Reader, have you ever stumbled across a public tweet and found yourself wondering if you could purchase it for millions of dollars? Did you ever wish you could empty your bank account to buy an original gif of a flying rainbow Pop-Tart cat? Do you have a burning desire for Grimes artwork to live on your computer forever? Well, readers, you're in luck, thanks to the wonderful world of NFTs -- a.k.a non-fungible tokens. Intangible digital collectibles may be the final frontier of e-commerce, with none other than Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey the latest mogul hopping on the bandwagon. Last Friday, the Square founder placed his first tweet -- which is highly regarded as the site's first Tweet-- for sale as a digital token.
First published on March 21, 2006, the post only consists of five words, reading "just setting up my twttr," yet has already garnered several million-dollar offers just days after going live on Valuables, the site hosting the NFT's sale. The auction is set to run until the tweet's 15th anniversary later this month, when the funds from the sale will be immediately transferred into bitcoin and then donated to Give Directly's Africa Response section. So far, the top bidder is another tech entrepreneur, Bridge Oracle's CEO, Sina Estavi, according to the business publication, whose offer currently stands at a cool $2.5 million.
Described by CNBC as a "collector's item that can't be duplicated," NFT's are digital tokens that are "rare by design," usually taking the form of an image, video, animation, or in Dorsey's case, a decade-and-a-half old tweet that is still readily available online. NFTs live on blockchain or a digital transaction record that can be simultaneously shared across a public network, existing in this instance as an impenetrable certificate of authenticity. Once a bidder wins the post later this month, their likely million-dollar purchase will be documented via blockchain, proving their ownership of the digital token. Considering NFTs don't usually include the rights to the works in question, making them essentially a piece of art, these items are, in essence, an very expensive digital flex.
Yet Dorsey isn't alone in embracing NTFs as a moneymaking endeavor. Last week, pop star Grimes sold roughly $6 million worth of digital art in the form of NFTs. The band Kings of Leon's eighth studio album, which dropped on March 5th, was released as an NFT, as Lindsay Lohan too profits off of her image in the form of NFTs. Even Chris Torres, the artist behind 2011's hyper-viral sensation Nyan Cat, has cashed out on the trend, selling the flying 8-bit pop tart kitty for approximately $580,000 last month. "I feel like I’ve opened the floodgates," he told the New York Times over his monumental sale.
In our modern era, a picture may be worth 1,000 words, but five-word a tweet is worth millions in cold, hard cash.