An exclusive digital token of a New York Times column about blockchain sold for more than a half a million dollars, making history as the news organization’s first sale of its kind.
The non-fungible token (NFT) of the Wednesday New York Times column titled “Buy This Column on the Blockchain!” sold for $562,737 after an auction for the one-of-a-kind digital token spurred more than 30 bids, the Times reported. The 14-megabyte token was sold on the online NFT marketplace Foundation and cannot be replicated or counterfeited, giving it considerable value.
The Times column is the latest high-profile purchase of a digital token, which has drawn increased attention in the past few months. A digital highlight of professional basketball star LeBron James sold for more than $200,000 and an artist made $69.3 million selling a .jpg file at a Christie’s auction earlier this month.
“As I watched these riches change hands, I thought to myself: Why should celebrities, athletes and artists have all the fun? Why can’t a journalist join the NFT party, too?” Times reporter Kevin Roose wrote in the column that was sold. “So I decided to turn this column into an NFT and sell it on the open market.”
An anonymous collector known by their handle @3fmusic purchased the digital column, according to the Times. The company will donate the proceeds of the sale to its Neediest Cases Fund, a charity that gives to a variety of causes including Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Feeding America and World Central Kitchen.
NFTs use blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, to ensure they cannot be replicated, according to The Verge. While NFTs can often be viewed online for free, the buyer is given ownership of the file, which is ensured by blockchain technology.
“It’s easy to be skeptical of NFTs,” Roose wrote. “But I’m cautiously optimistic about them, for the simple reason that they represent a new way for creative people to eke out a living on the internet.”
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