Hakan Estavi, better known as Sina Estavi, is one of the pioneering investors in the world of cryptocurrencies, but his profile has many chiaroscuro. Born in Iran and nationalized in Malaysia, he holds the position of CEO of Bridge Oracle, one of the most important organizations dedicated to the TRON blockchain network. But if he is known, it is for being the buyer of the NFT from Jack Dorsey's first tweet, sold for 2.9 million dollars.
That purchase on the Valuables platform was in March 2021 and generated many headlines. Sina Estavi was a powerful contributor to the NFT hype with that purchase, but since then her visibility has been on the decline. It's not by chance. Since last May 17 he has been detained in Iran for economic corruption. This is his story.
He was also about to pay $1.1 million for an Elon Musk tweet
Sina Estavi offered 1,630 ETH, which was equivalent to about $2.5 million. It was the final offer of the investor, who had been progressively raising the figure. Two weeks after the offer, Jack Dorsey decided to accept it, resulting in $2.9 million.
"It is a part of human history in the form of a digital asset. Who knows what the price of the first tweet in human history will be in 50 years," Estavi assured in an interview with the BBC. A digital asset that the investor compared to the Mona Lisa.
This is not just a tweet!
I think years later people will realize the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting https://t.co/vnA5pz3esQ
– Estavi March 22, 2021
Those weeks, Estavi himself decided to bet on buying another popular tweet that had been put up for sale. From another famous tweeter: Elon Musk. The offers were happening and the highest was again that of Estavi, who offered up to 1.12 million dollars. However, this time he withdrew his offer, two days after Jack Dorsey had accepted the other one. A few days later, Elon Musk explained that he had finally decided not to sell the NFT from his tweet.
By purchasing the NFT from Dorsey's tweet, Estavi has a digital certificate. And Dorsey the money, which he donated to an African aid organization in Bitcoin. However, Estavi's arrest months later was going to cast many doubts on that purchase.
What does Sina Estavi do and why was he arrested
Before becoming known, Sina Estavi's recorded history is buying various Telegram channels and advertising through them. In 2015, Estavi creates the Iranian exchange Cryptoland. According to his LinkedIn profile, in 2019, he takes the next step by creating Bridge Oracle and allying himself with other investors in the crypto world.
On Twitter he maintained a strong presence, with more than 100,000 followers. However, in mid-May he stopped publishing, coinciding with the date of the arrest. Since then, he has not posted a single tweet.
As described by Cointelegraph, the Iranian Cyber Police even published a pinned tweet on Estavi's profile explaining that "the owner of this account was arrested on charges of disrupting the economic system by order of the Special Court for Economic Crimes. The official judicial authorities will provide Additional Information". The same tweet was posted on the Bridge Oracle account. However, those tweets have now been deleted.
In early 2021, Estavi was reported by former Bitcoin.com CEO Mate Tokay for allegedly not paying him for his services. In that lawsuit, it was stated that there was an inconsistency of about $525,000 in the supply of BRG tokens, offered by Bridge Oracle.
As Mena News describes, it is illegal in Iran to sell and create these tokens to other Iranians. Estavi states the BRG tokens are an independent entity and are sold only to foreign individuals, but the Iranian community around these tokens grew enough to draw attention and show that this was not the case. According to the Iran BlockChain Community, the CryptoLand platform (owner of Bridge Oracle), was never an official member in the Iranian blockchain ecosystem.
Beyond its legality in Iran, Bridge Oracle has been criticized for its dubious legitimacy, potentially being a Ponzi-type pyramid scheme. To prevent Estavi from escaping the country on his private jet, the authorities decided to arrest him and suspended Cryptoland from activity. According to Iranian TV, all of Estavi's assets were seized, including BRG tokens. And this is where buying into Jack Dorsey's tweet comes in.
Many investors in this token feel cheated and consider that the NFT from the first tweet somehow belongs to them, since Sina Estavi used those funds to acquire it. Following the incident, numerous exchanges canceled the sale-purchase of these BRG tokens.
In a Q&A in late April 2021, just weeks before the arrest, Estavi explained that one of Bridge Oracle's biggest challenges was that "we still don't provide proof of data authenticity for the portion of data we infuse into the blockchain and we're Working on it".
After more than 8 months, he reappears assuring that he will resolve the pending payments
Sina Estavi, posting about her freedom on Instagram.
Since May 2021, all Sina Estavi's social media profiles have been stopped. During the time he has been arrested he has not been able to make any movement. Several users related to the BRG token wondered what had become of the project and Estavi. After more than 8 months of silence, Estavi has reappeared this week, for the moment on his personal Instagram profile, where the first publication was a story with an image of freedom.
Two days later, Estavi has published a video on his profile where he explains, for users in Iran, what has happened to him. For almost 30 minutes he answers different questions, among which he states that both he and his partner Mehdi were accused, that he has "no problem with the payment of assets in progress" and that after three and a half months there was an agreement with officials from the judiciary to ensure that they could solve their "technical problems".
It will be necessary to see if after this time Estavi redirects his situation. A profile involved in controversy that achieved excessive fame after the purchase of the NFT of Jack Dorsey's tweet, but since then has lived most of the time surrounded by shadows.
In Xataka | Most NFTs are not worth a dime (at least for now): science says so