Jack Dorsey sells his first ever tweet as an NFT

CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, sold his first tweet as a non-fungible token (NFT) for $2.9 million. 

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Rayan Tanwar
May 16, 2021 8:55 pm

$2.9 million is a large sum for an item that has questionable value. Some analysts are predicting that non-fungible tokens are part of a bubble that will burst while others believe NFTs are here to stay.

On one side there are legitimate investors who believe that buying a valuable NFT will bring a strong ROI (return on investment). Compare it to investing in a start up. Maybe you put some money into a small company that has potential. In return you get equity. If that small company grows to become very successful, your equity will be worth a lot more. Your ROI was very strong.

Now lets apply this to a tweet. Maybe there’s a talented singer who has just started promoting their work. Not many people are paying attention to the singer, but you see that she has potential. You decide to buy an NFT of her first tweet for $5. Not a huge expense. In a few years she becomes a major celebrity, selling out concerts and topping the charts. You are now thinking of selling her first tweet. Guess what? You can bet that people will be willing to pay more than $5 for it. It may sell for millions. Again, a healthy ROI.

So from an investment standpoint people are getting excited by NFTs. But there is another aspect that supports the prediction that NFTs are a long-term thing. Celebrity culture. People will buy stuff, almost anything, from their favorite celebrities. We can see this happening now. Belle Delphine, a popular internet celebrity, sold her bathwater for $30 a jar and it sold out in 3 days. I’m shaking my head right now trying to understand why anyone would want to buy the water someone has bathed in. I’m also wincing a bit at the thought of what buyers did with that bathwater. But this is celebrity culture for you. Fans can be hardcore. And speaking of fans, her OnlyFans supposedly makes up to $1.2 million per month.

I have a friend who works for an airline. He tells me that air hostesses sell all kinds of items such as their uniforms and socks. People buy these items. Why? I don’t know. But the fact is, there are buyers. A similar level of interest (obsession?) is bound to exist for a celebrity’s digital footprint. In that way, we can see NFTs being around for a long time. Celebrities can sell their tweets, articles and selfies. If there are buyers for some of the items I have mentioned above, there will definitely be buyers for NFTs.

Kaitlyn Mora
May 16, 2021 6:57 pm

Jack Dorsey’s first tweet “just setting up my twttr” that was published on 21 March 2006 was bought by Hakan Estavi, the CEO of Bridge Oracle. After having bought the tweet, he posted “This is not just a tweet! I think years later people will realize the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting“.

It is likely that Estavi’s post is in response to doubters. Quite understandably, people are confused. I can go onto Twitter right now. I can see Jack Dorsey’s first tweet. I can screenshot it and I can save it. It’s mine! But not really. A counter-argument to this is that an NFT is like a valuable art piece. You can have many prints and copies, for example, of Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, but they won’t be as valuable as the original.

Despite this point the concept is still perplexing. If I go onto Twitter and see Jack’s tweet, it is the real thing. It’s not a copy or a fake print. So why is there so much value given to an NFT of it? I’m not the only one that’s confused. Just a few tweets under Jack’s, a Twitter user Jenny Kelly says she hasn’t got “a clue in the world why someone would want to buy a tweet they couldn’t use?! If you don’t have any other use for $2.5 million than to buy a tweet, you. can send me $1 million to pay my bills” 🤣

Another way to look at NFTs is conferring digital ownership to someone. Hakan Estavi has the digital ownership of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet. He can now sell it to someone else. If I screengrabbed Jack’s tweet and try to sell it, I probably won’t have much luck. Well, you never know…

This has set a precedent for the sale of other NFTs of internet history. Don’t be surprised to see ‘Me at the zoo’, the first ever YouTube video and Myspace’s Tom Anderson’s iconic profile photo up for sale as NFTs.

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Cristina Pellini
May 17, 2021 7:44 pm

I get the sense that Jack Dorsey has seen the interest in NFTs either from his own research or his connections in the tech space, and used it for his philanthropic motives. The interest in NFTs has skyrocketed recently. We can see this on Google Trends. Almost no interest until February 2021 and then an explosion. Dorsey’s timing couldn’t have been better.

Dorsey has been vocal about his wish to donate money through his charity, Start Small. A public tracker is also available for review, showing how much has been disbursed and how much is remaining. Almost $400 million has been disbursed to date to organizations such as CARE, Malala Fund and Women’s Global Education Project.

The $2.9 million from the sale of Dorsey’s first tweet was converted into Bitcoin and donated to GiveDirectly, a charity that gives cash directly to those living in poverty.

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Amin Rashad
May 17, 2021 6:13 pm

I had only heard about NFTs a few weeks ago when news was published about Beeple, a digital artist, who sold 5,000 days of his work as an NFT for $69 million. I didn’t really understand it and swatted it away as some obscure news. But then I heard about Jack Dorsey’s first tweet going for $2.9 million. This was a bit different. You can sell a tweet!? For that much!? I’ve looked into NFTs a bit more now and am tempted to invest. Here are some other big NFT sales:

The first tweet to use a hashtag
The first tweet to use a hashtag sold for $10k. It was by Chris Messina, a product developer at the time, who suggested using the # sign as a way to arrange groups on August 23, 2007. Interestingly, Messina didn’t profit off of his hashtag idea. He’s finally got a payout for it, although $10k feels far too low for an idea that changed the world of social media.

Alyssa Milano’s MeToo tweet
The MeToo movement existed long before Alyssa Milano’s tweet on October 15, 2017 in which she wrote, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” However you can credit a lot of exposure to the movement because of this tweet, which currently has a high bid of $8,200.

Elon Musk and Dogecoin
One word: Doge. Currently bid at $7,777.77. That tweet would have taken a maximum of 5 seconds to post. Well done Elon.

Working on Myspace
Myspace. The precursor to today’s Facebook, Instagram and TikTok world. Myspace wasn’t the first, but it was one of the biggest. On April 4, 2007, Tom Anderson, the founder of Myspace, let us know he was “working on myspace”. Just as simple as Jack Dorsey’s “just setting up my twttr” but not as valuable. Myspace usage didn’t keep up with Facebook and Twitter’s. The Tweet would probably be worth a lot more today if it had. Still, $12,200 for Tom Anderson’s tweet is nothing to scoff at.

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