The very first page to appear on Wikipedia was sold by auction house Christie’s for $750,000 on Wednesday as a non-fungible token (NFT). This non-exchangeable attribute guarantees ownership of digital objects using blockchain technology.
American entrepreneur Jimmy Wales, who founded the platform on January 15, 2001, wrote “Hello World” on the first page of Wikipedia at the time. The online object is sold as an image in jpeg format as NFT. Christie’s reports have also auctioned the computer that Wales used to program Wikipedia. The Strawberry iMac yielded 187,500 dollars.
Over the past twenty years, Wikipedia has grown into a platform where more than 250,000 people participate voluntarily every month. There are now Wikipedias in 300 languages, including Dutch. The website attracts more than 15 billion visitors every month.
Proceeds from the auction will go to WT.social, a Wales project to create an alternative social medium that functions without ads.
More and more digital objects are being sold as NFTs, for example, the first emoticons 🙂 and :-(, the first tweet from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and the source code for the world wide web earlier this year, which brought in millions of euros. The tweet and source code are still online and freely accessible, but the original objects are under new ownership.