Twitter boss Jack Dorsey sells NFT of first tweet for $2.9 million

Proceeds were converted to Bitcoin and given to the nonprofit GiveDirectly’s Africa Response

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 26, 2020 this photograph shows the logo of US social network Twitter displayed on the screen of a smartphone and a tablet in Toulouse, southern France. Fifteen years ago Jack Dorsey typed out a banal message -- "just setting up my twttr" -- which became the first ever tweet, launching a global platform that has become a controversial and dominant force in civil society.The short tweet on March 21, 2006 by the Twitter CEO is now being sold at auction, with bidding reaching $2.5 million.

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Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey has sold a digital version of his first tweet for more than $2.9 million two weeks after he announced an auction for the post.

The tweet from March 2006, which says “just setting up my twttr”, was bought by Bridge Oracle chief executive Sina Estavi, according to Valuables by Cent, the platform where the digital auction for the tweet was held.

Launched three months ago, Valuables compares the buying of tweets with buying an autographed baseball card.

The 15-year-old post was sold as a non-fungible token, or NFT, a digital certificate of authenticity that confirms an item is real and one-of-a-kind by recording the details on a blockchain digital ledger.

Dorsey tweeted earlier this month that the proceeds would be converted to Bitcoin, a digital currency not tied to a bank or government, and given to the nonprofit GiveDirectly's Africa Response.

The charity has been raising money to support African families who were financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Valuables, 95 per cent of the proceeds from the sale price go to the tweet’s original creator, while 5 per cent of it goes to the platform. Dorsey tweeted the Bitcoin receipt Monday afternoon, and said the funds were sent to the charity.

“Incredible – huge thanks @jack and @sinaEstavi – looking forward to getting this $ into recipients’ hands soon," GiveDirectly tweeted following Dorsey's announcement.

NFTs have recently swept the online collecting world. A digital artwork by the artist Beeple sold for $69.4 million in an online auction by a British auction house earlier this month, with an NFT as a guarantee of its authenticity.