The first-ever tweet from Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, equivalent to $ 2.9 million by a Malaysian businessman.
The tweet, “Just set up my Twitter account,” was first posted on March 21, 2006, and Mr. Dorsey sold it at auction for charity.
The buyer, a businessman “Sina Estafi” who is based in Malaysia, likened the deal to buying the Mona Lisa.
The tweet was purchased using cryptocurrency Ether, which is a competitor to Bitcoin.
The tweet was sold via NFT on Monday to Mr. Estafie, CEO of Bridge Oracle technology.
NFT is a non-exchangeable code encryption method, which is a unique digital certificate that states who owns an image, video, or other form of media over the Internet.
NFT has become very popular this year, with expensive digital artwork also being sold this way.
Dorsey said he would convert the proceeds into Bitcoin e-currency, then donate them to a charity fund serving Africa.
“This is not just a tweet. I think after years people will realize the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa,” Mr. Estafie wrote on Twitter.
Dorsey’s short tweet was sold through an auction on an online platform called “Valiobles”, which is owned by the US-based “Cent” company.
Under the platform’s rules, Dorsey receives 95 percent of the initial sale proceeds, and Cent receives 5 percent.
But the tweet will remain publicly available on Twitter even after it has been auctioned off. Within minutes of the auction, bids had reached more than $ 88,000.
As the buyer, Mr. Estafie will receive a certificate digitally signed and verified by Mr. Dorsey, along with the metadata of the original tweet. The data will include information such as when the Tweet was published and its textual content.
Social media experts expect selling tweets and other online posts to become more popular in the future.
And earlier this month, Christie’s auction house held its first digital art auction, raising nearly $ 69 million for the artist, Pebble.
Pebble – whose real name is Mike Finkelman – creates a new digital art piece every day, selling the proceeds of the first 5,000 days (13 years) of his work.
“This is a watershed moment and proof of the concept of digital art, which is haunted by questions about commercial value, authenticity, ownership and scarcity,” said Rob Anders, president of the Israel-based digital art platform Niio.
Neither Mr. Estafie nor his company, Bridge Oracle, immediately responded to requests for comment, when contacted by the BBC.