HomeHow ToArticlesEdward Snowden's "Stay Free" NFT Artwork Fetches a Record $5.4 Million

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Edward Snowden’s “Stay Free” NFT Artwork Fetches a Record $5.4 Million

The sale of "Stay Free" NFT combines a historic court decision against NSA's mass surveillance with Snowden's iconic portrait, benefiting the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has made headlines once again, this time for the sale of his NFT (non-fungible token) artwork, “Stay Free,” which garnered an impressive $5.4 million in a recent auction. The unique piece combines a landmark US court ruling that deemed the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance illegal with a striking portrait of Snowden himself.

The substantial proceeds from the auction will be directed towards supporting the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organization where Snowden currently serves as the president.

Expressing his astonishment, Snowden took to Twitter, stating, “FIVE POINT FIVE MILLION from @PleasrDAO. It feels like the whole staff of @FreedomOfPress is watching live, and we’ve never seen anything like this. This is more than a spectacle.”

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Snowden further emphasized the importance of advancing cryptographic applications in upholding our rights. “Emerging applications of cryptography can play an important role in supporting our rights. This auction will drive the development of valuable and privacy-protecting uses of encryption, to safeguard press freedom and serve the public,” he added.

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The sale marks another chapter in Snowden’s journey since 2013 when he leaked classified information exposing US intelligence’s electronic surveillance methods, including the unlawful monitoring of foreign leaders. Seeking asylum to evade repercussions from US federal authorities, Snowden ultimately found refuge in Russia, where he was granted a residence permit in 2014.

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Facing charges under the Espionage Act in the US, Snowden could potentially face up to 10 years in prison for each count. Despite this, the auction’s success and the generous contributions to the Freedom of the Press Foundation reflect a supportive community rallying behind Snowden’s cause.

In a tweet expressing gratitude, Snowden said, “We have a winner, internet friends. I want to extend a very special thanks to everyone who followed this over the last 24 hours, and the deepest gratitude from EVERYONE at our @FreedomofPress to those who bid on our charity event. You help us make a better world. Stay free!”

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NFTs, which utilize blockchain technology to verify ownership of digital assets, have become a groundbreaking method for buying and selling unique digital creations. From artwork and tweets to music and video games, NFTs continue to redefine the landscape of digital ownership.

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