The world’s first SMS as a non-fungible NFT token sold for $149,729 (132,680 euros) at an auction in Paris, according to auction house Aguttes.
The message says “Happy Birthday”, and the message was sent by British programmer, Neil Papworth, from a computer on 3 December 1992 to Richard Jarvis, who later became the director of UK telecoms company Vodafone.
Jarvis received the message on his Orbitel 901 mobile phone during the company’s Christmas party.
In addition, the auction house said that NFT is an exact copy of the original communication protocol that transmits SMS messages. The anonymous buyer, who was to pay in cryptocurrency Ethereum, receives a digital frame with a 3D animation of the message being received.
Papworth and his colleagues were trying to develop a type of communication where Vodafone could offer users the ability to send messages to each other’s phones, Aguttes explains on its website.
They finally revised the code, and the transmission of texts over the Vodafone network became a reality.
While Papworth was quoted as saying, “Back in 1992 I had no idea how prevalent texting was and that this was leading to emojis and messaging apps used by millions.”
“I recently told my children that I sent this world’s first SMS. The message I sent was clearly a pivotal moment in the history of the mobile phone,” he added.
It was not possible at first to send texts from mobile phones because they did not have keyboards. However, by 1994, it was possible to send them from phones thanks to the arrival of the Nokia 210.
Five years later, it became possible to send text messages through different communication networks, which increased its popularity.
The letter was transferred to NFT and sold for $150,000
Text messaging began as a means of communication that transcended the use of phone calls. The then 160-character limit for SMS messages was now used across digital platforms including Twitter.
The way users choose to express themselves has evolved over time with the introduction of shortcuts and emojis.
Just as the world’s first SMS revolutionized the way people communicate, NFT revolutionized the art world.
Non-fungible tokens are a form of cryptocurrency that turns digital artifacts into unique, verifiable commodities that can be traded via the blockchain.
Each NFT is unique, which means that no two tokens are the same. And since March, when the first NFT artwork sold for $69 million during an auction by Christie’s, virtual art has burst into the mainstream.
Aguttes said: “This first text message is a historic testament to human and technological progress.”
Vodafone said earlier this month that the proceeds from the sale would be donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.