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First SMS auctions for 107,000 euros as NFT

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The first SMS was a 15-character message sent to Vodafone employee Richard Jarvis wishing him 'Merry Christmas'./AFP
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Dec 22, 2021 - 04:00 AM

PARIS, FRANCE — The first SMS ever sent over a mobile phone in 1992 was sold Tuesday as an NFT at auction for 107,000 euros ($120,600), the Aguttes auction house said.

The buyer, whose identity was not disclosed but is a Canadian involved in the tech sector, is now the owner of a unique digital replica of the first SMS message in the form of a Non-Fungible Token, or NFT.

The first SMS was a 15-character message sent to Vodafone employee Richard Jarvis wishing him “Merry Christmas”.

NFTs are digital items that can be bought and sold using blockchain technology. They have become immensely popular for collectors, including artwork which sold for nearly $70 million at auction earlier this year.

Among those in the auction hall was 18-year-old blockchain entrepreneur Luigi Caradonna, who bowed out of bidding when the price rose above 75,000 euros.

“I thought it would be interesting to have this piece of history to hold it as an asset until next year and to sell it next Christmas,” he told AFP.

Mobile network operator Vodafone has said it plans to donate its proceeds from the sale to the UN’s refugee agency.

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