First SMS Ever Sent to Be Auctioned as an NFT

First SMS Ever Sent to Be Auctioned as an NFT
Image: Aguttes Auction House

An auction house in France is selling the rights to the world’s first SMS. The text will be sold as an NFT. And as for the message itself? Well, it simply reads ‘Merry Christmas’.

While you’d be forgiven for assuming the first SMS ever sent read “Hello World”, the first text was in fact “Merry Christmas”.

The 15-letter message was transmitted through the Vodafone network on December 3, 1992 and received by a Vodafone employee at a Christmas party. Neil Papworth, the (at the time) 22-year-old software programmer from the UK who created the SMS for his client Vodafone, previously said he had no idea just how popular texting would become. Crazy, hey?

Well, the Merry Christmas text will be sold out of Aguttes Auction House as an NFT.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are used to verify unique items. The blockchain-created certificate of authenticity is used for a digital asset such as art. ‘Non-fungible’ means unique – basically, the whole thing is digital proof of ownership.

The buyer, who will be able to pay with Ether cryptocurrency, gains “exclusive” ownership of a detailed and unique replica of the original communication protocol that transmitted the world’s first SMS.

The auction will take place on December 21, 2021. Vodafone said it will be donating the proceeds from the sale to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to support forcibly displaced people. It is estimated the SMS NFT will sell for Euro €100,000 to €200,000 (around $157,000-$315,000).

“The mother of all messaging services comes under the hammer. With this auction, we are bringing together the pioneering spirit of two centuries. We immortalise the world’s first SMS on the blockchain. And auction off its good news as NFT for a good cause,” said Vodafone Germany CEO Hannes Ametsreiter.

“Because we believe that pioneers and technology can change the world. When they serve people and connect people.”

In 1999, seven years after the first SMS was sent via Vodafone, it was finally possible to send text messages over multiple networks and in 2021, you can mint them as an NFT.

Merry Christmas.