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The first text message is now a $150,000 NFT

Vodafone will donate the proceeds to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Christian Hartmann / reuters

Vodafone has turned the first text message into a non-fungible token (NFT). It sold at a Paris auction house this week for €132,680 ($150,000) worth of Ether. The company will donate the proceeds to the United Nations Refugee Agency to support forcibly displaced people.

Just over 29 years ago, Richard Jarvis, then a director of Vodafone, received the first text message from programmer Neil Papworth. Suitably enough, given that it was sent in December, the SMS read "Merry Christmas." Although the content of the text message wasn't exactly exciting, it laid the foundation for the next several decades of communications.

The anonymous auction winner will receive a copy of the communication protocol for the SMS, as CNN notes. They'll also get a certificate of authenticity and a digital frame that displays an animation of a phone receiving the message.

It's yet another telecommunications landmark that has been turned into an NFT. Also in December, Jimmy Wales sold an NFT of the first Wikipedia edit at auction for $750,000. Earlier this year, Tim Berners-Lee minted the web's source code as an NFT and sold it for charity.