Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey put the first ever published tweet up for sale, and bids for the piece of digital memorabilia reached at least $2.5 million dollars. The tweet was sent out by Dorsey himself. It's all part of what's being described as a new cryptocurrency investment craze called an NFT.
The $2.5 million bid for the tweet was made by Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi, who placed the astronomical bid on a platform called "Valuables by Cent." The platform allows Twitter users to sell their individual tweets.
The tweet, which was originally sent out via Twitter on March 21, 2006, at 3:50 PM local time, reads, "just setting up my twttr."
Dorsey shared a link earlier in March with a link to "Valuables," where bidding for the tweet was set to end on March 21st. The Twitter co-founder says he will convert proceeds from the winning bid to Bitcoin and donate them to the charity "Give Directly Africa Response."
What is an NFT?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, as the Associated Press has explained, are a type of cryptocurrency which allows artists to create verifiably-unique originals of their work while protecting intellectual property. Creators will have the ability to monetize directly with fans in a way that’s never been possible before now.
There are multiple platforms that help with the sale of NFTs, like the recently launched "Valuables by Cent", which is described as a marketplace for tweets. The organization allows creators to sell tweets, which are autographed by creators. As Seeking Alpha reports, Jack Dorsey's post will remain public on Twitter after it is auctioned off, but the buyer will get a certificate that has been digitally signed and verified by Dorsey.
Another option for NFT investors and fans is a developer tool called "S!NG," which, as the Associated Press describes, is a new way for creators to monetize their work. The application is powered by the Ethereum blockchain, which is a powerful database technology that will time stamp and verify original ownership for a file, even after it’s been shared.
NFTs use the blockchain, which is the same technology that supports Bitcoin along with other cryptocurrencies, which allows creators to make unique certificates of authenticity and ownership for any type of digital or more intangible product or work, as the BBC explained.
The platform offering up Dorsey's first tweet seems to recognize that many will be bewildered by this new investment idea, writing on their website an explanation of sorts on the tangibility of owning such intangible creations: "owning any digital content can... hold sentimental value and create a relationship between collector and creator."
What is a blockchain?
A blockchain is a type of database that stores information within blocks that are chained together. When data comes in, it is put into a new block, and once full, it is chained to the previous block in chronological order.
Some blockchains are decentralized so that no one person or group has control, and all users keep control collectively. While spreadsheets are meant for one person or a small group to store and access information, a database, like a blockchain, for example, is meant to store a much larger amount of information, as Investopedia explains.
NFTs run on the Ethereum blockchain.
NFTs are collectors items
An NFT is a unique asset, usually a work of art, a GIF or a meme that is bought by collectors. Digital songs, videos or items in video games can be sold as NFTs. Collectors, or buyers, hope the value will go up so that they can resell the item for a profit, in a market that is feared to be a price bubble, as investment website Seeking Alpha points out.
Recently, 41 year-old artist Mike Winkelmann of Wisconsin, who goes by the name Beeple, sold one of his digital artworks promoted by the auction house Christie's for a record $69.3 million. The listing was for one of the artist's "monumental collage" works called “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days," and was the first purely digital artwork (NFT) ever offered up by the auction house. The work, offered up online by Christie's has become the most expensive work of its kind, Forbes reported. Beeple has made millions selling his digital art, validated by blockchain database technology.
According to Forbes, there was just 30 minutes to go as "Everydays: The First 5,000 Days," had not yet topped $15 million during the auction at Christie's, but a group of last minute bids came flying in and the price shot up to the record winning amount.
As Bloomberg reported, the winning bid came from a digital asset investor known as "Metakovan" from Singapore, who has refused to give his full and real name. The individual is the chief financier behind Metapurse, which is a crypto-based fund that acquires NFTs along with other virtual properties.
Speculation is that the Beeple piece could go on to sell for a billion dollars at some point.
On Feb. 24, the platform Nifty Gateway announced that the work by Beeple, called "CROSSROAD," had sold for $6.6 million.
And astonishingly, a recent "crypto art rendition" of the famous Nyan Cat meme sold for $590,000, investment site Seeking Alpha reported.