For the uninitiated, buying a non-fungible token (NFT) may seem like an immediate — albeit, expensive — financial win. However, that’s not always the case.
Just last month, an NFT by graphic designer Beeple sold for US$69.4 million at auction. So when crypto entrepreneur Sina Estavi listed an NFT of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet for $48 million last week, many were shocked to find the highest bid at the auction’s close was only $277.
Estavi had purchased the NFT last year for $2.9 million, and was clearly expecting a similar selling price this time around.
Estavi tweeted he would donate 50 per cent of the profit from the NFT auction — $25 million or more, based on his original listing of $48-million — to the charity Give Directly, which helps East African families in extreme poverty “by making unconditional cash transfers to them via mobile phone.”
It’s now unclear if half of the relatively paltry earnings from auction will still be donated to charity.
The NFT of Dorsey’s first tweet was up in the online auction for seven days.
On the platform Opensea, where the auction was hosted, Estavi could accept or reject bids. Estavi is still open to bidding.
“The deadline I set is over, but if I get a good offer, I might accept it. I might never sell it,” Estavi told CoinDesk before re-opening the auction.
The highest bid is now equal to $9,945.24. This is not the first financial fail for Estavi, has had two crypto ventures flop, Bridge Oracle and CryptoLand, after he was arrested in Iran “on charges of disrupting the economic system.”
What is an NFT?
NFTs are non-fungible tokens. They give the owner rights to a piece of digital media, like art, a photograph, GIF or meme. That’s why it’s been leapt upon by digital creatives as a new way to market their work. A publicly accessible digital ledger keeps track of who owns the NFT.
Buying an NFT might sound like a strange way to spend your money, especially when anyone can save a piece of media on their phone or computer. Much of the NFT market revolves around Ethereum, a form of cryptocurrency.
— With files from Josh K. Elliott