Wikipedia Gets Its Own NFT

First edit being auctioned
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2021 9:30 AM CST
Wikipedia Gets Its Own NFT
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales stands in the doorway to his office Friday, Dec. 1, 2006 in St. Petersburg, Fla.   (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Non-fungible tokens couldn't exist without the internet, and the internet would be a very different place without Wikipedia. No surprise, then, that the ubiquitous free encyclopedia is getting the NFT treatment. Per The Verge, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is placing his first ever edit to the site up for auction. Wales told the site the NFT represents ownership of what Wikipedia looked like in January 2001 when he launched the groundbreaking site with the edit “Hello, World!” The winning bidder will be able to edit the single page in anyway they see fit. But as Gizmodo notes, the setup will continue to be very much in line with the founding principles of Wikipedia and will continue to be a public page to which any user may make edits.

However, unlike the rest of the site's some 6.4 billion articles, this one will revert to its original state after a few minutes. It's a nod to his own experience hitting the publish button that very first time. “I set up the website and had to think, ‘Gosh, this is so vulnerable. Like anybody can edit. It might just destroy the whole thing, and I’ll be taken over by trolls in five minutes,’” he told The Verge. The eventual owner will have the rights to cut off the public's ability to edit, or even shut down the page completely. Christie's announced the sale Friday, along with the auction of something bidders can actually hold in their hands: the Strawberry iMac Wales was using back when he made internet history. Wales says proceeds from the sale will benefit his socially responsible social media network project WT.Social. (More NFT stories.)

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