'The Economist' Enters The NFT Business

The Economist has joined the NFT race. The magazine will auction a non-fungible token of its Sept. 18 cover on decentralized finance, headlined “Down The Rabbit Hole,” to raise money for The Economist Educational Foundation. 

The auction starts on Monday, October 25, and ends the next day. 

All proceeds of the initial sale will be donated to TEEF, minus any fees and taxes. Run independently from The Economist, TEEF empowers young people to join discussions about the news.

The cover image was created by Justin Metz, a freelance artist based in Britain, working with The Economist’s cover designer Graeme James.

“We described the potential for decentralized technology in our cover story of September 18th,” states Alice Fulwood, Wall Street correspondent for The Economist.  

Fulwood adds: “By selling our ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ cover as an NFT, we are now, in our own small way, journeying down the rabbit hole ourselves, in a fun experiment that will hopefully also raise money for a worthwhile cause.”

The Economist notes that NFTs enable issuers to collect royalties on future sales. The magazine will retain a 10% royalty stake with all future proceeds to be routed to TEEF creating a potentially recurring source of fundraising for the charity.

The magazine joins a growing parade of publishers seeking to leverage NFTs. For example, earlier this year, Time announced it would auction three variations of its famous 1966 cover, “Is God dead?” in NFT form. 

In turn, Forbes offered an NFT of its cover on Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, hailed in the cover headline as “Merchants of the Metaverse,” to benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation. 

And this week, Playboy announced it will release 11,953 so-called “Rabbitars” as NFTs. 

NFTs are “a subset of cryptocurrency,” Brian Georgi, CRO at Boostr, said. However, unlike bitcoin, “NFTs store extra information unique in both substance and value. As a result, one couldn't simply trade them at 1:1 value like one could with a standard dollar.”

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