How can Twitter Boss Jack Dorsey sell Twitter’s first tweet and why will people buy them?

From becoming the platform for generating controversies to being the platform trapped in controversies, Twitter has been in limelight for a while now not only in India but in a lot of countries across the globe. Twitter is enjoying undue political, economic, and social attention from people and is now making the best use of it. How?

Well, recently, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Twitter has now put up the first-ever tweet on the platform for sale. This first tweet on Twitter which read “just setting up my twttr” was posted from Dorsey’s account itself in March 2006. For the same purpose, Dorsey has listed this tweet on a website called “Valuables by cent” as a unique digital signature. Doing this is crucial for selling tweets as a non-fungible token or NFT.

What is a non-fungible token or NFT?

A non-fungible token (NFT) is another kind of cryptographic token but a little special. It is used to denote something unique and is not mutually interchangeable unlike cryptocurrencies (such as bitcoin) or other utility tokens. The value of NFT is subject to value fluctuations. Thus, the owner of an NFT is the sole owner of it, giving the reselling and/ or distribution powers to the person who buys it.

So, what does it mean to own a tweet?

The website “Valuables by cent’ provides a digital certificate to the person who has paid consideration in order to “own a tweet”. This digital certificate of the tweet is unique because it is signed using cryptography and is verified by the person who created to tweet and is issued only once by the website. Similar offers can be made by anybody on any tweet that has been shared from a public Twitter account.

“Owning any digital content can be a financial investment, hold sentimental value, and create a relationship between collector and creator. 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 FAQs on the website said.

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What will happen when somebody has purchased a tweet?

When we say that we want to buy a tweet it means that we are interested in purchasing “a digital certificate of the tweet”. As already mentioned, this certificate is unique because it will be signed and verified by the creator of the tweet.

After paying a fair consideration for the tweet, that is, after purchasing a tweet, the individual has the powers to resell the tweet or display it in their online gallery or keep it in their private collection. However, in the case of this particular tweet, the content will remain publically visible unless Twitter or Dorsey himself interfere. As per the website “valuables by cent”, as much as 95 per cent of the monetary consideration paid for the ownership rights of the tweet is shared with the creator of the tweet while the remaining five per cent is held by the website. Further, in the case of secondary sells, 87.5 per cent of the total consideration is kept with the seller, 10 per cent with the creator and 2.5 per cent with the website.

The consideration is credited to the crypto wallet of the seller.

How much attention has the proposal by Dorsey received already?

The bidding for Twitter’s first tweet at auction has reached as much as $ 2 million. This humungous amount gives us a basic hint towards the appetite and massive demand for virtual objects being sold and being authenticated through blockchain technology.
It was on Friday that he posted a link to “Valuables @ Cent” directing investors and/ or collectors to show their interest in buying the tweet.

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By Saturday, the top bid received by Dorsey for his first tweet was $2 million. This was by the founder of TRON and head of the BitTorrent streaming platform, Justin Sun. TRON is a platform for blockchain technology.

According to the Valuables website, it is upon the creators of the tweet to decide if they would like to mint it on blockchain technology or not. This shall create a 1-of-1 autographed version of the asset.

Is there any other example of this approach?

This approach of buying things with blockchain authentication is not new. The entire process of buying Dorsey’s tweet is similar to the online sales of National Basketball Association games’ dramatic digital “moments”. In such a case, a blockchain-backed “Non-Fungible Token” or NFT is generated but the video clip sequence is publically available for free on the internet. The NFT guarantees the authenticity and traceability of the video being talked about.

This entire approach to buying publically available things sounds quite interesting to human ears and has been widely practised as well. Following are some interesting instances regarding the same.

  1. Last Month, a 10-second clip of basketball superstar LeBron James which showed a stupendous sequence has fetched as much as $208,000 on the NBA Top Shot site
  2. According to the data by Dapper Laps, the Top Shot site has generated over $200 million in transactions this year. The NBA and Dapper Labs has partnered to create Top Shot.
  3. In the year 2019, Sun won a lunch with iconic billionaire investor Warren Buffet by paying an enormous amount of $4.6 million to make it the winning bid. According to the reports he tried to convince him of the value of bitcoins but failed.
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