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Time made a hypey crypto cover and is selling it as an NFT

Time made a hypey crypto cover and is selling it as an NFT

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Fiat probably isn’t dead since this seems like a cash grab

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Three Time magazine front covers reading “Is God Dead?,” “Is Truth Dead?,” and “Is Fiat Dead?”
Time is auctioning three magazine covers as NFTs.
Image: Time

Time is the latest brand to jump on the NFT craze, with auctions for three magazine covers — including its iconic 1966 front page asking, “Is God Dead?” A more recent spin on the cover, “Is Truth Dead?” from 2017, is also up for auction, as is a brand-new “cover” that’s not actually appearing on the magazine: “Is Fiat Dead?” — a phrase that sounds like catnip for the type of crypto enthusiasts likely to bid on these things.

The three covers are selling on the NFT auction site SuperRare, with bids running through Wednesday evening. A minimum price of 10 Ether, or close to $18,000 USD, has been set for each cover. The “Fiat” cover is already at double that as of press time.

What’s an NFT?

NFTs allow you to buy and sell ownership of unique digital items and keep track of who owns them using the blockchain. NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” and it can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, songs, or items in video games. An NFT can either be one of a kind, like a real-life painting, or one copy of many, like trading cards, but the blockchain keeps track of who has ownership of the file.

NFTs have been making headlines lately, some selling for millions of dollars, with high-profile memes like Nyan Cat and the “deal with it” sunglasses being put up for auction. There’s also a lot of discussion about the massive electricity use and environmental impacts of NFTs. If you (understandably) still have questions, you can read through our NFT FAQ.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are essentially blockchain-based certificates validating that someone owns a piece of digital art. Buyers typically get limited rights to display the artwork digitally, but actual creative rights generally remain with the artist. The tokens have blown up over the past month, culminating in an NFT from Beeple selling for $69 million.

As the format has exploded, brands have been quick to cash in on the buzz. Taco Bell and Charmin both sold branded NFTs and donated the proceeds. Pringles sold a digital can of chips, and Pizza Hut Canada sold digital slices.

While those were purely marketing stunts, Time’s cover sale doesn’t seem all that far off. It’s a quick way to make money and get the magazine some attention.

Time didn’t indicate if the proceeds would be donated or whether it would be offsetting the environmental impact of the sales.