This article was updated on December 15, 2021

Christie's partnered with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to sell two artifacts of internet history, earning a combined $937,500 in the process.

Dubbed The Birth of Wikipedia, the auction is comprised of two lots. The first is an old-school, strawberry-colored iMac that Wales used in Wikipedia's fledging years. The webmaster wielded said machine to monitor the online encyclopedia for vandalism, as well as to conduct research for its development.

The second is an NFT of Wikipedia's very first edit, made by Wales on January 15, 2001, the day of the website's launch. It reads: "Hello, World!"

Considering Wikipedia's immeasurable influence on the open knowledge movement, it's safe to say that both artifacts will generate impressive bids.

"Wikipedia was founded on a vision to give free access to knowledge on a global scale, and I want to use whatever funds we raise to continue supporting efforts in the free culture world," Wales tells Highsnobiety.

Wales also specified that the money will go to charities and his latest project, WT.Social — "a decentralized, non-commercial social network free of advertising, tracking, information harvesting, and misinformation."

The auction marks Wikipedia's first foray into NFTs, a market the site has skirted until now — surprising, given that both phenomenons rely on a decentralized system.

Wales acknowledges that there are "a lot" of parallels between the advent of NFTs and the early days of the dot-com boom.

"When new, disruptive technologies with huge potential for change enter the market, there is a lot of excitement, and both good and bad ideas are thrown around," he explains. "I’m particularly interested in seeing how NFTs can positively impact artists and creators and give them opportunities to take ownership of their work while still sharing freely."

The Birth of Wikipedia launched on December 3 at Christie's website and ran through December 15, with the NFT garnering $750k and the computer achieving $187.5k.

What To Read Next

  • best scandinavian brands feature rains sandqvist stutterheim

    39 Scandinavian Brands You Need to Know

    Style
  • spanish rappers feature BEJO C.Tangana Cookin' Soul

    10 Spanish Rappers You Need to Know

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Palace’s UGG Boots Probably Aren’t For Skating In

    Sneakers
  • salomon xt-6

    Is This the Best Salomon Colorway Yet?

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Can New Balance's 610 Be Its Next 990?

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    A Testament to Greatness – Drake's Apollo Theatre Setlist

    Culture
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.