Fortune Magazine’s epoch-making sale of three unique and 256 fixed-price NFT (non-fungible tokens) collectible is a significant milestone in NFT adoption of real-world bellwethers. The financial magazine that publishes the highly rated Fortune 500 list of top global corporate houses raised $1.3 million from the sale of its digitized illustrations, each a unique one and backed by an Ethereum blockchain code.
Initially set at 1 Ether (ETH) each, the digital art created by artist pplpleasr for the crypto-themed August/September 2021 issue of the magazine cover ‘Crypto vs. Wall Street,’ along with other artwork done for the ‘Crypto at a Turning Point’ package, the sale of the crypto assets began on August 6.
The NFT drop has been a stunner in the league of the $2.9 million auction of the tokenized first-ever tweet of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey triggering wide-eyed disbelief in the real world. The tweet that the microblogging website founder auctioned his March 21, 2006, on the Valuables platform run by Cent, a blockchain-powered social media network, contained meager words, “just setting up my twttr.”
The Fortune NFTs were gobbled up in no time, the first one going in the third minute of the opening of the auction. The assets were sold out with the floor price going up beyond 8ETH per piece. The price has since cooled off to around 7ETH on OpenSea. The maximum bid touched 47.4ETH despite a glitch that scuppered many bids. About half of the purse, approximately $600,000 goes to a not-for-profit organization and the rest split between the magazine, its staff, and Emily Yang, the digital artist who goes by the avatar of pplpleasr in the world of digital art.
Why 256? The number denotes the 256 bits making up the cryptographic keys that cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin use. And the theme of the illustrations is equally intriguing. It’s a tribute to the rising dominance of DeFi (decentralized finance) with DeFi depicted as towering over banks and other real-world financial institutions including the stock market. Although the NFTs were listed as “identical,” their on-screen appearance changed to feature the avatar of the top bids of wallet addresses. The cryptic message is an in-your-face “crypto’s here whether Wall Street likes it or not’ warning to the global financial order.
An overjoyed Senior Writer Robert Hackett (@rhhackett) tweeted after the auction concluded: “Pretty stunned” by the results of the NFT drop. To Hackett, the stupendous NFT sale of the Fortune Magazine is an iconic statement in support of DeFI because it attracted a wide range of people to the opportunity it presents. DeFi, he adds, is “an alternative, independent financial system,” that allows borrowing, lending, saving, and insuring. An early votary of the crypto philosophy, Fortune Magazine has been regularly publishing cryptocurrency content since 2017, playing a key role in its mainstreaming.
Minted with Manifold, the NFT offering was termed by Brian O’Keefe, the Acting Editor-in-Chief of Fortune, as the “natural next step for the brand entering the world of NFTs.”
About her momentous collaboration with the premier magazine, pplpleasr talks of “a whole vibrant, colorful ecosystem and community.” To Manifold President Eric Diep, an iconic media institution embracing the crypto-media ethos by minting the first digital asset using its own smart contract was thrilling.
Done with hints and suggestions, Fortune Magazine is boldly picturizing a brave new blockchain-based world financial order. The way the crypto world has gobbled up its NFT drop vindicates its conviction in launching the NFTy50 listing of most influential builders, creatives, and influencers currently topped by Australian digital artist Beeple.