After celebrating its 20th anniversary in January, the free internet encyclopedia Wikipedia continues making history by selling its first nonfungible token (NFT) via auction giant Christie’s.
Wales typed the words "Hello, World!" after launching Wikipedia on January 15, 2001, and the moment has been immortalized in an NFT that sold for $750,000 at Christie's on Wednesday, the auction house said in a statement.
The First Wikipedia edit NFT has undoubtedly preserved the history of our internet. Notably, the collectible crypto token preserved the layout of the Wikipedia home page in 2001. Indeed, the page was based on the earliest surviving source code. Moreover, it also has features that allow the owner to edit the page, which can be reset with a timer to revert to its original state.
One of the world’s largest auction houses, Christie’s moved into the NFT industry in early 2021, announcing the auction of its first-ever “purely digital work of art” by digital artist Beeple in February. Beeple’s NFT piece “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” sold for more than $69 million in March, emerging as one of the world’s most expensive NFTs.
A portion of the sale proceeds will be used to support WT.Social, Wales' alternative social media project, as well as various charities.
"It is a testament to the power of what crowd-sourcing can achieve: allowing billions of people access to a vast trove of information — and all of it free of charge," Klarnet said prior to the sale.
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