FORTUNE will begin to sell a limited series of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in collaboration with prominent digital artist pplpleasr, who helped define the aesthetic of the decentralized finance movement. She recently ranked in the Top 5 on the FORTUNE NFTy 50 list of the most influential builders, creatives, and influencers on the NFT scene.
FORTUNE has been at the forefront of reporting on business and finance trends and technologies since its launch in 1930 and is one of the earliest mainstream outlets to dedicate regular space to cryptocurrency with its 2017 launch of The Ledger franchise. Now, its NFTs, all variations of pplpleasr’s artwork for FORTUNE’s digital “Crypto at a Turning Point” package and cover of the August/September 2021 issue of the magazine, “Crypto vs. Wall Street,” will be auctioned on the peer-to-peer marketplace OpenSea. The bidding begins at 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday, August 6, and the auction will close at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, August 9.
FORTUNE Senior Writer Robert Hackett explains in his cover story for the package that decentralized finance—or “DeFi”—is “drawing a generation of tech-savvy tinkerers, crypto-coin early adopters, outside-the-box thinkers, and, yes, occasional degens to an alternative and largely independent financial system, one where they can borrow, lend, save, and insure themselves—based on rules they make themselves.”
Inspired by this democratizing force, FORTUNE will be minting 256 identical copies of the cover art as NFTs. The number is a nod to the 256 bits that make up the cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether. The NFTs will sell at a fixed price of 1 Ether (ETH) each, rather than auctioning off just one NFT for a large sum, giving more people access to the series.
Additionally, in keeping with DeFi’s embrace of the power of open markets, cutting edge technology, and sense of fun, FORTUNE and pplpleasr worked with Manifold on bespoke smart contracts to enhance the bidding experience of three additional, special-edition NFTs of the cover. The graphics of these NFTs will change based on whether certain top crypto influencers place the highest bid. For a selection of wallet addresses, in other words, a top bid will automatically update the art to feature the avatar, or logo, of the respective top bidder.
Eric Diep, President of Manifold, says he is “thrilled to see FORTUNE, an iconic media institution, embrace the ethos of crypto-media by minting their first digital asset using their very own smart contract. This is both encouraging and exciting for the NFT metaverse at large.”
Of her artwork, pplpleasr explains that it represents the personality and potential of the emerging digital world of decentralized finance. “It’s a whole colorful, vibrant ecosystem and community, not just an investment platform,” she says.
FORTUNE Acting Editor-in-Chief Brian O’Keefe says, “FORTUNE has a long tradition of featuring innovative artists. And we’re thrilled to collaborate with pplpleasr and Manifold as partners in this natural next step for our brand—entering the world of NFTs. The work that pplpleasr created for this project brilliantly captures what is a transformative moment for the crypto economy.”