An NFT from Signal's founder will look like a poop emoji when someone owns it

Know what you're getting into when you bid on an NFT.

·2 min read
TBA via Getty Images

Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Signal, has created an NFT (non-fungible token) that mocks the entire concept of NFTs. "At my whim, #1," as the piece is titled, renders differently depending on where you see it. It has a contrasting appearance on NFT marketplaces OpenSea and Rarible, but the real fun will start if and when someone buys it. As noted by The Verge, Marlinspike says it will look like a big ol' poop emoji in the owner's wallet.

An NFT is a unique digital token that's essentially a certificate of authenticity showing that someone owns a digital artwork, music or other collectible. It lives on the blockchain, with the idea that the blockchain's public ledger adds more security and transparency. Often, though, the media an NFT relates to isn't on the blockchain. The NFT is effectively a verified link to it.

That's the aspect of NFTs that Marlinspike is playing off of with "At my whim, #1." Whoever controls the URL's destination can change the image at any time. Marlinspike says his NFT renders differently depending on the IP or user agent "so the NFT image data isn't ever consistent, and what you bid on isn't what you get."

The description of the NFT on OpenSea and Rarible hints at that. "You may own (?) the results of this function call, but I own the function," it reads. At the time of writing, the highest bid on the NFT is around $1,067 worth of Ethereum, but Marlinspike can't be entirely sure that the bidders know what they're getting into. He asked on Twitter if any bidders would be willing to host an AMA (ask me anything) session and answer queries such as "Is it clear to you that what you're bidding on will render as Pile of poo emoji in your wallet?"