How the OK Karen Meme Resurrected As An NTF
If your name is Karen, you’re probably hoping that the millennial “OK Karen” meme of 2019 is beginning to wind down.
I have bad news.
CryptoKarens, the NFT version of the popular manager-demanding Karen memes, have emerged and are reviving the entitled middle-age white woman stereotype of yesteryear.
Known for their sense of entitlement and subtle (or sometimes overt) racism, CryptoKaren NFTs deliver a humorous take on the Karens that we’ve all encountered at some point in our lives.
Wait, what the heck is an NFT?
An NFT is a digital asset called a Non-Fungible Token. Built on cryptocurrency technology, NFTs can be connected to artwork in a variety of medias, which can then be collected via platforms like OpenSea and Rarible.
Essentially, CryptoKaren NFTs are digital collectibles that anyone can purchase and own. And many have invested significant amounts of cryptocurrency curating their CryptoKaren collections.
The NFT project features 1000 individual Karens with varying hairstyles, makeup and accessories that determine her rarity, and a Karen-esque “tagline” that makes her unique. For example, CryptoKaren #36 enjoys leaving your business multiple 0 star reviews while intoxicated.
Why would someone create CryptoKarens?
A white mom in her early 30’s, CryptoKarens’ anonymous creator “Ali C.” discovered NFTs in March of 2021. “I first learned about the concept through Gary Vaynerchuck’s podcast, and I immediately felt that starting a collection would be a great creative outlet for me.”
The CryptoKarens were not the first NFT collectibles Ali C. created. She says she first experimented with NFTs by releasing a “New World Order” NFT card game on OpenSea.
“I put a lot of energy into the concept, and I learned a lot. But it just wasn’t inspiring me.” She took a step back to consider what other concepts she could find enjoyable, collectible, and had that “secret sauce”.
“One morning I was having an internal dialogue about whether I should switch my morning latte to oat milk instead of whole milk,” she continued. “It was such a privileged conundrum that I thought ‘OK Karen’ to myself. Then it hit me — CryptoKarens.”
Ali C. says the collection was perfect for her to create because she has endless inspiration. “Many of the tag lines are based on ridiculous things I’ve done when I’ve taken myself too seriously or I’ve blindly followed a trend. For example, CryptoKaren #5 doesn’t know what gluten is, but she knows it’s bad.”
She continues, “I still don’t really know what gluten is.”
Other CryptoKarens take on more serious cultural issues, but with a non-abrasive, humorous approach. For example, CryptoKaren #141’s tagline is “One of her best friends is black.”
“I think a lot of times, when someone critiques us or tells us ‘hey, that’s racist’, our immediate reaction is to push back because we feel attacked. But with CryptoKarens, your defenses are down and you may realize “oh, I’ve actually said that before and I probably sounded pretty entitled, even if I was just oblivious.”
Why would someone buy CryptoKarens?
CryptoKaren #1 was minted on March 11, 2021, pre-dating iconic collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and World of Women. It is one of the first generative woman created, owned and operated NFT collections.
As women owned projects take center stage in the NFT market, CryptoKarens are one of the few early collections that continues to mint (but will cap at an exclusive supply of 1,000).
Where can I buy CryptoKarens?
CryptoKarens are available through the NFT sales platform OpenSea and Rarible. To purchase one, you’ll first need to set up a cryptocurrency wallet by using a service like MetaMask or Fortmatic. You can then use your wallet to log into OpenSea and begin collecting NFTs like CryptoKarens and other collections.
CryptoKarens are still being created and will cap at 1000 individual NFTs.
All CryptoKarens issued by the creator, Ali C., sell for 0.1 ETH (around $230 USD at the time of publishing) plus a gas fee. CryptoKarens purchased on the secondary market sell for an average of 0.31 ETH ($728 USD), with asking prices as high as 5 ETH ($11,750 USD).
That’s expensive. How else can I enjoy CryptoKarens?
If you want to enjoy the CryptoKarens project without purchasing, you can still support the project by following CryptoKarens on Twitter. Each day Ali C. tweets the latest CryptoKaren releases, and you may even luck into the occasional CryptoKaren Giveaway.
“My goal for this project is to make people laugh, but also to atone for some of my own blunders,” confesses Ali C.
“I can’t realistically go back and make amends with every individual person I’ve offended, but through CryptoKarens I can call myself out publicly and perhaps help others avoid the same mistakes.”