An NFT of Wikipedia’s first edit sold for $750,000 — Quartz

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Wikipedia’s first edited non-fungible token (NFT) was sold at the Christie’s Auction on December 15th for $ 750,000. In another lot, the 20-year-old strawberry pink iMac used to create the online encyclopedia was $ 187,500.

What does it mean that blockchain-backed digital assets have attracted four times as much money as the physical objects associated with a bit of the same history?

“I can tell you that NFT spaces are very dynamic and still of great interest,” said Peter Klarnet, a print manuscript for a 255-year-old British auction house and Americana specialist. Says.

He reports that this sale has attracted book collectors and crypto enthusiasts alike. “It was a very diverse group of people. Some clients were known to us and some were brand new to us, like the sale of Beeple,” NFT Art said. Klarnet said referring to the historic $ 69 million auction that caused the boom.

For collectors of a certain age, Wikipedia NFTs have been a nostalgic token since the early days of the Internet. “For many, Wikipedia is a symbol of what the best of the Internet is,” says the clarinet.

Jimmy Wales / Christie’s

The beginning of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales told Quartz that he wanted to provide bidders with a simulation of how to launch a website in the early stages. At Christie’s auction, he listed “dynamic NFTs” and dug up an old copy of Perl software to create an editable web page. “What kind of community does this attract? Is it just a troll hijacking? What if people aren’t interested at all and no one is attending? Does this work at all? That morning? All those questions were in my mind, “he recalls.

Hello, the world of Cyptoart

On January 15, 2001, Wales used Perl software installed on the iMac G3 to have a sound engineer check the microphone. Pre-boot tests are not saved in Wikipedia’s edit log because they were created before the platform recorded all revisions.

Wales says he had a pink iMac for a long time and thought it would be worth a museum someday. “It’s in the original box and I’m using it as a printer stand. Like this iconic computer, I saved it based on the theory that it might be worth something someday,” says Wales. He added that he wants a 20-year-old machine with questionable working order to be able to fetch more than any other used iMac G3 listed on eBay.

“We do not guarantee that it will work,” says Wales.

Financing a new anti-meta social media platform

Wales will spend nearly $ 1 million from Christie’s auctions on WT Social, a 3-year-old social networking startup. “It’s still a very pilot project,” says Wales, explaining the challenge of raising money for a platform without ads and paywalls.

He envisions a “non-toxic” alternative to Facebook’s parent Meta platform. On this platform, trusted curators manage the content and users donate to keep the content running like Wikipedia. “”It needs to be fun and fun, but I want it to be non-addictive, “says Wales. “It’s like a slow social networking move, you may not spend the whole day there, but you’ll spend enough time coming up with something meaningful.”

Wales argues that finding an independent source of funding is important for solving problems with online social platforms. “Social media issues can be traced back to business models,” he claims. “If you’re using an ad-only business model, there’s a real temptation to promote ridiculous content or something that people keep clicking on.”

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