News Item: Wikipedia creator’s computer and NFT auctioned for almost $1 mn
An NFT memorializing Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’s first edit on the online reference resource 20 years ago and the computer he used when programming the platform sold for a total of almost $1 million at auction Wednesday.
Christie’s sold the NFT — Non-Fungible Tokens that are unique digital objects and confer ownership through blockchain technology — for $750,000 and the Strawberry iMac for $187,500.
The NFT is of Wikipedia’s debut onscreen image when Wales posted the first words, “Hello world.”
The Strawberry iMac was the personal computer he “used for development and research at the time of the website’s launch on January 15, 2001,” Christie’s said.
The NFT, presented in JPEG format, is interactive, with the buyer able to edit the page, “which can be reset with a timer to revert to its original state,” according to Christie’s.
Part of the proceeds from the sales will help fund Wales’s WT.Social project, a “non-toxic alternative” social media network that uses an advertising-free model.
The new darling art form for some collectors and investors, NFTs have become staples of auction houses and the art market.
An NFT of the World Wide Web’s source code sold in July for $5.4 million at Sotheby’s, while the all-digital work of American artist Beeple drew $69.3 million in March at Christie’s, an NFT record.
Also on Friday, Christie’s announced the auction of a bulletproof vest worn by rap megastar Kanye West during a party marking the release of his 2021 album “Donda.”