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Snowden NFT Sells for $5.5M

Money will go to press foundation the whistleblower leads
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2021 3:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Edward Snowden has broken into the NFT market with a big sale. Stay Free, a digital portrait of the whistleblower, brought about $5.5 million, or 2,224 Ethereum, in a one-day auction, Mashable reports. The portrait is based on a photo by Platon, using pages from the court ruling that found the National Security Agency's mass surveillance activities were illegal to create an image of Snowden's face, per engadget. It was produced and signed by the whistleblower. Open source software was used to make it. Snowden won't be keeping the money; it's going to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, whose president is Snowden. "We have a winner, internet friends," Snowden tweeted. The winning bid came PleasrDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization formed to buy NFTs.

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The sale easily topped the $2.9 million an NFT of Jack Dorsey's first tweet netted last month. JFTs usually are pieces of photos, videos, or other digital objects. The owner receives a unique piece of code that's stored on a blockchain. The file can be copied, but there's only one, documented original. A lot of energy is consumed by computers in that process, and the press foundation said it will buy carbon offsets to cover Stay Free's environmental impact. Snowden said it felt like the foundation's entire staff was watching the auction. "This is more than a spectacle—this is drama," he said. (Read more Edward Snowden stories.)

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