Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet for $2.9m as an NFT

23 Mar 2021

Image: © tashatuvango/Stock.adobe.com

The Twitter CEO said the proceeds will be converted to bitcoin and donated to a non-profit organisation operating in Africa.

At the beginning of the month, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey decided to sell his first ever tweet as a non-fungible token (NFT).

Now, the 15-year-old tweet has been sold for $2.9m on Valuables, an online market for buying and selling tweets. Dorsey plans to convert the proceeds to bitcoin to donate to GiveDirectly, a non-profit organisation that helps families living in extreme poverty in Africa.

An NFT is unit of data on a digital ledger, which can represent a unique digital item such as photo files, video clips or even tweets.

While Dorsey’s tweet will continue to live on the Twitter platform, the buyer has essentially purchased a digital certificate of the tweet. According to Valuables, this certificate is unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator.

“This autographed digital certificate will only be issued once on Valuables. It is signed using cryptography, and includes metadata of the original tweet,” Valuables said.

The buyer of the tweet is Sina Estavi, CEO of blockchain company Bridge Oracle. “This is not just a tweet!” Estavi said on Twitter in relation to his purchase. “I think years later people will realise the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting.”

Last week, Tesla boss Elon Musk appeared to also want to get in on the NFT action, offering to sell his a tweet of his own. The highest bid for Musk’s tweet, which included a techno song about NFTs, was more than $1.1m. However, the Tesla CEO later backed out of his plans.

NFTs have been skyrocketing in popularity this year, with the help of big tech figures such as Musk and Dorsey. Last week, a piece of NFT art was bought for more than $69bn at auction for what is essentially an image file. And this week, a ‘digital home’ has been sold as an NFT for $500,000, with the new owner able to explore the 3D digital file as if taking a virtual tour.

As the buzz continues, NFT marketplace OpenSea raised $23m in funding last week.

While the current zeitgeist of NFTs is undeniable, Laleh Samarbakhsh of Ryerson University said their true potential is yet to be uncovered. “NFTs are currently very popular among younger generations, but whether this generation will have the economic power to purchase or find use for them in the future, is both a social and economic question.”

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic