Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s cofounder, created an NFT from his first tweet. It sold for $2.9million a year ago. The highest bid in an auction this week was only $280. Getty Images
Jack Dorsey created the non-fungible token NFT (non-fungible token) in December 2020 from his first tweet. He converted a static image of a 5-word tweet into a digital file stored in a blockchain and voila! An NFT was born. The image was eventually sold for $2.9million just a few months later. Yet, it was only $280 that anyone bid for it in an auction this week. Even current OpenSea bids are only $10,000, a 99% decrease in value. What happened?

Dorsey’s NFT initially garnered little interest, with some people bidding a few thousand dollars in December 2020—a time when NFTs still had few believers. The market went into hype mode in March 2021. OpenSea’s monthly sales jumped to close to $150 million from $8 million just two months earlier. Iranian crypto entrepreneur Sina Estavi got swept up in the frenzy, buying Dorsey’s NFT for $2.9 million. He tells Forbes he paid such a hefty sum due to the NFT’s uniqueness and association with such a valuable company as Twitter.

While you could argue that Dorsey’s first-tweet NFT has historical significance, the $2.9 million price tag is nearly impossible to justify. Estavi’s bubble-priced purchase exemplifies the greater fool theory at play. “What is the utility of that NFT? Does Jack Dorsey take you out to dinner in Silicon Valley?” says Mitch Lacsamana, an NFT collector and head of marketing for an NFT trading group. “What is the real value proposition here? I think time has probably told us, and it’s probably nothing.”

Estavi offered the NFT for auction on April 5th for 14,969 ether or roughly $50 million. It is embarrassing to say that no bidder received more than $280. Estavi says “no one knows” why the bids came in so low. It seems that very few people took it seriously. “Bidders just realized what it was–a publicity stunt. A way to get exposure,” says Blake Moser, an NFT collector who has nearly 400 NFTs. “I do think Sina Estavi accomplished what he was looking for–exposure to his NFT.”
Sina Estavi in Malaysia. Sina Estavi

Estavi has certainly attracted attention, but he seems out of touch with the rapidly evolving NFT market. “The market isn’t ready to jump into literally anything that a celebrity or someone of high stature might release,” Lacsamana says. “I think last year was a really good time for that, but a lot of people have grown weary of cash-grab tactics.”
The failed auction showed that NFT hype is waning, but the market is still very active with trading volume hovering at $2 to $3 billion per month on OpenSea, up 150 million from a year ago. Some NFT collections, such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club, are still at all-time highs.
Estavi’s NFT saga seems to be a case of an ill-advised $2.9 million purchase, buyer’s remorse and a new bid for attention. Estavi’s own history is sketchy. Oracle Bridge, his startup, claims it will make it easier for blockchain platforms to ingest data. However, it appears to be nothing more than a whitepaper. Estavi claims he was also arrested last year in Iran. The company was closed for nine months while he was there. “They accused me of disrupting the economic system,” he says vaguely. Now he’s trying to start the company up again.
The bids for the Dorsey tweet NFT are up to $10,000 in the last day. Estavi says he won’t sell for anything less than $50 million.

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