New world. Buying a collectible tweet is possible

Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter in front of students in New Delhi (India), November 12, 2018.
Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter in front of students in New Delhi (India), November 12, 2018 (PRAKASH SINGH / AFP)

On March 21, 2006, the American Jack Dorsey, creator of the Twitter network, published the first tweet in history. The message said “Just setting up my twttr” (“I am in the process of setting up my Twitter account”). Today that tweet is “for sale” at auction on the Valuables by cent site, and has just passed the $ 2.5 million mark.

Purchases of unique intangible goods are booming. It is also possible to buy a video of American basketball player LeBron James or a virtual card, a sort of digital Panini sticker, of French footballer Kylian MbappĂ©. The American rock band Kings of Leon even put up a music album for sale (buyers will also be entitled to a limited edition vinyl and various goodies). The Christie’s house has just auctioned an authenticated digital work.

These purchases of collectible digital goods are based on what are called NFTs, Non Fungible Tokens (in French, Tokens Non Fongibles, that is to say non-replaceable, unique). A system operating using blockchain, this technology used in particular by cryptocurrencies. If you buy an NFT virtual good, a little piece of blockchain somewhere certifies that you really own it. It must be protected by keeping it safe in a digital safe. For example, the buyer of Jack Dorsey’s tweet will receive authentication by the author, like an autograph, certified by the blockchain.

This phenomenon, which is somewhat the latest fad of digital fans, is booming. And that’s a lot of money. According to a BNP-Paribas study, the amount of NFT transactions reached $ 250 million last year.

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