A Polish influencer made R3.6 million after becoming the first person to sell her love as an NFT (non-fungible token) online.
Marta Rentel, who goes by the Instagram handle @martirenti, sold the asset of “digital love” on July 13 to a currently unknown buyer, with whom she will go on a dinner date once the transaction is complete.
Business Insider previously described NFTs as “digital assets stored on blockchain technology – the same technology that makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin possible.”
The report added: “The idea behind storing information on a blockchain is that it becomes next to impossible to edit it or remove it. This means when you buy an NFT, the record of your purchase is put on a digital ledger forever.”
Rentel said she wants to be sure that people distinguish “Marta Rentel” the person, from “Marti Renti” the online persona, whose love she has sold.
“Nothing on the internet is physical, it’s a part of my online persona,” she said.
According to her website, this philosophy extends to her wider work as an influencer. It reads: “My name is Marti Renti. It’s not my ‘real’ name though, it’s the digital version of it, coming from the parallel world where the internet is my stage.”
Rentel, who has 654,000 Instagram followers, said she set out to achieve something “unique” by tokenising an emotion. She has also decided to sell other NFTs through her website, such as exclusive ownership to her Instagram photos and YouTube videos.
She told Insider the idea was inspired by Italian artist Salvatore Garau who sold an invisible sculpture titled “Io sono” (meaning “I am”) for R261,000 in May, according to Artnet.com.
Rentel said selling her love was more than just an unusual way to make money or consolidate her place in history books, she believes it makes a statement to other women about their autonomy.
“For me, selling digital love is empowering for women because we can love without compromising our freedom and individuality,” she said.
“Digital love is transactional, but so is marrying a man just because he is wealthy and stable, right?” she added.
Rentel also said that she is searching for the right charity to donate some of the money she has made to.
Moving forward, Rentel hopes to see more influencers take inspiration from her and be creative with what they offer their online following.
Due to the nature of the crypto trend, Rentel says that she was informed of the sale but the buyer’s identity will remain anonymous while it is still pending.
When asked if she thinks real love could develop from the digital transaction, Rentel said there is every chance that the mysterious buyer could also be “a woman or child who is very rich.”
Despite this, Rentel remains positive on her website, writing: “If I manage to successfully mint my Digital Love and find my second half, then why shouldn’t other feelings and emotions just follow?”