Taco Bell jumped aboard the NFT bandwagon this week, releasing five pieces of “limited” digital art on the blockchain.
A quick primer for those unfamiliar with the latest fad sweeping the internet. NFT stands for non-fungible token, and it uses blockchain technology to create scarcity and authenticity for specific digital items. NFTs have generated a lot of headlines and hype over the past few weeks. Musician Grimes made $5.8 million selling digital art, but that number was dwarfed this week when artist Beeple sold a piece of digital art for $69 million at auction.
This is a food tech blog, so we won’t spend much time going into whether spending money on literally nothing is a solid investment or not. But we can say that Taco Bell is the first food brand we’ve encountered trying to ride the coattails of the NFT hype machine.
Taco Bell announced its NFT art sale on March 7 with the following tweet:
The art was sold on the Rarible marketplace, and according to The Verge, the 25 tokens it put up were sold within a half hour. The good news is that this wasn’t strictly a cash grab. According to Taco Bell’s listing on Rarible, “100% of the profits earned from this sale will be donated to Taco Bell Foundation, Inc. to empower youth to discover and pursue their career and educational pathways.”
Will we see more restaurant brands jump into the NFT game? Probably depends on how long this particular fad lasts. A lot of attention is being paid to this nascent NFT space right now, but as more players — especially big corporate brands — get in on the action, that is usually when the public sours on a trend.
But who knows? Maybe we’ll see Impossible Foods release some Heme-based digital art NFTs sometime soon.