New York Times column in the form of a nonfungible token sells for over £400,000 at auction in latest sign of popularity of NFT craze
A unique digital item created from a New York Times column has sold in the form of a nonfungible token (NFT) for more than £400,000, in the latest sign of NFTs’ recent popularity.
Columnist Kevin Roose sold the item as an experiment, with proceeds going to the Neediest Cases Fund, a charity affiliated with the paper.
“I’ve decided to enter the freewheeling world of nonfungible tokens,” Roose wrote in the column.
“This is my first experiment — a column about NFTs that is, itself, being turned into an NFT and put up for auction.”
The column explains how NFTs work and describes the process of setting up the auction.
The token, which was sold on the Foundation NFT auction site, records ownership of a 14 MB graphic of the column hosted on a decentralised file hosting service.
The NFT is hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, a form of distributed ledger that can’t be modified.
Such tokens cannot be duplicated or counterfeited, making them potential collectors’ items.
Some NFTs have sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent weeks, with the sale of a collection of art by the digital artist Beeple earlier this month bringing in $69 million (£50m) at a Christie’s auction.
Also this month, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet in the form of an NFT for some £2m.
The Times auction attracted more than 30 bids, with the winning bid being 350 Ether, a digital currency, being worth around £424,000 at the time.
The bid was offered by an NFT collector using the handle Farzin, with the username @3fmusic, who appeared to be an avid collector of NFT art.
Other items in the user’s Foundation collection included an image of a dejected-looking Kermit the Frog, titled “The result of 2020”, and an image of a cartoon mushroom sitting on a log, titled “Mushy’s Midafternoon Nap”, as well as numerous other surreal or psychedelic images.
The Times is offering the purchaser other perks including a congratulatory voice memo by the host of a podcast produced by the paper and the option of appearing in a follow-up article about the sale.