Vodafone auctioned a non-fungible token (NFT) of the world’s first-ever SMS text message, which read ‘Merry Christmas’, and was sent on its network just over 29 years ago.
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The sale of the NFT was conducted by Aguttes auction house in France on December 21 and totalled €132,680 in Ether cryptocurrency (about ₹1.13 crore). Proceeds from the auction will go to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to support forcibly displaced people, according to Vodafone.
The text message was sent by Neil Papworth, a programmer, and received by Richard Jarvis, then director at Vodafone, on December 3, 1992, at an office Christmas party.
The buyer will receive a detailed and unique replica of the original communication protocol created by Vodafone; an animated version of the entire replica; and a digital frame with a 3D animation showing the mobile phone receiving the world’s first SMS, according to the auction page.
A certificate guaranteeing the authenticity and uniqueness of the NFT, signed by Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read, will also be given to the auction winner, Aguttes noted.
NFTs have grown in popularity this year, with the sales volumes of these blockchain-based digital assets touching $10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021 .
Recently, an NFT of the first edit to Wikipedia: “Hello, World!” , made by the platform’s co-founder Jimmy Wales on the day the website launched, was auctioned on Christie’s for $750,000 about (5.72 crore). In addition, former U.S. first lady Melania Trump launched her NFT and blockchain technology venture last week .