EtherRock NFT sells for $1.83 million days after being bought for $7000

The seller describes it as one of the 'best investments' of his life.
The seller describes it as one of the 'best investments' of his life. Photo credit: Supplied / Getty Images

If you've been thinking the world has gone a little crazy, the latest high-profile non-fungible token (NFT) sale will do little to convince you otherwise.

Someone has just paid NZ$1.83 million worth of ethereum cryptocurrency for an image of a rock just weeks after the seller had bought it for the equivalent of NZ$7,777 in the same cryptocoin.

Tom Osman, who made the staggering NZ$1.82 million profit, described it as one of his "best trades". At the time of purchase he wrote "this might be the best investment of my life so far."

And how right he was.

NFTs are stored on a blockchain and record ownership of a digital item, in this case what appears to be a relatively standard illustration of a rock.

Anyone can still view or download the picture or even make their own copy of it, but only the buyer can identify themselves as the owner of the digital asset - in this case EtherRock #42 - and sell it.

Number 42 is one of only 100 rocks in the EtherRock project, each identical except for being a slightly different colour to the previous version. 

"I had a hunch it would be something that collectors would want," Osman said in a DM to Vice's Motherboard.

"It's the perfect combo of historic (one of the first [NFT] projects), scarce (only 100, some lost), a meme (literally clipart) and polarising."

EtherRock was first launched in 2017 shortly after CryptoPunks, another project which has achieved record multi-million dollar sales this year.

The official website of the project describes the virtual rocks as serving no purpose, "beyond being able to be brought (sic) and sold, and giving you a strong sense of pride in being an owner of 1 of the only 100 rocks in the game".

The identity of the purchaser is unknown, but according to Motherboard the same buyer paid 4200 ethereum (around NZ$19.2 million) for one of the 10,000 CryptoPunk NFTs earlier this year.

If you're unable to afford a house in Aotearoa and think a CryptoPunk might sound like a good investment, be warned - their price continues to rise.

None of the pixelated artworks have sold for under NZ$350,000 over the last 24 hours, according to data from market OpenSea, with one fetching over NZ$7.4 million.