Jack Dorsey Sells First Tweet for $2.9M

The proceeds were converted to Bitcoin and donated to charity.

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Reporter at PCMag
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This story originally appeared on PCMag

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet for more than $2.9 million to Malaysian-based buyer Sina Estavi, who compared the purchase to owning an original da Vinci.

"This is not just a tweet," Estavi, head of blockchain service CryptoLand and software firm Bridge Oracle, said on Monday. "I think years later people will realize the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting."

Almost 15 years to the day Dorsey announced he was "just setting up my twttr," a three-month bidding war ended, and Estavi walked away $2,915,835.47 poorer and one famous tweet richer. He beat tech entrepreneur Justin Sun to win his digital prize.

Related: What Is an NFT? Inside The Next Billion-Dollar Crypto Sensation.

But why pay to own a tweet? According to auction platform Valuables, "owning any digital content can be a financial investment, hold sentimental value, and create a relationship between collector and creator." Known as a non-fungible token, or NFT, the cryptographic record represents something unique and, unlike currency, is not mutually interchangeable. You can exchange a $10 bill for two $5 bills. You cannot exchange an NFT highlight of LeBron James' famous dunk over Nemanja Bjelica in 2019.

"Like an autograph on a baseball card, the NFT itself is the creator's autograph on the content, making it scarce, unique, and valuable," the Valuables FAQ says. Buyers are free to resell tweets on the site (for an 87.5% cut), or display them in an online gallery. "As with any collectible, you can choose to just keep it in a private collection."

The market for NFTs is growing rapidly, earning artists, musicians, video editors, and meme makers loads of cash. Chris Torres sold the piece "Nyan Cat" for $590,000; Grimes hawked $6 million worth of digital art as NFTs, and Kings of Leon will become the first band to release an album in the form of a non-fungible token. One startup already lets customers use NFTs as collateral for loans.

Dorsey on Monday converted the sale proceeds to Bitcoin and sent 50.8751669 BTC ($2,778,292.86) to the GiveDirectly Africa fund, acknowledging Estavi and his investment. "Thank you for accepting my offer," the buyer tweeted in response. "I'm glad this money is being donated to charity."

Estavi is no stranger to NFT tweets: In addition to Dorsey's, he owns three posts (which cost a total $383.61) and sold two of his own for just under $95.

"NFTs make digital content one-of-a-kind. You are the only person who can claim ownership of an NFT you own," Valuables explains. "This means you have control of the NFT, like the ability to resell or distribute it, and it will appreciate or depreciate in value just like any other asset."

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