In a unique experiment published last month, NFT artist pplpleasr and business publication Fortune created covers for their magazines using an Ethereum-based NFT that could look different depending on who bid.
A distinctive element of the promotion is that half of all proceeds go to organizations that support freedom of expression.
At the time of the auctions' closing, Fortune and pplpleasr revealed which beneficiaries will receive half of the proceeds of August's auctions, which raised a total of 429 ETH, or $1.3 million.
At Monday’s exchange rate, half of that sum—over $658,800—was split among four news outlets.
A total of nearly $165,000 worth of ethereum was donated from the sale of the NFTs to Reporters Without Borders, GroundTruth, The Institute for Nonprofit News, and The Committee to Protect Journalists.
Fortune magazine praised the recipients for being "worthy organizations that support public service journalism and free speech."
"Across the globe, journalists have been increasingly attacked by oppressive and authoritarian regimes over the last two decades," according to Fortune CEO Alan Murray. "Our company, Fortune, is more than happy to assist."
A crypto-focused charity platform, Endaoment, handled the donations. The Fortune Journalism PleasrFund has authorized the first grants through these donations, which will be distributed to nonprofit organizations chosen by Fortune and pplpleasr in future tranches of $25,000.
INN CEO and Executive Direct Sue Cross wrote in a blog post that she is thrilled to play a part in this innovative new approach to philanthropy. Journalism is an essential public service and people and organizations are investing in it as a result of the fund."
The cover of Fortune's August issue, designed by pplpleasr, features a spread on decentralized finance (DeFi) and other industries in the crypto space.
Fortune released a limited series of NFT collectibles as well, selling 256 standard-edition NFTs to mark the occasion. Three enhanced editions were auctioned off on OpenSea to commemorate the occasion.
NFTs serve as deeds of ownership for nearly any type of digital assets, such as photos, videos, interactive video games, and more.
A special feature of the limited-edition NFTs is that they may be modified if certain prominent members of the crypto industry place a bid through their public Ethereum wallet.
Ultimately, this meant that once the auction concluded and the NFT was made available on the Ethereum blockchain, any of the three would look different from the others.
Smart contracts enable NFTs to have that feature. In DeFi, NFT collectibles and decentralized applications (dapps) are smart contracts that contain bits of code performing set instructions.