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April 13, 2021 31 min

It started with a picture posted on the internet, and ended in an extravagant cryptocurrency bidding war. NFTs, or “nonfungible tokens,” have recently taken the art world by storm. Sabrina Tavernise, a national correspondent for The Times, speaks with the Times columnist Kevin Roose about digital currency’s newest frontier, his unexpected role in it and why it matters.

Guest: Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The Times who examines the intersection of technology, business, and culture.

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Background reading: 

  • NFT mania has reached new highs in recent months, with a digital artwork by an artist known as Beeple selling for $69.3 million. A trading card featuring the quarterback Tom Brady sold for $1.3 million and an NFT of the first tweet from Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter, went for $2.9 million.
  • What are these nonfungible tokens and why do people pay so much for them? Here’s a primer.
  • A picture of Kevin Roose’s column “Buy This Column on the Blockchain!” was put up for auction and sold for about $725,000. He also wrote about the surreal experience of selling the NFT and spoke to a few people who placed bids.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

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