Imagine what you could do with $2.9 million. Would you buy a yacht? A beautiful home on the coast?
If you asked Sina Estavi–a crypto entrepreneur–a year ago, he’d spend it on an NFT of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet.
The Buyer of Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet NFT is a Fraud
On March 5, 2021, the NFT was sold to Estavi, former CEO of blockchain company Bridge Oracle. He had also dabbled in a company called Cryptoland. Both companies have been since shut down.
According to Iranian officials, he was also recently arrested along with other members of Bridge Oracle. They tweeted from his account: “The owner of this media outlet was arrested on charges of disrupting the economic system, by order of the Special Court for Economic Crimes.”
Estavi recently posted a Twitter status indicating he was ready to sell the ownership of the world’s first tweet. In his tweet, he said he would donate 50% of the proceeds to the same charity that Jack Dorsey did, East African nonprofit organization GiveDirectly. Dorsey donated the proceeds of the original sale in 2021 to GiveDirectly, which was converted to Bitcoin to be transferred to the charity’s Africa Response campaign. GiveDirectly helps families living in extreme poverty by making unconditional cash transfers via mobile phone. The charity transfers funds primarily to people in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.
When the asset was first sold at the hefty price tag of 1630.5825601 ETH (equal to the $2.9 million), Dorsey promised the auction would end on the 15th anniversary of the tweet. The bids on Dorsey’s succinct first tweet “just setting up my twttr” from March 21, 2006, skyrocketed.
Estavi, however, remained the highest bidder, holding steady at $2.5 million. At the last moment, he upped the amount to an oddly specific $2,915,835.47. It wasn’t all a loss, however, as the money went to a good cause and was a record-breaking sale at the time, making headline news. Others would make fortunes in the NFT market in 2021, as $17 billion were traded in non-fungible tokens just last year.
However, many still remain confused about NFTs and what they are. One of the Web’s most popular search terms about NFTs is, “are NFTs a scam?”. It appears a large amount of the public remains skeptical about non-fungible tokens. It may take a while for the general populace to be convinced. Additionally, many people are still baffled by NFTs, likening them to a simple receipt of ownership. If Jack Dorsey deleted the tweet, it would crumble the value of Sina Estavi’s ownership of the NFT.
Jack Dorsey’s Tweet NFT Plummets in Value
The value of Jack Dorsey’s tweet NFT has already crumbled. Currently, the highest bid is a paltry $280.
No, we didn’t forget the zeros. The loss is astounding–practically the same amount Estavi paid for the NFT.
At the first announcement of the sale in this tweet, Estavi claimed 50% would go to charity. Dorsey, who donated 90% of the original sale to charity (10% accounting for transfer fees), replied in a tweet, “why not 99% of it?”.
Great question, Jack.
With a little bit of digging, some insight can be found in a few of the Twitter replies on Estavi’s feed. This user took to Twitter to point out that Estavi still hasn’t made good on his Bridge Oracle project. Quoted from Twitter, it reads:
“swap our Trc20 tokens first, we have lost thousands of dollars on your BRG token project. If you are a nice man [first] of all pay people their lost money that was burned because they trusted you. and then you can think [about] charity”
Others outright accused him of being a thief. It’s worth looking through Estavi’s tweet replies because many people are, to put it simply, displeased with his failed projects.
Another user lashed out in Estavi’s Twitter replies.
“Instead of donation you grand #thief bring the ppl’s money back. Don’t trust this man. He’s stolen more than 30 million $ from Iranian ppl by #cryptoland exchange and #brg token. Be aware that this liar and scam man has conditional release!”
Presumably, the “conditional release” is in reference to his recent apparent arrest by the Iranian government. A statement from the Cyber Organized Crime Investigation Center hinted that Estavi’s BRG project was “illegal, unreliable and unsupported”.
Something unique to NFTs is that they function on an essential tenet of capitalism. They are non-fungible, so they are only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. If no one is willing to pay for it, like in Estavi’s case, there is no worth.
Even though Estavi technically owns this Tweet, according to the blockchain, many Twitter users claimed that it was useless. This user says: “I have a better quality screenshot of this tweet that I made before this “NFT” was minted, I got it for free, so no thanks.”
This isn’t how minted NFTs work, but if this user represents what the vast majority of people think, then it’s safe to say that a successful NFT has to include a certain level of demand, uniqueness, and novelty. A possible reason the NFT sold so high when Jack Dorsey sold it was because the CEO of Twitter was selling the world’s first tweet on its 15th anniversary.
But if a crypto investor with his reputation in shambles tries to sell the NFT, it looks more like a fast cash-grab.