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Ellen DeGeneres gets into the NFT game

Ellen DeGeneres is raising funds for charity with

Ellen DeGeneres is raising funds for charity with an NFT auction. Credit: Getty Images for The Recording Academy / Frazer Harrison

Daytime talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres has hopped on the NFT bandwagon to offer her first nonfungible tokens — digital items each containing a permanent computer code allowing the original to be authenticated and sold like stock or physical artwork.

"Tomorrow, you can bid on my first NFT!" DeGeneres, 63, wrote on social media Sunday. "All funds go to" chef José Andrés' nonprofit food charity World Central Kitchen, she added, though the NFT broker handling the auction, Bitski, specified "net proceeds."

The 24-hour auction, which began at noon Monday, is for a downloadable video-file NFT of DeGeneres' 4½-minute opening monologue from Monday's edition of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," in which the star gave a comedic explanation of NFTs.

The winner will also receive a high-resolution, digital-image NFT of a DeGeneres stick-figure illustration, "Woman with Stick Cat," as well as a signed physical copy of the drawing. As of 3 p.m. Monday, bids for the package had reached $10,000.

DeGeneres also is offering two straight-purchase items. A "gold" package of "Woman with Stick Cat" NFT and signed physical copy sells for $2,500, with one of the limited edition of 10 sold by Monday. A "silver" option is the digital-illustration NFT only, for $100. With an open-ended run, 18 had been sold.

Bitski says on its website that an additional "minimum of 1% of proceeds" will benefit "verifiable environmental projects to offset the carbon emissions, making the drop carbon negative." NFTs have been criticized for the amount of electrical energy they use and the corresponding carbon emissions they generate. Proponents say investing in renewable energy, carbon dioxide scrubbing technology and similar things can offset emissions.

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