A local politician wrote a poem and won a free NFT from Twitter. Hours later, she sold it for a 'life-changing' $110,000.
- Twitter announced it would be giving away 140 NFTs, featuring GIFs nodding to Twitter culture.
- Margaret Corvid, from Plymouth, England, responded by tweeting a poem based on the giveaway.
- She won the "Reply Guy" NFT and quickly received an offer of the equivalent of $110,000 for the GIF.
On June 30, Twitter announced it would be giving away "140 free NFTs for 140 of you, besties," in reference to the site's original 140-character limit.
The NFTs, or "non-fungible tokens" representing digital collectibles users can buy, sell, and trade included nods to Twitter culture. Among them were animated GIFs titled "First Born", a Tamagotchi-like toy featuring Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's first tweet, and "Building Characters", in which Twitter mascot Larry the bird bicep-curls its way to an 280-pound limit, in reference to the current Twitter character count.
NFTs have seen an astronomical rise in popularity and monetary value in the past year, with sales of digitally-owned art selling for up to $69 million at auction houses like Christie's and Sotheby's.
Margaret Corvid, a local politician from Plymouth, England, and self-described "socialist writer," first learned about NFTs in March, and has since written poetry for "etherpoems," an NFT project featuring 206 unique poems by nine poets. The group has a server on Discord, an app that hosts invite-only online communities with chat, voice, and video functionality. That's where she first saw the NFT giveaway and quote-tweeted Twitter with an original poem.
-Margaret Corvid is currently up for commissions (@MargaretLabour) June 30, 2021
Soon after, Twitter responded, "We ran out of rhymes, but please check your DMs a few times." Within minutes, she received an NFT titled "Reply Guy"- a GIF featuring a muscly marble statue, egg for a head, sitting atop his throne, crafting the perfect "well actually" that nobody asked for. "I was like, 'Holy bleep!'" Corvid told Insider.
Corvid returned to her scheduled online meeting and during pockets of free time bragged about her rare acquisition in another Discord group. Some urged her not to sell Twitter's inaugural digital collectible, but an hour later she checked her phone and saw a cryptocurrency bid for 50 Ethereum (ETH), which at the time amounted to roughly $110,000. "I click on it. And I'm like expletive, expletive, expletive!" she said. Corvid consulted her friends and decided to take the offer.
Seconds later, there was $110,000 in her Metamask, a virtual "wallet". Corvid told Insider, "It is such a blessing. I was in the right place at the right time. I did write the poem, but it wasn't a contest or something - Twitter just decided to give me that. And I was just really lucky to get the offer."
She said the money will be "life-changing". "I'm disabled. So it's really important for me to be a wise steward of blessings like this," she told Insider. "It's going to change my life because it means that I can fix things that are wrong with my house. And I can put this into both traditional and crypto savings."
Corvid has already reinvested about $40,000 of that money into a CryptoPunk, one of the first NFTs ever released on the Ethereum blockchain, as "a symbol of the fact that I'm very committed to this space," she said.
Despite making $110,000 in a single day, Corvid believes the NFT community isn't just about money. To her, it offers opportunities for inclusion. "I really want women, people of color, people who have disabilities, trans folks, folks with mental health challenges, and folks who've been poor to have a voice in this space."
She added, "The best work and the most creative innovations are coming from people who live their lives on the margins. And that's so important."
To read more stories like this, check out Insider's digital culture coverage here.
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