Vodafone auctions the world’s first SMS. Broadcast on the Vodafone network almost three decades ago. And received by Vodafone employee Richard Jarvis at a Christmas party on December 3, 1992.
His message has only 15 letters: “Merry Christmas.” The SMS will be auctioned as a so-called non-fungible token (NFT) in a one-time auction organized by the Aguttes auction house in France. The buyer, who can also pay with the cryptocurrency Ether, acquires exclusive possession of a detailed and unique replica of the original communication protocol with which the world’s first SMS was transmitted. The online auction will take place on December 21, 2021. Vodafone donates the proceeds of the sale to UNHCR, the United Nations aid to refugees.
“The mother of all courier services is going under. With this auction we bring together the pioneering spirit of two centuries. We are immortalizing the world’s first SMS on blockchain. And auction their good news as an NFT for a good cause, ”said Vodafone Germany boss Hannes Ametsreiter. “Because we believe that pioneers and technology can change the world. When they serve people and connect people. “The delivery of the short text message nearly three decades ago was a watershed moment in the history of cellular technology. In 1999, seven years after the first SMS was sent via of the Vodafone network, people were finally able to send text messages across multiple networks.The result: the use and popularity of SMS increased dramatically.
Today, billions of people around the world send greetings for Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid and many other holidays, via SMS and Messenger, in the form of texts, videos, audio messages and emojis. Without the first “Merry Christmas” almost three decades ago, our world would be less connected today.
From the past of SMS to the future of NFT
Like SMS in the 1990s and early 2000s, blockchain technology has also become increasingly popular. Our world has entered an era characterized by digital technologies, in which the Internet and applications are constantly developing faster and faster.
In the last 12 months, for example, “non-fungible tokens” have seen their breakthrough. These are stored on the blockchain and serve as one-time, counterfeit-proof certificates of ownership that digitally prove ownership of a particular asset. Use cases range from owning digital artwork and collectibles to virtual items for online games and web domains, to name a few.
“Non-fungible” means “not interchangeable.” The NFTs provide immutable and unequivocal evidence of ownership of an asset and associated rights, such as voting, in a fixed and unequivocal manner. The owner of an NFT stores it in their own blockchain wallet, the equivalent of a digital wallet.
A historic moment for a good cause
The rise of blockchain and NFT can be compared to the triumphant advance of SMS. The time of birth, the transmission of the first text message, will now be perpetuated by Vodafone on the blockchain. It will be auctioned as NFT on December 21, 2021.
The “first SMS” is sold as a single item. The exclusive NFT one-off (1/1 edition) guarantees the possession of a unique and detailed replica of the original communication protocol of the first text message sent. The auction will be held in Paris by Aguttes. Aguttes, the first independent auction house in France, is very active on the international art and luxury market and expects bidders from all over the world for this auction.
The first printed book, the first phone call, the first email, all these inventions changed our lives and how we communicate in the world. This first text message from 1992 is a historical testimony to human and technological progress. He relayed good news: ‘Merry Christmas’.
To bring joy to those in need this Christmas season, Vodafone will donate all proceeds from the auction to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency. The organization cares for the 82.4 million people around the world who are forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution.
Technology has always had the power to change the world. By combining cutting-edge technology and community participation, UNHCR can continue to serve refugees and people displaced from their homes. And give them the opportunity to change their lives and build a better future, for themselves, their loved ones, and the communities in which they live.
Christian Schaake, Head of UNHCR’s Private Sector Associations Service:
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