Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold a nonfungible token of his famed first tweet—”just setting up my twttr”—for more than $2.9 million.
just setting up my twttr
— jack (@jack) March 21, 2006
The money will go to GiveDirectly, which sends funds directly to people living in poverty, for use in Africa, Dorsey tweeted. The tweet was bought by Sina Estavi, CEO of Bridge Oracle, a Malaysia blockchain-tech startup, using the Valuables tweet-trading platform. The sale came after a bidding war between Estavi and fellow tech entrepreneur Justin Sun, CNBC reports.
Owners of tweet tokens bought on Valuables get a signed digital certificate from the tweet’s author but not any kind of control over the actual tweet on Twitter, according to a Valuables FAQ. Nonfungible tokens, essentially digital certificates of ownership of art or other works (such as tweets), have become wildly popular among some affluent buyers lately, with an NFT tied to a set of works by the digital artist Beeple recently selling for more than $69 million at Christie’s. Sun also bid on that auction, according to recent reports.
NFTs have been especially popular among cryptocurrency execs such as Estavi and Sun interested in drawing attention to themselves, but it’s unclear how long their popularity will last. NFT ownership and other details about what they represent are typically recorded on a blockchain network, similar to transactions in payment systems such as bitcoin. While units of currency are deemed to be all interchangeable, or fungible, the tokens each uniquely represent a work of art, tweet, or some other underlying asset.
In addition to being mocked as meaningless trophies collected by rich tech execs—Elon Musk even released a song about the phenomenon called “Vanity Trophy,” which he said he would sell as an NFT—the tokens have come under fire for the typically high energy costs associated with transactions on the blockchain networks where they’re recorded.