The first text message is now a $150,000 NFT


Vodafone has turned the first text message into a non-fungible token (NFT). It sold at an auction house in Paris this week for €132,680 ($150,000) worth of Ether. The company will donate the proceeds to the United Nations Refugee Agency to support forcibly displaced people.

Just over 29 years ago, Richard Jarvis, Vodafone director at the time, received the first text message from programmer Neil Papworth. Considering that it was sent in December, fittingly it had “Merry Christmas” written on the text. While the content of the text message wasn’t exactly exciting, it laid the foundation for decades of communication to come.

The anonymous auction winner will receive a copy of the communication protocol for the SMS, as CNN notes. They also receive a certificate of authenticity and a digital frame with an animation of a phone receiving the message.

It is yet another telecommunications landmark that has turned into an NFT. Also in December, Jimmy Wales sold an NFT of the first Wikipedia edition at auction for $750,000. Earlier this year, Tim Berners-Lee smashed the web’s source code as an NFT and sold it for charity.

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