First edition of Wikipedia is auctioned as NFT

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Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is auctioning off a non-fungible token (NFT) from the first edition ever made to the site.

Wales typed in the words “Hello world!” after Wikipedia’s release on January 15, 2001, and the moment was immortalized in an NFT being sold by Christie’s, the auction house announced in a statement.

An NFT is a piece of digital content tied to the blockchain, the digital database that supports cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.

They turn digital artwork and other collectibles ​​into unique, verifiable assets ​​that are easy to trade on the blockchain and have had a huge surge of interest in the art world.

Now collectors have the chance to buy the first edition of what is the largest repository of free information on the internet and one of the 10 most visited sites in the world, according to Christie’s, which estimates the NFT will sell for between 100 thousand and 150 thousand dollars.

Wales started Wikipedia after trying to build “Nupedia,” an online encyclopedia written by experts and peer-reviewed, but the project failed because it took too long to approve the edits.

“It was very, very academic and it failed because it wasn’t really fun for the volunteers – it was very strict,” Wales said in the statement.

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger proposed making collaboration on web pages easier, and the change has led to great progress.

“In two weeks we had as much work done as in almost two years,” Wales said.

At first, anyone could edit the site and previous versions of the pages would be lost, but Wales has started backing up the site’s history so that it can revert the changes, according to the statement.

This code is part of the NFT which is up for auction through December 15th, and it also includes the iMac he worked on at the time.

Anyone purchasing NFT will be able to edit the page as they wish, as well as revert it to its original format.

Wales said this is a way “to artistically express what I think was significant about that moment of potential and excitement – that you can do something amazing, or you can do something that doesn’t work at all.”

He added: “And I hope people respond to that, to really remember: this isn’t mature Wikipedia, this was Jimmy’s crazy idea on a funny January morning, which I think is kind of spectacular to think about.”

The proceeds from the sale will support the WT.Social, Wales’ alternative social media project, charities.

“It’s a testament to the power of what the crowdsourcing [financiamento coletivo] can achieve: enabling billions of people to access a vast treasure trove of information – and all for free,” Peter Klarnet, Christie’s senior expert for Americana, books and manuscripts, said in the statement.

“As frequent Wikipedia users in the course of our own work, we are honored to have been entrusted with two objects associated with the birth of this transformative achievement.”

This is a translated text. Click here to read the original.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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