A column by a New York Times journalist sold for more than half a million dollars on the blockchain on Thursday.
Kevin Roose, a technology reporter at the Times, announced in a column published online Wednesday that his column would be sold in an online auction as an NFT, or nonfungible token.
Roose wrote that the money he makes from the auction will be donated to the Times's Neediest Cases Fund, a global initiative that has raised money for those who are less fortunate. It has brought in more than $300 million since its founding in 1911.
More than 25 bids were placed on the column, with the winner, a user on the NFT auction site called Farzin, placing a bid of $560,185.50.
NFTs are connected to unique pieces of software code that ensure an unalterable record of their provenance is stored on the blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that forms the basis for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
"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?" Roose wrote.
Roose live-tweeted his amazement at the response his auction got on Thursday.
anyone know a good crypto accountant— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) March 25, 2021
In a recent memo to staff, the Times leadership said it would set up a committee to ensure the outside work of its journalists do not interfere with their regular duties.
“The committee will primarily review outside projects that have the potential to be competitive with our journalism and business, could conflict with or distract from your work or The Times, involve payment or could be covered in any other way by the policies defined by the Ethical Journalism Handbook,” the Times said in in the memo.