Sina Estavi, a crypto entrepreneur who bought an NFT of Jack Dorsey's first tweet a year ago for $2.9 million, is now trying to sell it. It's not going well.
Estavi had suggested last week he hoped to get $50 million for it, donating half of that to charity. ("Why not 99% of it?" Dorsey asked.) An auction on OpenSea attracted few bidders, with the most recent offer around $800. The listing expires Thursday.
The NFT market has had a rocky year after zooming to prominence in 2021. Dorsey's sale was ahead of the curve and for a good cause, benefiting the GiveDirectly charity. But fortunes would soon be made, with $17 billion in nonfungible tokens traded last year. OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, garnered a valuation of $13.3 billion, and Yuga Labs, the maker of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, also soared in value.
Trading volumes crashed in 2022, with concerns about scams and hype turning off some buyers. Activity has more recently recovered, but it's not clear that some NFTs will recover the value.
NFTs confound some people, since they amount to a pointer to a digital asset, not the asset itself. They're best thought of as a receipt or certificate of ownership, a mechanism for restoring scarcity to a world of digital abundance. But the concept of an NFT of a tweet is particularly puzzling to some, since the underlying tweet is controlled by the user who wrote it and Twitter the company, not the owner of an NFT. Dorsey, one observer pointed out, could delete the tweet at any moment, rendering the NFT valueless.
Then again, there is this thing called capitalism, where a thing is generally considered worth what people will pay for it. So if people want to pay $2.9 million for a certificate stating that they own a tweet, they can do that. The trick is persuading other people to buy it from them for more money, and Estavi hasn't managed that.
Estavi was reportedly arrested in Iran last year, after which his crypto ventures Bridge Oracle and CryptoLand shut down. He told CoinDesk that he was still trying to exchange customers' BRG tokens for a new token and that the process might take months.