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World's 1st text message reading 'Merry Christmas' sells for $120,000 in Paris auction

World's 1st text message reading 'Merry Christmas' sells for $120,000 in Paris auction

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PARIS: The first text message ever sent, reading "Merry Christmas," was sold on Tuesday (December 21) for 107,000 euros ($120,599.70) as a 'Non-Fungible Token' at a Paris auction house.

The text, which was sent on December 3, 1992, was put up for auction by British telecoms company Vodaphone.

Vodafone engineer Neil Papworth sent the SMS from his computer to a manager in the United Kingdom, who received it on his 2-kg (4 lb) "Orbitel" telephone - similar to a desk phone but cordless and with a handle. Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are a type of digital asset that has surged in popularity this year, with NFT artworks selling for millions of dollars.

Traded since around 2017, these digital objects, which encompass images, video, music and text, exist on blockchain, a record of transactions kept on networked computers. Each NFT has a unique digital signature.

The selling of intangible goods is not legal in France and so the auction house has packaged the text message in a digital frame, displaying the code and communication protocol, Aguttes said.

The buyer will receive the replica of the original communication protocol that transmitted the SMS and proceeds will go to the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR.

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