There’s a phrase you’ve likely come across in your travels across the internet – if a service is free, you are the product.
Simply put, services such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are free because those companies hoover up data about you and let advertisers put their products and services in front of relevant eyes.
But what if you could sell your tweets and make money off of them?
That’s the question the creators of Valuables appear to want to answer.
Valuables lets users turn their tweets into a non-fungible token (NFT), but what is a non-fungible token?
The easiest comparison we can make to something in the real world is a piece of art. There are many images of the Mona Lisa for instance but there is only one true blue copy. A non-fungible token is like the Mona Lisa in that there can be many copies but only person can own it.
Non-fungible tokens live on the Ethereum blockchain and you can use them like the artist Beeple is. For interest sakes, Beeple will auction off a piece of digital art through Christie’s later this month.
An NFT then is what you might call a mastercopy of a piece of art, a song or a video that you can own and your ownership is recorded on a blockchain.
Until now though we’ve been speaking about art, but let’s circle back to Valuables, which is really stretching the limits of NFTs to our mind.
That’s because Valuables lets you buy and sell tweets.
For instance, Soulja Boy’s tweet “I was the first rapper to release a NFT” was sold earlier this morning for $200 or 0.11607906 in Ethereum.
The hip-hop artist however cannot compete with Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey.
At time of writing Dorsey’s first tweet, “just setting up my twttr” is fetching offers of $2.5 million. Offers for the tweet began in December for just $1 but over the last week the hype surrounding NFTs has reached fever pitch.
There is a side to this all that concerns us.
“NFTs make digital content one-of-a-kind: you will be the only person who can claim ownership of an NFT that you own. This means you will have control of the NFT, like the ability to resell or distribute it, and it will appreciate or depreciate in value just like any other asset,” explains Valuables.
It’s the part about distribution that concerns us because quite literally anybody can make an offer on a tweet and while the author has to approve the offer, if it is that means the purchaser owns that tweet.
You’ll notice we didn’t embed the tweets we quoted above and that’s for good reason. If somebody were to purchase those tweet they could claim we don’t have distribution rights and force us to take it down.
Of course we could fight that in court given but, considering how new and fresh the world of NFTs is, we prefer to err on the side of caution.
As should you if you decide to purchase an NFT. You could be buying something that will be valuable beyond measure in a few years, or you could purchase a lemon.
Never invest more than you can afford to lose folks, even if the tweet happens to be fire.
You can read more about Valuables here.