In the 10 years since Chris Torres created Nyan Cat, an animated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body leaving a rainbow trail, the meme has been viewed and shared across the web hundreds of millions of times. On Thursday, he put a one-of-a-kind version of it up for sale on Foundation, a website for buying and selling digital goods. In the final hour of the auction, there was a bidding war. Nyan Cat was sold to a user identified only by a cryptocurrency wallet number. The price? Roughly $580,000.
“A lot of people are cynical about this kind of thing,” said Marc Andreessen, a venture capital investor at Andreessen Horowitz, in a discussion on the social media app Clubhouse this month. But people don’t buy things like sneakers, art or baseball cards for the value of their materials, he and his partner, Ben Horowitz, explained. They buy them for their aesthetics and design. “A $200 pair of sneakers is, like, $5 in plastic,” Mr. Andreessen said. “You’re buying a feeling,” Mr. Horowitz added.