On Sunday evening, Taco Bell was serving up more than just tacos — it was also delivering NFTs: the fast-food chain tweeted that it was selling taco-themed GIFs and images on NFT marketplace Rarible. Of course, everyone saw that it was a brand hopping on a bandwagon (one that could potentially be detrimental to the environment), and promptly ignored it. No one bought them, and no articles were written.
Just kidding! Taco Bell said that the demand for the NFTs was hot, and that the 25 tokens apparently sold out in 30 minutes. The NFTs are, of course, taco-themed, with four out of the five designs being animated GIFs.
What’s an NFT?
NFTs allow you to buy and sell ownership of unique digital items and keep track of who owns them using the blockchain. NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” and it can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, songs, or items in video games. An NFT can either be one of a kind, like a real-life painting, or one copy of many, like trading cards, but the blockchain keeps track of who has ownership of the file.
NFTs have been making headlines lately, some selling for millions of dollars, with high-profile memes like Nyan Cat and the “deal with it” sunglasses being put up for auction. There’s also a lot of discussion about the massive electricity use and environmental impacts of NFTs. If you (understandably) still have questions, you can read through our NFT FAQ.
Taco Bell does say that all the proceeds will go to the Live Más Scholarship through the Taco Bell Foundation. Taco Bell also told The Verge that the NFTs included a real-world perk in the form of a $500 electronic Taco Bell gift card. That perk, however, is reserved for the original owner of the NFT, a PR spokesperson confirmed. Not a bad deal for the people who paid a buck or two for them.
Taco Bell has hinted that it’s planning on doing another run of the tokens, but I wouldn’t rush to buy them in hopes of getting a gift card — there are no promises that future Taco Bell NFTs will include them. Also, you’d have to spend the rest of your life knowing that you gave your money to Taco Bell and got back a GIF, instead of a taco. Taco Bell says that NFTs are forever, but can they really be as satisfying as the crunch of a hard tortilla shell with some water-flavored lettuce? Or if you want a better tasting taco, the warm feeling you get from supporting a local taco place instead?