Crypto investor Sina Estavi bought an NFT of Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet ever for $2.9 million in March of 2021. And after a year of constant hype for NFTs, most people would naturally assume Estavi might be able to turn a nice profit on his investment by now. But most people would be wrong.
Estavi put the NFT up for auction last week, and bidding ended on Wednesday. The highest bid? Roughly $277 worth of the cryptocurrency Ethereum, at current prices, according to crypto news outlet CoinDesk.
Estavi had hoped to get as much as $48 million for the NFT and pledged to donate half of the price to charity. But that’s obviously not happening anymore. The crypto businessman has a couple of days to decide whether he wants to accept just $277 for his multi-million dollar investment. But we’d guess he’s just going to keep it.
The NFT in question, like all non-fungible tokens, is simply a digital contract stored on a blockchain claiming “ownership” through a hyperlink that points to a digital object—in this case, Dorsey’s historic first tweet. If that doesn’t sound exciting to you, you’re not alone. The average person still has a hard time understanding what they’re buying when they purchase an NFT. And when people discover it’s often just a receipt to something they can already see online, it sounds dumb.
Estavi, who was born in Iran but operates out of Malaysia, was arrested last year in Iran over charges he was “disrupting the economic system” with his crypto ventures. While in jail his two projects, the CryptoLand exchange and the Bridge Oracle BRG crypto token, both collapsed. Estavi has pledged to make things right for people who bought into the token, according to CoinDesk, but his solution appears to be a new crypto token.
In fact, there are plenty of red flags with Estavi’s offer for a token swap, including the fact that he’s demanding people send him their phone numbers and TRX crypto tokens before he’ll perform a swap. CoinDesk has spoken with plenty of people who invested in BRG token who doubt they’ll ever see their money again.
Is Estavi’s failure to resell his NFT a sign that the bubble is about to burst? No one can say for sure yet. And with people like Mark Zuckerberg pledging to incorporate NFTs in products like Instagram in the near future, there’s still likely plenty of time for NFTs to get pumped and dumped. The trick, like with all fraudulent undertakings, is to not be the last one holding the bag. And with Estavi getting an offer of just $277 for something he paid millions for, it’s safe to say he’s the bag holder this time.