawn. Rarer Pepe memes have been listed on eBay and Craigslist.
Rare Pepe cards on the counterparty: original NFTs (before they were called NFTs)
Thanks to their popularity, it is perhaps not surprising that Pepe the Frog and rare Pepe have made their way into the crypto space. They appeared on Counterparty, an open source protocol built on top of Bitcoin, as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in 2016. This was before the advent of Ethereum NFTs. At that time, the term NFT was not even used yet.
The launch of Rare Pepe NFT was influenced by SATOSHICARD’s famous 2015 Genesis spells. Pepe’s first rare NFTs were mined at block 428,919 bitcoins.
Rare images of Pepe on Counterparty looked like trading cards and were minted in limited quantities. Through the Rare Pepe Wallet, users could buy, sell and store their Rare Pepe NFT cards. Users exchanged these NFTs using a liquid cash card called PepeCash.
In addition, collectors could submit their rare images of Pepe to the Rare Pepe Collection. catalog. It was a catalog of all known rare Pepe. The submission rules were strict. They are reading:
“Entries must be ORIGINAL. Our quality control team checks every Pepe for excellence. (no stealing!) Our experts understand that many Pepe borrow from each other to some extent, but try to add as much original content as possible. Also, make sure your Pepe is raw. Check out the latest materials in the catalog to compare.”
At the time, PepeCash had a shipping cost of around $13. The Rare Pepe Foundation has removed all offending rare Pepe’s that were shipped before they were visible in the catalog.
As the NFT community grew, Fury started his own NFT project called Pegs. PegzDAO sells NFTs in accordance with its corporate identity. In October 2021, Pegz in collaboration with the NFT marketplace. Chain/saw, auction a rare Pepe NFT card called FEELSGOODMAN. It was one of 500 tokens originally minted in 2016 by Rare Pepe Wallet creator Joe Looney. FEELSGOODMAN sought to bring peace between the Bitcoin and Ethereum communities. Of the 500 tokens, 400 were burned and one was auctioned off. Proceeds from the auction and the remaining 99 NFTs went to PegzDAO.
How much are rare NFT Pepe sold for?
In a January 2018 live auction held in New York (NY), Pepe Homer Simpson’s rare collectibles – at the time they were simply known as collectibles or crypto collectibles – Sales for $39,000. It was the first digital art auction in history. Many people on the internet criticized the buyer, Peter Kell, for buying something so expensive that they thought it was useless. However, three years later, Kell sold Homer to Pepe for $312,000.
Aside from Kell’s NFTs, the 2021 NFT craze has seen other rare Pepe NFTs sold for startlingly large sums of money. Some collectors have used the Emblem Vault software protocol to reconfigure rare digital Pepe cards so they can also run on the Ethereum blockchain. They then put “wrapped” rare Pepes on the NFT market. The open seawhere some are sold for big money.
For example, one rare Pepe created around Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto sold for $149.99 in ETH, which at the time was around $500,000. Another copy of the same rare Pepe NFT was sold for a little less — 111.1 ETH.
However, not all rare Pepe NFT deals ended well. Buyer FEELSGOODMAN NFT from Furie sued Furie for over $500,000 in March 2022 on the grounds that the NFT was not rare enough. The buyer who won the auction mentioned earlier in this article paid 150 ETH for the NFT, which at the time was over $500,000. According to the claim,
“Thayer believed he would be the owner of the only FEELSGOODMAN NFT card in circulation, with the remaining 99 tied to the DAO.”
However, the remaining NFTs were given away to PegzDAO members for free, reducing the value of Thayer’s NFTs.
Is it worth collecting rare NFT Pepe?
Rare NFT Pepe is not as popular as Bored Apes or Crypto Punks. For this reason, these NFTs usually don’t sell as much or as expensively as these two high-ranking NFT collections.
Looking at the current OpenSea lists, rare Pepe NFTs (on Ethereum) are up for auction or have been sold for less than 1 ETH. So, if you are looking to collect these NFTs with the goal of cashing out big, your chances may be low unless you have an extremely rare 1/1 card. However, if your goal is not financial gain and you just love Pepe’s rare NFTs, you can still collect them for their value as art.
In addition to the Ethereum-based Rare Pepe NFT, you can also purchase items from the original collection, which is still on counterparty protocol on several Rare Pepe marketplaces.