There is never a shortage of events or actions that change the course of everyday life, but some have a larger impact than others. The introduction of Twitter in 2006 was one of these, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey welcomed the world to the new social media platform with a simple tweet in March of that year that read, “just setting up my twttr.” Things have certainly changed significantly since then and Dorsey has now decided to put the tweet up for auction. He has gone the route of using a non-fungible token (NFT) and Jason Simon, a FinTech and cryptocurrency expert, explains why this auction is of great importance.

Just like the creation of Twitter itself, auctioning off the first-ever tweet through an NFT is big news. NFTs are unique digital certificates that provide a permanent record of who owns online media, capitalizing on the value of the blockchain to create an indelible, immutable transaction that is secure and which cannot be altered. Asserts Simon, “The fact that Dorsey would choose an NFT for the auction is no coincidence. As a consummate pioneer and with a solid global following, he has just brought NFTs and the blockchain to the forefront. Achieving this level of awareness and acceptance, using traditional means, would have taken years or decades.”

The auction is listed on the Valuable by Cent marketplace that was introduced three months ago. It has already become hugely popular in bidding wars and its current highest bid stands at $2.5 million. The world’s first tweet is on track to be purchased by Hakan Estavi, the CEO of Bridge Oracle and a dedicated cryptocurrency enthusiast. According to the Valuable by Cent website, “Owning any digital content can be a financial investment [that can] hold sentimental value. Like an autograph on a baseball card, the NFT itself is the creator’s autograph on the content, making it scarce, unique, and valuable.”

Dorsey’s tweet was first put on sale in December but didn’t gain traction until Dorsey tweeted about it last week. Initially, bidding was extremely slow, but his promotion of it resulted in bids almost immediately reaching $88,000 before jumping to $1.5 million and then $2 million within hours. Adds Simon, “This reaction shows how people value digital media and how important it is to ensure proper certification of intellectual property. There are other solutions that have been created to provide this service, but only the blockchain can create a permanent, universally-accepted record that cannot be altered. This gives it much more power and creates better confidence on the part of consumers.”

The blockchain was created to provide several solutions that previously were unavailable. It acts as a distributed ledger that is stored across multiple nodes simultaneously, ensuring that records are not centralized and prone to being manipulated. Because there is no centralized control, there is no possibility of the data being compromised and, with the added benefit of cryptography, there is a heavy layer of security that transcends borders, languages and governments.”

NFTs are all unique; no two are mutually interchangeable. They are a way to create digital ownership and asset interoperability across multiple platforms, ensuring that digital property can be labeled, bought, sold and tracked to provide proof of authenticity and ownership at all times. One of the most notable uses of NFTs is the NBA TopShot collectible, which was introduced early in 2020 by Dapper Labs in collaboration with the league. It offers collectibles and tradables from the league and, as of last month, had over $230 million in gross sales.