Rare Pepes Are Worth Real Money Now And We're Very Confused
22 February 2017, 16:38 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09
Here's how your favourite problematic meme can be worth up to $11,000.
Rare Pepes. Before the internet's weirdest frog was co-opted by the alt-right as a low-key symbol of white supremacy, it was the figure of an instantly crumbling meme-based economy.
Artist Matt Furie's character Pepe the Frog has been a reaction image for almost a decade; but it's mostly in recent years that the thousands of edits of the frog resulted in the coining of the term "Rare Pepes".
It used to be joked that "Rare Pepes" were of exceptional value.
And while the concept of "Rare Pepes" has kind of taken a backseat in the wake of Trump supporters adopting the meme for their own means, there's a faction of meme enthusiasts that want to put the value back into it. Literally, with real money.
Meme Insider, a Reddit-based publication that specialises in the analysis and exploration of memes (yes, it's a real thing) have revealed the Pepe-based economy that is converting the value of rare Pepe edits into real currency. While this isn't a new concept (Rare Pepes used to be valued by a fictional currency called Good Boy Points), it's the first time ownership of a meme might actually benefit you financially.
A new site called "Rare Pepe Wallet" has been launched.
Developed by a Bitcoin user known as billybob2014, rarepepewallet.com is a directory that "guarantees that no Pepe can be stolen or duplicated". Using cryptocurrency similar in style to Bitcoin, users can trade "Pepecash" for access to the rarest edits and memes; and can display the Pepes like trading cards. I feel like I should stress at this point, this is completely serious.
At the time of writing, the current value of Pepecash to $1 USD is 420 (nice); but users can also redeem and transfer Pepes as "gift cards" if they aren't familiar with cryptocurrency. There are currently around 500 Pepes available in the Rare Pepe Wallet directory - and based on their rarity, these are valued from anywhere between less than a dollar (10,000 of the Pepe in circulation) to over $11,000 (for a one-of-a-kind card called "OnlyOnePepe").
Long story short: Memes are still weird.