A Malaysia-based businessman has purchased the first tweet ever that was sent by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey for the equivalent of $2.9m.
Dorsey gas auctioned off the tweet which said “just setting up my twttr,” and was first published on March 21, 2006 for charity.
The purchase of the tweet was compared to that of buying a Mona Lisa painting by the Malaysia-based buyer Sina Estavi.
Ether cryptocurrency, a rival to bitcoin, was used to purchase the tweet. Estavi, the chief executive of technology firm Bridge Oracle said that the tweet was sold as a nonfungible token (NFT) on Monday to him.
An NFT is a unique digital certificate that states who owns a photo, video or other form of online media. Each NFT is rare because each is unique and acts as a collector’s item that cannot be duplicated. NFTs have gained huge popularity in 2020 with this method being used for selling of expensive digital artwork too.
The proceeds from the sale would be transformed into bitcoin and donate them to the Give Directly’s Africa Response fund, Dorsey said.
“This is not just a tweet!” Estavi posted on Twitter. “I think years later people will realize the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting.”
An online platform called Valuables, owned by the US-based company Cent, was used to sell Dorsey’s brief tweet in an online auction. The conditions of the auction sale give 95 per cent of the proceeds of the primary sale to Dorsey while 10 per cent is retained by Cent.
However even after it has been auctioned off, the tweet will continue to be available publicly on Twitter. Auction bids had reached more than $88,000 with just a few minutes of the auction.
In addition to the metadata of the original tweet, a certificate, digitally signed and verified by Dorsey will also be handed over to the buyer – Estavi. The information that would be available in the metadata would include the time the tweet was posted and its text contents.
In the near future, there will be more popularity of the sale of tweets and other online posts, according to social media experts.
“We live in an age where celebrities, musicians and influencers have more than fans, they have stans, and they will want to own a piece of their favourite stars,” said Cathy Hackl, founder of technology consultancy Futures Intelligence Group.
“Just like people buy physical memorabilia, they will buy their tweets, posts, and snaps because they want to feel close to that star”.
Christie’s auction house held the first ever Christie’s auction house earlier this month and a work by the artist Beeple roped in $69m. A new piece of digital art every day is created by Beeple – whose real name is Mike Winkelmann and in the auction he was selling the work done by him for the first 5,000 days or 13 years.
“This is a watershed moment and proof of concept for digital art, which has been dogged by questions of commercial value, authenticity, ownership and scarcity,” said Rob Anders, boss of Israel-based digital art platform Niio.
(Adapted from BBC.com)