Yes, you heard that title right. And No, I am no Jack Dorsey to net in millions on my auctioned tweet.
For the uninitiated, On March 2021, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet for USD 2.9 Million as an NFT Auction.
NFT what!? So, that’s yet another rabbit hole into the area of Blockchain and smart contracts, but in simple word, NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens, are Digital asset/token (e.g. image,video,gif, tweet) hosted on a publicly distributed ledger (aka Blockchain) which are rare (supply is 1 hence Non Fungible) and cryptographically verified.
For the technical enthusiast — NFTs are ERC-721 compliant smart contracts hosted on Etherum Blockhain. (And no, ERC-1155 is not NFT, as they are just interface standards using which both ERC-721 Tokens and fully-fungible ERC-20 tokens, can be facilitated)
So, back to Jack Dorsey, how did his Tweet became an NFT? And more importantly, can I as a layman, NFT-ize my tweet?
Let us first look at JD’s tweet, hosted as NFT on Valuables-by-Cent Platform and its corresponding Auction bids:
So, one thing is clear, it is not some random image of his tweet but the actual tweet that is being sold by the owner himself. The smart contract engraves the link of the tweet into the blockchain with the completion of the first trade of ownership.
Now, let us see how can we NFT-ize our own tweet in the following steps:
1. I need four things, an active twitter account, a tweet that I can plan to auction, an account on Valuables platform, and a metamask wallet. All the above are free to create as we do in any normal account registration. Metamask wallet is a client plugin for all the popular browsers and can be downloaded from metamask.io
2. Sign in with your twitter account and Metamask wallet for the Valuables account registration.
3. Once you login to your Valuables acount, just paste the url link of the twitter you want to auction as an NFT.
4. Click Manage on your NFT and set the minimum bid price of your NFT and mint it by signing with your metamask wallet account sign-in.
5. That’s it. Done. You have NFT-ized your tweet with a minimum bidding price, it is available to public auction.
The final form of one of my IBM Quantum badge tweet for reference (Sorry for the exorbitant ask, it was for demo-purpose only.)
I again repeated the above steps, to create another exorbitant priced NFT, but as a final catch, deleted the original tweet from the twitter database as shown below.
So what just happened? Yes, I end up having an exorbitantly priced NFT of 10K USD minted for an auction which points to a tweet that do not exist.
Reminds me of the dangling pointer in C, and somewhat more similar to the CDO (Collateralized Debt Obligation) investment product that led to the fall of Lehman Brothers. God forbids, the tweets do not get deleted from the twitter database by the owner or a hacker.
So here are the three lessons we learn from the above activity:
1. My tweet has no intrinsic value. But “NO” here does NOT mean zero. Here “NO” means the power of my story determines the valuation of my tweet.
2. Insurance offering to intangible digital assets like NFT against cyber-risk can be the next booming industry.
3. NFT-ification of Corporate Tweet can led to monetization from corporate legacy.
To conclude, let us remember what Professor Aswath Damodaran says,
“…every data has a story that determines its value. Sometimes, it is the legacy, sometimes it is the balance-sheet and sometimes it is just the narrative that determines the worth of a data…”
Mukhopadhyay, Mayukh and Ghosh, Kaushik, Market Microstructure of Non Fungible Tokens (October 1, 2021). Available at SSRN, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3934676
Mukhopadhyay, Mayukh and Ghosh, Kaushik, A Curious Case of Cryptokick (July 20, 2020). Available at SSRN, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3656147