A pseudonymous blockchain bidder named "09E282" has apparently paid over $113,000 worth of the cryptocurrency wrapped ether for a token tied to a virtual Formula 1 race car.
Why this happened is still unclear but it seems that someone out there wanted a totally buffed virtual car for a game that the company claims is an "officially-licensed Formula 1 game."
The racing game is called F1 Delta Time and was made by Animoca Brands, a company that licenses popular characters and properties and builds mobile games around them. F1 Delta Time is a "blockchain-based" title that bears the official seal of approval from the company that controls the Formula 1 races.
The car was the first product available for in-game purchase – in this case, via an outside auction – and apparently owning this vehicle is worth over $100,000 to someone out there. Besides, this car is overpowered to the max, bruh!
Why would anyone spend that much money on a virtual car in an unreleased racing game that few people know anything about? While NFT-based cryptocurrency games like F1 Delta Time are interesting and exciting new ways to use blockchain, this investment is so outrageously bizarre that it seems almost suspicious.
Was Animoco just using this auction to build publicity around its new game? Could some wealthy F1 fan with a penchant for cryptocurrency speculation really have spent $100,000 on the 1-1-1?
After the 2017 rise of CryptoKitties, which saw people paying as much as six figures for a virtual pet, it's perhaps not all that surprising that a non-fungible token (NFT) representing an imaginary racecar, created on ethereum using the same ERC-721 standard, would sell for so much. The transaction, for what its worth, is recorded here according to Etherscan.
Whether this was a stunt, a mistake, or the start of a new – albeit odd – market is anyone's guess. We've put in a request for comment regarding this shiny virtual vehicle.
Image courtesy of F1 Delta Time
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