A NFT of the first text message ever sent — a holiday greeting that simply reads “Merry Christmas” — was auctioned off for $121,000 in Paris on Tuesday.
The text, which was sent on Dec. 3, 1992, was sold by the British wireless company Vodafone. Proceeds from the sale went to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
The message was sent by Vodafone engineer Neil Papworth from his computer to his manager in the UK. The manager received the message on a four-pound “Orbitel” phone.
“They were in the middle of end-of-year events so he sent him the message ‘Merry Christmas’,” said Maximilien Aguttes, head of development for the Aguttes Auction House.
Since selling “intangible goods” is against the law in France, Augettes Auction House was forced to find a workaround in order to unload the text message NFT. The auctioneers packaged the text message in a digital frame, displaying the code and communication protocol, in order to comply with French law.
NFTs — or non-fungible tokens — are one-of-a-kind digital assets that correspond to images. They have exploded in popularity this year, with one NFT by the artist Beeple selling for north of $69 million over the summer.
The NFT boom has set off a gold rush, with everyone from Michael Cohen and Melania Trump to Bill Ackman and Paris Hilton trying to get a piece of the action in recent weeks.
With Post wires