Why Did Someone Pay $560,000 for a Picture of My Column? - The Guy Who Wrote the New York Times Column that Netted $560,00 in Auction Responds
Bidders say they had many different motivations, including fun, self-promotion and a signal of support for the NFT market.
I’ve had some strange experiences in my career as a journalist. But nothing even remotely prepared me for the experience of watching total strangers competing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a picture of my words.
A few weeks ago, I decided to write a column about the rise of nonfungible tokens, the hottest craze in the cryptocurrency world, with a meta twist: I would [turn the column itself into a NFT](https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/technology/nft-column-blockchain.html) and put it up for auction, with the proceeds going to The New York Times’s Neediest Cases Fund.
When I pitched the idea to my bosses, I thought the stunt might attract a handful of bids from curious Times readers who had spare Ethereum, the cryptocurrency being used for the auction, burning a hole in their digital wallets. Maybe we’d raise a few hundred dollars for charity and explain the complicated process of creating and selling NFTs along the way. I set the auction’s minimum price low — 0.5 Ether, or about $800 — and was nervous I might not get even that much.
Instead, the auction became a circus. I listed it on Wednesday morning, and before I went to bed that night, the top bid had risen to more than $30,000. When I woke up the next morning, it was $43,000. In the final hour of the auction, I watched, slack-jawed, as a last-minute bidding war broke out.
After more than 30 bids, the auction ended at 12:32 p.m. Eastern time, with a [winning bid](https://foundation.app/kevinroose/the-new-york-times-x-nft-13129) of 350 Ether, or about $560,000. A few minutes later, after the auction platform had taken its cut, nearly $500,000 in cryptocurrency landed in my digital wallet. I was stunned. Congratulat...
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