Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Sells As NFT For Approx. $3.7 Million
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Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Sells As NFT For Approx. $3.7 Million

CEO of Malaysian blockchain company is winning bidder in auction launched by Twitter co-founder.

By Maria Armental
Tue, Mar 23, 2021 2:21pmGrey Clock 2 min

The first tweet that Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey posted to the microblogging site in 2006 has sold as a nonfungible token for about $2.9 million (A$3.7 million), the latest digital collectible to haul in more than US$1 million amid a flurry of interest from buyers.

The winning bidder, Malaysia-based blockchain company Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi, technically owns a digital certificate of the tweet—“just setting up my twttr,” according to Valuables, an NFT marketplace for buying and selling tweets that ran the auction. NFTs work on the blockchain, similar to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and serve as digital certificates of authenticity for everything from art to memes.

Mr Dorsey’s tweet itself will continue to live on Twitter, Valuables said, adding that the digital certificate is signed using cryptography and includes the tweet’s metadata such as when the tweet was posted.

“This is not just a tweet!” Mr Estavi tweeted Monday. “I think years later people will realise the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting.”

Mr Estavi couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on Monday. He was also the highest bidder to secure an NFT of a tweet from Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk, but Mr Musk ultimately changed his mind.

Cryptocurrency investor Justin Sun, who paid a record US$4.6 million in a 2019 charity auction to have lunch with Warren Buffett, was the second-highest bidder for the NFT of Mr Dorsey’s first tweet.

A wide array of content creators have set their sights on the NFT market after Mike Winkelmann, a self-taught artist who goes by the professional name of Beeple, sold a digital image online at Christie’s for US$69.3 million, making him the third-most-expensive living artist after Jeff Koons and David Hockney.

The overall NFT market ballooned last year to at least US$338 million, from about US$41 million in 2018, according to NFT sales-tracking website NonFungible.com and L’Atelier, a research firm affiliated with BNP Paribas SA.

Mr Dorsey, a bitcoin advocate who also serves as CEO of Square Inc., launched the auction late last year, though bid values crossed the seven-figure mark over the past few weeks. The Twitter co-founder posted tweets showing auction proceeds being converted into bitcoin and sent to the nonprofit group GiveDirectly’s Africa Response project to offer emergency Covid-19 cash relief for families in Kenya, Rwanda, Liberia and Malawi.

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: March 22, 2021.

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