What are Yats? They have investors paying $$$ to 'own' emoji.

People are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for emoji. Yes, emoji.

7/25/2021 4:08:00 PM

People are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for emoji. Yes, emoji.

Online speculators are spending tens of thousands of dollars to own emoji, called Yats.

has, according to Yat, already done this."Opera has 380 million users (!!) and now a huge percentage of them can simply enter Yat emojis into the URL bar to visit a Yat Page, or be redirected anywhere a Yat Creator chooses to send them,"explains Yat

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.In other words, Yat owners haven't exactly bought the emoji per se, but rather what is analogous to an emoji domain controlled by Yat. Yat does, however, make clear that a Yat is not limited to being a domain — again, it's meant to represent an all-encompassing online identity.

That's not all. There are also plans to permit the— which would, at least in theory, turn emoji into non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.Dropping serious 💰 for ❤️, 🖼️, and 📈Technical questions aside, the reasons people give for buying up Yats vary as widely as the Yat combinations themselves. headtopics.com

We spoke with six Yat owners over digital chat and email — some of whom asked to remain anonymous or be referred to by their online handles — in order to learn about what Yats they've purchased, how much they've spent, and why they believe in the project.

The answers to the latter question range from financial speculation, to creative expression, to a true belief in the idea of emoji as a universal online identity (emoji don't need to be translated, though emoji-based puns might)."My bet in yats is very speculative," explained one Yat owner, going by the name loomdart, who told Mashable they'd paid $55,000 for

🦋🐝🐱🎩,"but I am speculating that this new take on identities will take off worldwide."Another Yat owner, who described himself over chat as a late forties Canadian man working in the video game industry, explained why Yats appealed to him.

"The idea of a single online identity that 'just works' feels a bit like the Holy Grail to me.""I've always been fascinated with online identities and frustrated with having to recreate my same username and image on so many different sites, in so many different games etc. that the idea of a single online identity that 'just works' feels a bit like the Holy Grail to me," he wrote. headtopics.com

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The Canadian said he'd made around 500 different Yats — some of which were intended as gifts for family members — with the most expensive Yat in his collection costing approximately $900. In total, he estimated that he's spent between $8,000 and $10,000 on Yats.

Another Yat owner, a 37-year-old man from Houston who claimed to own more than 150 Yats, explained what he sees as Yat's potential."I work in B2B marketing and I've seen first hand how emoji has gone from a 'we would never do emoji, it's just silly' to 'let's do a whole email subject in emoji' in less than 18 months," he wrote over direct message."So I can see a future where CNN uses 📺📺📺 as their URL or Cirque du Soleil using 🎪."

Some of the Yats the Houston resident says he owns include🍽️😵💃♻️("eat sleep rave repeat") and🐍✈️🐍("snakes on a plane").Another Yat owner, Matthew Callahan, described himself as a"Yatcolyte," and wrote via email that he has more than 500 Yats — his favorite being

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐."I plan on reselling many of my Yats in the future, but I would have a hard time selling ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️," wrote Callahan, a 37-year-old living in New York City."It's my online identity, my brand — it's really special to me." headtopics.com

Read more: Mashable »

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