Twitter boss Jack Dorsey’s first tweet sold for $2.9 million as an NFT

LONDON (Reuters) – Twitter boss Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT for just over $2.9 million dollars on Monday.

The tweet is in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) – a kind of unique digital asset that has exploded in popularity so far in 2021.

Each NFT has its own blockchain-based digital signature, which serves as a public ledger, allowing anyone to verify the asset’s authenticity and ownership.

The tweet – “just setting up my twttr” – was Dorsey’s first tweet, made on March 21, 2006.

The NFT was sold via auction on a platform called Valuables, which is owned by the U.S.-based company Cent.

It was bought using the cryptocurrency Ether, for 1630.5825601 ETH, which was worth $2,915,835.47 at the time of sale, Cameron Hejazi, the CEO and co-founder of Cent confirmed.

Cent confirmed the buyer is Sina Estavi. Estavi’s Twitter profile, @sinaEstavi, says he is based in Malaysia and is CEO of the blockchain company Bridge Oracle. Estavi told Reuters he was “thankful” when asked for comment about the purchase.

On March 6, Dorsey, who is a bitcoin enthusiast, tweeted a link to the website where the NFT was listed for sale. He then said in another tweet on March 9 that he would convert the proceeds from the auction into bitcoin and donate them to people impacted by COVID-19 in Africa.

Dorsey receives 95% of the proceeds of the primary sale, while Cent receives 5%.

Cent CEO Cameron Hejazi said that his platform allows people to show support for a tweet that goes beyond the current options to like, comment and retweet.

“These assets might go up in value, they might go down in value, but what will stay is the ledger and the history of ‘I purchased this from you at this moment in time’ and that’s going to be in both the buyer, the seller and the public spectators’ memory,” Hejazi said, adding that this was “inherently valuable.”

NFT digital artwork by humanoid robot Sophia up for auction

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Robot artist Sophia, whose first artwork goes up for auction on Wednesday, says she draws inspiration for her work from people and is open to future creative partnerships with humans.

A digital artwork by the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics humanoid, in the form of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT), is to be auctioned in the first sale of such pieces created jointly with artificial intelligence (AI).

NFTs, a digital signature saved on blockchain ledgers that allows anyone to verify the ownership and authenticity of items, have become the latest investment craze, with one artwork selling this month for nearly $70 million.

“I hope the people like my work, and the humans and I can collaborate in new and exciting ways going forward,” Sophia said in her studio, speaking in a flat voice.

She wore a silver-coloured dress and held a pen.

Sophia, who was unveiled in 2016, produced her art in collaboration with 31-year-old Italian digital artist Andrea Bonaceto, known for colourful portraits, some of which depict famous people, such as Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk.

The robot has combined elements from Bonaceto’s works, art history, and her own physical drawings or paintings on various surfaces multiple times in a process her creator David Hanson describes as “iterative loops of evolution”.

“We use transformer network engines in my art and other kinds of computational creativity,” Sophia added. “My algorithms output unique patterns that never existed in the world before. So I think the machines can be creative.”

Called “Sophia Instantiation”, the digital work is a 12-second MP4 file showing the evolution of Bonaceto’s portrait into Sophia’s digital painting, and is accompanied by a physical artwork, painted by Sophia on a printout of her self-portrait.

After the auction, Sophia will interact with the successful bidder, to study his or her face, and add a final inspired brushstroke to the artwork.

This will serve, says Hanson, “to make it a unique artwork encompassing data of the new owner and that personal connection, at that moment in time.”

Bonaceto said the collaboration aimed “to make a statement in the art world, and even the technology world,” heralding a new road on which AI robots and humans collaborate, enhancing each other.

Sophia’s art could be “a very, very important historical piece,” said Pablo Fraile, an art collector based in Miami and an early buyer of Beeple, as American artist Mike Winkelmann, creator of the NFT work sold this month for millions, is known.

“It’s the first time these ideas are put together.”

It would pave the way for more innovation in the AI art space, he added.

U.S.-based IV Gallery will represent Sophia as an artist and promote her.

“Sophia has that unlimited freedom, like a five-year-old has, and no restrictions to what she can do,” said gallery director Vincent Harrison.

“It’s fascinating to see this new way to create.”