Someone bought an NFT of the first text message ever sent

Aguttes SMS text NFT screenshot promo image


The amount paid for an official NFT of the first SMS.



A lot of NFTS are straight garbage. Like, a lot. That said, we must begrudgingly admit that there are some that do seem to hold real historical, cultural, and artistic value. So, with this in mind, we honestly can say that the recent auction of an NFT for the first text message ever sent is pretty damn cool.

Auctioned off by the Parisian company, Aguttes, an anonymous bidder paid €132,680 (approximately $150,000) for the NFT, which includes a certificate of authenticity, a copy of the communications protocol, as well as a digital frame that includes an animation of a phone receiving the original message. To get into the holiday spirit, Vodafone also announced that it would be donating the money to the United Nations Refugee Agency, which provides resources for forcibly displaced populations.

A short message with large implications — A little over 29 years ago, a programmer named Neil Papworth sent Vodafone’s former director, Richard Jarvis, the first SMS ever. Given that it was fired off on December 3, the simple message was comprised of the seasonally appropriate “Merry Christmas.” While not a particularly exciting sentiment, the experiment laid the foundations for a revolutionary means of communication still relied on to this day.

"In 1992, I had no idea just how popular texting would become, and that this would give rise to emojis and messaging apps used by millions," Papworth told Aguttes. “I only recently told my children that I sent that first text,” he added. “Looking back with hindsight, it's clearer to see that the Christmas message I sent was a pivotal moment in mobile history.”

A silver-lining for NFTs — The Vodafone/Aguttes auction strikes us as one of the genuinely enjoyable NFT sales we’ve come across lately. For the most part, the burgeoning industry is a wild west frontier with almost zero accountability or oversight, which lends itself to all kinds of scams and morally questionable projects. To see something as wholesome and actually interesting as the first text message get turned into an NFT is a breath of fresh air for the marketplace. ‘Tis the season for a very crypto Christmas, we suppose.