The NFT of record: New York Times raises $500,000 for charity in NFT column sale

The NYT goes NFT as tokenized article auctions for over $500,000

“It’s worth a try,” wrote New York Times columnist Kevin Roose of his attempt to auction one of his articles as a non-fungible token (NFT). Just a day later, however, it appears to be worth much more than that.

After publishing a step-by-step NFT explainer titled “Buy This Column on the Blockchain!” on Wednesday, Roose has successfully auctioned today what he calls a “digital original” of his article as an NFT on the Foundation platform, raising over $550,000 for charity.

The last half-hour of the auction was a particularly exciting one, with a bidding war breaking out to drive up the price from just under $50,000 to the final $562,891 sale. Competing for the coveted digital clip was Facebook veteran and stealth startup founder J Ouyang and the eventual winner, Dubai-based production company 3F Music.

The proceeds of the sale are being donated to the NYT’s The Neediest Cases Fund, which has distributed over $300 million to charities and families over its 110-year history.

The donation to charity makes sense given that — even as many newspaper and media companies shut their doors primarily due to venture capital and hedge fund mismanagement — the NYT is thriving. The company’s earnings report for q4 2020 shows that the company generated $80.5 million in profit on $509.4 million in revenues during the period, with newer verticals like digital subscriptions and podcasts as standout earners.

This successful foray may prompt the 170 year-old newspaper to experiment further with blockchain technology. After all, the hard part is over: on Twitter Roose made playful reference to what was no doubt a lengthy legal process in getting the institution and its various lawyers and gatekeepers to lend the NYT brand to the experiment, saying that it induced “maximum possible confusion.”


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