The acronym NFT may not ever be considered an official Scrabble word but the term (short for “nonfungible token”) has now found its way into the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and ownership of its definition will be auctioned as an actual NFT on the crypto marketplace OpenSea from Tuesday, May 11 until Friday, May 14 at 11:59pm EDT. Proceeds from the sale will go to the nonprofit Teach For All, a network of 34 independent partner organizations spread across 60 countries which focuses on improving educational opportunities for children around the world so they can maximize their full potential.
“This project is about establishing NFTs as a medium with lasting value through the permanence of a record in the [United States’] most-trusted dictionary,” said Nate Chastain, Head of Product at OpenSea. “We’re excited that a brand like Merriam-Webster is using NFTs to engage with its audience in new ways.”
Colloquially, NFTs have been conflated with the digital assets to which they are tied when they are, in fact, two linked but separate items. For example, the asset would be the original artwork or masters to a song on a blockchain whereas the token is what identifies the asset’s owner. However, Merriam-Webster has since opened up the term’s definition to now mean “the asset that is represented by an NFT,” too.
“By auctioning the NFT of our definition of ‘NFT,’ we’re offering people a fun way to own a little bit of Merriam-Webster’s thought and meaning,” said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s Editor-at-Large. “And while the NFT itself may not be fungible, the knowledge we’ve created certainly is and we’re excited to share it.”
The winner of the auction will own the NFT as well as receive the link to their OpenSea profile from the NFT definition page on Merriam-Webster.com. Click here to make your own bid on lexicographic history.