“just setting up my twttr” – the first ever tweet on the platform is up for sale.
just setting up my twttr
— jack (@jack) March 21, 2006
Twitter boss Jack Dorsey listed his famous post as a unique digital signature on a website for selling tweets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
This “digital memorabilia” comes with an autographed digital certificate, and signed using cryptography with metadata from the original tweet.
Users can bid on the item with Ether, the native token of the Ethereumblockchain, where the transaction will take place, and ETH is bid…
The current highest offer for the tweet is a stunning $2 million (1304 Ethereum):
The bidder is none other than Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun:
Who just happens to be the same man who bid $4.5mm to have lunch with Warren Buffett (in an attempt to change his views on crypto)…
And Tron’s price has been rising recently:
According to the Valuables website, “The tweet itself will continue to live on Twitter. What you are purchasing is a digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator.”
As Decrypt reports, NFTs are exploding in popularity. The top three NFT marketplaces – NBA Top Shot, OpenSea, and Beeple did a combined $342 million in trading volume in February.
What are NFTs? As we detailed previously, to the extent that Decentralized Finance is an attempt at re-wiring the financial machine of our abstract asset class markets, NFTs (“non fungible tokens”) and the crypto art movement is an attempt at re-wiring the financial attributes that connect to media and digital objects. To try and explain the rationale behind NFTs, we wrote the following:
The Mona Lisa is original and valuable. A poster of the Mona Lisa is not valuable, despite being nearly identical in visual information. A reproduction of the Mona Lisa, even if perfect stroke-for-stroke, is similarly not valuable, because it is not the original. Therefore, the art is valuable not for its collection of particular atoms in some particular order, but for its historical and social context. Recreating the object does nothing, because it does not contain the same social history.
With digital NFTs, the same logic is true. Just because you have an identical JPEG to the one anchored to the blockchain, does not mean you have an original worth anything, nor does your ability to look at it suggest anything from a collectible point of view. Owning the original means you own its particular history and meaning in the community. This is why the original CryptoPunks have sold for a cumulative $43M, as a piece of history of the first generative NFT collection on Ethereum.
Not everyone is so excited, as Jonathan Turley remarks, I admit to being a tech chimp but I fail to see the value of a digital copy of a five word tweet, even with an autographed digital certificate. With an original recording, you have the actual spoke words of someone like Graham Bell saying “Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you.” That would be the first audible message that could be replayed so others would hear exactly how it sounded. This is a digital copy of words that can be replicated in the same exact form.
If we are going to sell off digital relics, I would be more interested in memorabilia of free speech that once defined Twitter and other Big Tech companies. That is now the ultimate “non-fungible token” (NFT) on social media. Indeed, Dorsey’s has added to its scarcity (and market value) with his expanded censorship of opposing viewpoints.