15 letters that changed the world: Vodafone is auctioning the very first SMS as NFT

Vodafone is auctioning the world’s first SMS. Transmitted on the Vodafone network almost three decades ago. And received by Vodafone employee Richard Jarvis at a Christmas party on December 3, 1992.

Your message has only 15 letters: “Merry Christmas”. The SMS is sold as a so-called non-fungible token (NFT) in a unique auction auctionedorganized by the auction house Aguttes in France. The buyer, who can also pay with the crypto currency Ether, acquires the exclusive possession of a detailed and unique replica of the original communication protocol with which the first SMS in the world was transmitted. The online auction will take place on December 21, 2021. Vodafone donates the proceeds from the sale to the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee aid.

“The mother of all messaging services is going under the hammer. With this auction we bring together the pioneering spirit of two centuries. We are immortalizing the world’s first SMS on the blockchain. And auction their good news as 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 defining moment in the history of cellular technology. In 1999, seven years after the first SMS was sent over the Vodafone network, people were finally able to send text messages over multiple networks. The result: the use and popularity of SMS increased massively.

Today, greetings for Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid and many other holidays are sent by billions of people around the world – via SMS and Messenger, in the form of texts, videos, audio messages and emojis. Without the very first “Merry Christmas” almost three decades ago, our world would be less connected today.

From the SMS past to the NFT future

Similar to SMS in the 1990s and early 2000s, blockchain technology has also become more and more popular. Our world has entered an age 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 unique and forgery-proof ownership certificates that digitally prove ownership of a particular asset. Use cases range from ownership of digital artwork and collectibles to virtual items for online gaming and web domains, to name a few.

“Non-fungible” stands for “not interchangeable”. NFTs provide immutable and unambiguous evidence of ownership of an asset and associated rights, such as voting, in a fixed and unambiguous manner. The owner of an NFT keeps it in their own blockchain wallet – the equivalent of a digital wallet.

A historic moment for a good cause

The rise of blockchain and NFTs can be compared to the triumphant advance of SMS. The hour of birth, the transmission of the very 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 unique object. The exclusive NFT one-off (1/1 edition) guarantees the possession of a unique, detailed replica of the original communication protocol of the first text message ever sent. The auction will be in Paris from Aguttes accomplished. 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 of 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. She conveyed good news: ‘Merry Christmas’.

Maximilian Aguttes

In order to bring joy to people in need this Christmas season, Vodafone will donate the entire proceeds of the auction to the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency. The organization cares for the 82.4 million people worldwide who are forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution.

Technology has always had the power to change the world. By combining breakthrough technology and community engagement, the 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 Partnerships Service:

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15 letters that changed the world: Vodafone is auctioning the very first SMS as NFT

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