How To Buy an NFT (like an “NFTweet”)

April 13, 2021 by  Parker Nolan

How To Buy A Tweet NFT

Jack Dorsey auctioned off his first tweet as an NFT for charity. But how did he do it, and what was the actual process of buying it?

There are a lot of high-level guides that explain what NFTs are and how to buy them, but we noticed that not many of the authors had actually gone through the process themselves.

At RockWater, we like to learn by doing. So, we created this guide on how to buy your first “NFTweet”, complete with screenshots of the journey.

 

Background

We decided to purchase an NFTweet, which is just an NFT of a tweet, via Valuables – the same platform Jack Dorsey used to auction off his tweet.

Valuables runs on the Matic sidechain (a separate blockchain connected to Ethereum that processes transactions off the Ethereum network, achieving faster transactions and lower costs), and lets users bid on and trade NFTweets.

 

The How-To Guide

Getting Set Up

  • Connect your Twitter account

  • Connect your MetaMask digital wallet

    • If you already have MetaMask installed in your browser, and have ETH, this part is easy:

      • Click the “connect” button in MetaMask

  • If you don’t already have MetaMask:

    • Go to the MetaMask site and download the version compatible with your browser. There are download links for Chrome, FireFox, Brave, and Edge. This guide documents the experience using MetaMask on Chrome

    • Follow the instructions to set up your MetaMask wallet

    • Purchase ETH through the MetaMask browser extension using Wyre

  • There will be a $5 transaction fee imposed by Wyre, plus a variable “Network Fee”, which is the cost imposed by the Ethereum network for processing your transaction on the Ethereum mainnet

  • Go back to the Profile page on Valuables, and click the button to connect MetaMask to your account

Buying The NFT

  • Paste the URL on the main Valuables page

  • Make an offer
  • MetaMask will pop up, and a gas fee will be added to the bid.

    • This is the same as the “Network Fee” when buying Ethereum – the bid is an on-chain activity, so it requires verification and network compute power, which costs gas

    • In this case, a $10 bid resulted in a final cost of $32.04 due to gas costs. That’s right, the processing fees were double. For a multi-million dollar digital art sale, a $20 gas cost is negligible. But to enable high volume NFT microtransactions, gas costs have to come down

  • Once you bid, the Twitter user will be notified (though only if they have already registered with Valuables), or you must notify them directly and they can register with the site

    • Valuables doesn’t notify the Twitter user if they aren’t yet on Valuables, so likely that you may need to notify them yourself through Twitter, by pinging them on LinkedIn, asking a shared connection, etc. Yes, we consider this a high friction part of the NFTweet-buying process

Owning the NFT

  • Once they go through the same registration process detailed above, they can accept your bid

  • If your bid is accepted, Valuables mints the tweet as an NFT. And then the bid you made, less a small % fee, goes to the tweet author

  • Navigate to your account, and you should see the tweet under your “Collected” tab. Congratulations, you just bought your first tweet NFT!

    • Note that there is no notification when your offer is accepted or rejected, the transaction just… happens

What Happens Now?

  • This is the part where it’s a little weird

  • If you click to OpenSea, you will see that the NFT is owned by Valuables, not by you

  • This is the case with almost all NFT marketplaces – NFTs are typically minted on different platforms (like Valuables for tweets, or SoRare for soccer cards)

    • The NFT, once minted, is then custodied in the platform’s digital wallet

    • Your data is still stored in the NFT’s contract, but to increase efficiency, it is held in a wallet separate from yours

  • The tweet can still be deleted by the tweet author

    • This leads to a lot of questions about the value of NFTweets. Another platform can build the same minting infrastructure, let the Twitter user accept bids on the same tweet, and mint NFTs of the exact same tweet. So who determines which NFT is the valuable one?!

Key Takeaways for NFT Platforms

  • Publish thorough documentation, and craft an informative onboarding experience for customers

    • The author of this guide has consulted on tokenization projects using Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric before, and buying an NFTweet was still a somewhat confusing experience

 

  • Remove friction

    • This is where owned, non-Ethereum blockchains, such as the one hosted by Dapper Labs (creators of NBA TopShot) really shine

    • Dapper Labs has built their own wallet and cryptocurrency exchange designed for their platform, and have built the platform itself, so everything is seamless

    • The current distributed model of Ethereum-based NFT marketplaces is more democratized and truer to the original vision of blockchain, but provides for less-than-optimal UX

 

  • Create an exciting purchasing experience

    • I didn’t even receive an email notification once RockWater accepted my bid and minted their NFTweet

    • Make users feel accomplished and valued after a purchase instead of just transferring ownership. It costs almost nothing to code a congratulatory notification with fun gifs or emojis

Ping us anytime at hello@wearerockwater.com. We love to hear from our readers.

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