Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward

Toilet paper NFTs wipe out $7 million in medical debt

March 7, 2022, 3:55 PM UTC

When it comes to NFTs, weirder is often better. Bored Apes and pixelated punk rockers are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. So it’s probably not shocking to hear that NFTs featuring anthropomorphic rolls of toilet paper would find an audience.

What might be more shocking, though, is to learn that the majority of the money—69%—being raised by those happy (or angry or…blitzed?) toilet rolls is being used to fund charities, including one that wipes out medical debt for low-income families.

The Rainbow Rolls project started in Dallas last fall, when developer Joshua Lapidus was joking with friends on a Discord channel about how ridiculous the NFT landscape had become. Eventually, talk turned to creating their own NFT, something as ridiculous as they could imagine, with most of the proceeds going to charity.

“Rainbow Rolls are more than just a fun collectible, they’re a badge to show you give a shit about making the world a better place,” the organizers say on the NFT’s website.

To date, 855 of the toilet paper NFTs have sold, with several fetching over $525—and the average bid price has nearly tripled since Feb. 18. Creators say they plan to mint only 1,000 of the toilet paper rolls, plus however many more they can sell the week after the 1,000th NFT sells.

Just over 16% of the money raised is going to Gitcoin, which funds Web3 community projects. Another 16.5% goes to Giveth, which bankrolls social good projects. And 20% goes to RIP Medical Debt, which buys out unpaid bills from hospitals and forgives them. To date, the joke NFTs have wiped out $7 million in medical debt, according to the Dallas Morning News.

While the toilet paper roll has almost run out, this won’t be the end of things for its creators. Lapidus says his group plans to launch a second project, perhaps in April, and could register as a nonprofit. The group once again plans to partner with RIP Medical Debt.

Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.