Crypto entrepreneur Sina Estavi made headlines in March 2021 when he paid $2.9m for an NFT of Twitter boss Jack Dorsey’s first tweet. But his efforts to resell it have run aground, with a top bid of just $6,800 as of Thursday.
The initial purchase was at the time among the most expensive sales of a non-fungible token, or NFT, and came amid a flurry of interest in the niche crypto assets.
Estavi, whose crypto ventures Bridge Oracle and CryptoLand collapsed following his arrest in Iran last year, is in the middle of relaunching his Bridge Oracle tokens (BRG), which were originally on the Tron blockchain, to the Binance Smart Chain.
BRG investors are waiting for Estavi to exchange their old tokens for the new ones. Estavi, who announced the token swap on the same day he put up Dorsey’s tweet NFT for sale again, said that the swap is being run manually and the process may take up to two months to complete.
Dorsey’s NFT initially garnered little interest, with some people bidding a few thousand dollars in December 2020—a time when NFTs still had few believers. But in March 2021, the market entered hype mode, with monthly sales on OpenSea jumping to nearly $150 million, up from just $8 million two months prior.
Iranian crypto entrepreneur Sina Estavi got swept up in the frenzy, buying Dorsey’s NFT for $2.9 million. He tells Forbes he paid such a hefty sum due to the NFT’s uniqueness and association with such a valuable company as Twitter.
While you could argue that Dorsey’s first-tweet NFT has historical significance, the $2.9 million price tag is nearly impossible to justify. The bubble price Estavi paid epitomizes the greater fool theory at work.
“What is the utility of that NFT? Does Jack Dorsey take you out to dinner in Silicon Valley?” says Mitch Lacsamana, an NFT collector and head of marketing for an NFT trading group. “What is the real value proposition here? I think time has probably told us, and it’s probably nothing.”
While the failed auction shows that NFT hype has waned, the market is still very active, with trading volume hovering around $2 to $3 billion a month on OpenSea, up from $150 million a year ago. Prices for some NFT collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club remain near all-time highs.
Estavi’s NFT saga seems to be a case of an ill-advised $2.9 million purchase, buyer’s remorse and a new bid for attention. Estavi himself has a sketchy history. His startup, Oracle Bridge, says it will allow blockchain platforms to ingest data more easily, but today it seems to be little more than a white paper.
Estavi also claims he was arrested last year in Iran and had to shut down the company for nine months while he was in prison. “They accused me of disrupting the economic system,” he says vaguely. Now he’s trying to start the company up again.