A one-of-a-kind digital collector’s item that emerged from a New York Times technology column and sold for more than $ 500,000 in auction. This was the first such sale in the newspaper’s history.

An image of the column titled “Buy this column on the blockchain!” – was converted to a non-fungible token or NFT and sold in a heated auction that resulted in more than 30 bids on the Foundation NFT marketplace website.

The NFT, a unique piece of digital code stored on the Ethereum blockchain and referring to a 14 megabyte graphic of the column hosted on a decentralized file hosting service, cannot be duplicated or forged, what makes it potentially valuable to collectors. Some NFTs have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few weeks, with one such sale – an art collection by digital artist Beeple – raising more than $ 69 million at auctions.

Together with the token, the auction winner will receive additional discounts – if they identify themselves – including a voice message from Michael Barbaro, the host of the podcast “The Daily”. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Neediest Cases Fund, a Times-affiliated charity.

The auction winner, an NFT collector getting a handle on @ 3fmusic, placed a last-minute bid for 350 ethers, a digital currency that’s worth around $ 560,000 at Wednesday’s exchange rates. A link in the user profile led to the website of a music studio in Dubai.

@ 3fmusic could not be reached from Wednesday afternoon. The user appeared to be an avid collector of NFT artwork. In addition to the Times token, her collection on Foundation also includes works such as “The Results of 2020,” a picture of a sad-looking Kermit the Frog, and “Mushy’s Midafternoon Nap,” a picture of a cartoon toadstool sitting on a log.