The world’s first SMS sold in NFT for $150,000 at the Paris auction house

Written by Sana Noor Haq, CNN

The world’s first SMS was sold as a non-fungible token (NFT) for $149,729 (€132,680) at auction in Paris, according to the Aguttes.
Reading “Merry Christmas”, the message was sent by British programmer Neil Papworth from his computer on December 3, 1992 to Richard Jarvis, then director of British telecommunications company Vodafone.

Jarvis received the message on his Orbitel 901 cell phone at the company’s Christmas reception.

The NFT is a replica of the original communications protocol that transmitted the SMS, the auction house said. The unknown buyer, who was supposed to pay in Ether cryptocurrency, will also receive a digital frame with a 3D animation of the received message.

“A pivotal moment”

Papworth and his colleagues were trying to develop a type of communication through which their client, Vodafone, could offer users the ability to message each other Phone(s), explained Aguttes on his website.

They finally refined the code and SMS transmission via Vodafone’s network became a reality.

“In 1992, I had no idea how popular texting would become, and that it would give rise to emoticons and messaging apps used by millions of people,” Papworth said, as quoted by Commissioner- auctioneer.

“It was only recently that I told my children that I had sent that first text. Looking back, it is clearer to see that the Christmas message I sent was a pivotal moment in mobile history,” he added.

Initially, text messages could not be sent from cell phones as they did not have a keypad. However, in 1994 they could be transmitted from telephones thanks to the arrival of the Nokia 210.

Five years later, text messages could be sent over various telecommunications networks, hence their popularity. According to the press release, texting as a means of communication has begun to overtake the use of phone calls.

The 160-character limit on SMS – which stands for “Short Message Service” – has since been incorporated into all digital platforms, including Twitter.

The way users choose to express themselves has evolved over time with the introduction of acronyms and emojis to the internet.

Shake up the art world

Just as the world’s first SMS revolutionized the way people communicate, NFTs are shaking up the art world.

Non-fungible tokens are a form of cryptocurrency that converts digital works of art into unique, verifiable assets that can be traded on the blockchain.

Each NFT is one of a kind, meaning no two tokens are the same. Since March, when the first NFT artwork sold for $69,346,250 at an online auction by Christie’s, virtual art has entered the mainstream.
Earlier this month, a distracted trader accidentally sold an NFT for one-hundredth of its market price. More recently, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales sold an NFT of the very first edition made on the website – a testament to how virtual art can be used to commemorate moments in Wikipedia’s history. internet culture.

Speaking about the sale of the NFT SMS, Maximilien Aguttes, head of development at Aguttes auction house, said: “The first printed book, the first phone call, the first email, all these inventions changed our lives and our communication in the world. “

“This first text message received in 1992 is a historic testimony to human and technological progress. It conveyed a message of joy, ‘Merry Christmas'”, added Aguttes.

Vodafone noted earlier this month, proceeds from the sale would be donated to the UN Refugee Agency.