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.
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.