130 Interactions, 2 today
The family auctioned off an NFT of the footage last month and raised $760,999.
A baby and a toddler, Charlie and Harry Davies-Carr became unwitting Internet sensations back in 2007 with the viral video “Charlie Bit My Finger.” Now, 14 years later, the brothers have told the BBC that they are using the proceeds from a non-fungible token (NFT) sale of the video to pay for their university tuition.
NFTs are cryptographically distinct tokens that may be associated with digital material such as photographs and music. In recent months, online memes from the late 2000s and early 2010s, such as Nyan Cat, Scumbag Steve, and Overly Attached Girlfriend, have found new life as NFTs, garnering six-figure sums for their creators.
“Charlie Bit My Finger” is no exception. An NFT of the video—under a minute long—raised $760,999 at auction last month. It features a three-year-old Harry putting his finger in baby Charlie’s mouth and getting bitten. He then repeats the action, with comic results.
Deletion of original clip
The video was initially released on YouTube by Charlie and Harry’s film director father, Howard, and has now had over 885 million views.
Howard offered to remove the original footage from YouTube in order to raise the NFT’s value, but the winning bidder—3F Music, a startup that already owns the NFTs of Disaster Girl and Overly Attached Girlfriend—said there was no need.
According to Howard, the family has made around $1.4 million from the video over the years.
“The clip only went up as I wanted to share it with the boys’ grandfather. I was naive about the whole YouTube thing. It became viral and once that happened there was nothing I could do,” he told The Times in 2009.
Harry, aged 17, told BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat that he intends to use the money to study engineering at either UCL or Imperial College in London. Charlie, who is now 15, claimed they have two more brothers and that the money from the video will pay for them to attend university as well.
Even before the NFT sale, the family reaped the benefits of the video’s fame, using money to support visits to the United States. “I can’t even remember doing it, so making money off it and having experiences off it is really cool,” Charlie explained.
But he and Harry weren’t quite that excited at the time. According to an interview with their mother in 2008, Shelley, the boys felt embarrassed when they first saw themselves on TV.
The opportunities and money gained should set off that early embarrassment nicely.