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Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales puts computer and NFT up for auction at Christie’s

Who wants to own a piece of Internet history?

The personal computer used by Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales when he launched the site 20 years ago is being auctioned by Christie’s with a non-fungible token, or NFT, of the popular site’s front page.

Shown at the auction house’s New York headquarters at Rockefeller Center, the computer is a Strawberry iMac, “his personal computer, which he was using for development and research when the site launched on January 15, 2001. “the company said in a statement. declaration.

The second batch is an NFT “created by Jimmy Wales that recreates what Wikipedia looked like when he set it up and launched its first page, with the words + Hello world +”, explained Peter Klarnet, book specialist. and manuscripts at Christie’s. AFP.

“I think that he [Wales] just got inspired by what he sees happening in this whole NFT space, and it reminds him a lot of the early days of the open source movement that created Wikipedia, ”Klarnet said.

“Now we are seeing self-reliant digital organizations on the rise and it reminds him a lot of the collective effort that created and maintained Wikipedia. “

The NFT, presented in JPEG format, will be interactive, with the buyer able to edit the page, “which can be reset with a timer to return to its original state,” Christie’s said.

Who wants to buy an NFT Wikipedia?

Launched several years ago, the NFTs made their mark in 2021, the term even being named “word of the year” by the Collins dictionary.

In March, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey auctioned off the very first tweet, “Just created my twttr account,” for $ 2.9 million as NFT.

As the tweet, the sale of the first edition of Wikipedia is expected to bring in “hundreds of thousands of dollars” according to Klarnet.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale will help fund Wales WT social project, a ‘non-toxic alternative’ social media network that uses an ad-free model.

According to Christie’s, looking back on the growth of Wikipedia in 20 years, Wales said he saw the site as the fulfillment of many of the ideals of the early internet pioneers.

“When most people first saw the internet they didn’t think, ‘Great, I can have dog food delivered to my house! They thought, “Wow, it’s amazing, human minds can connect all over the world. We can get information, we can share our knowledge, ”Klarnet said.

“And Wikipedia is really there for that. He’s still making that dream come true, if not perfectly – we’re not done yet and we have a lot of work to do. But for a lot of people, I think that was the original passion and hope for the Internet ”.

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