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First Wikipedia Edit To Become An NFT

With billions of page views each month, Wikipedia is one of the most popular online encyclopedias globally. The website’s popularity derives from the breadth of its content and the network of users who keep the information updated voluntarily.

Wikipedia was born in January 2001 and, after a difficult start, it managed to gain popularity year after year. Today the online encyclopedia takes a new step in its future, entering the NFT sector for the first time.

Our article will remind readers what an NFT is by analyzing the Wikipedia proposal.

What is an NFT?

Among the many innovations that the blockchain sector has introduced into our daily lives, NFTs deserve mention. A “non-fungible token” is a digital asset that reproduces an original computer sample of an exclusive work. NFTs enjoy great popularity in fashion and art, promising to revolutionize many sectors.

NFTs are the solution to a very modern problem related to the digital economy. For example, the first edition of the famous Encyclopedia Britannica sold for thousands of dollars at auction. However, how is it possible to perform a similar operation if the encyclopedia is a web page?

Just when the immateriality of the Internet seemed to have sentenced this market to death, the world invented NFTs. Imagine a piece of code that can guarantee the authenticity of a file without the possibility of replication.

The difference between an NFT and a classic token lies in the “non-fungible” term. In this sense, it is essential to introduce the following distinction:

  • Fungible tokens: any replicable and perfectly exchangeable token on the market. For example, theoretically, it is possible to spend a Bitcoin to get another identical Bitcoin in exchange.
  • Non-fungible tokens: anyone who owns a work of art can trade it to get another one in exchange. The difference, however, is that the received work of art will never be identical to the sold one.

Without too much complication, this is the functioning and purpose of an NFT. Only a highly traceability technology such as the blockchain could allow the birth of this digital token.

The first Wikipedia edit

Within the extensive Wikipedia database, the first edition dates back to January 15, 2001. On that day, Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the website, approved the first change to the home page. By connecting to the website at that time, we would have seen the words “Hello World!” on our screen.

The text remained online for a few hours as a technical test, only to be deleted by Wales himself. Nevertheless, this page now has a tremendous symbolic value after billions of edits, primarily made by the Wikipedia community.

Even a symbolic value is worth money in an increasingly digital economy. NFTs are a prime example of such a concept.

How is the NFT implemented?

Unfortunately, the HTML appearing on the first page of the website is no longer available. Christie’s auction house clarifies that the NFT comes directly from Jimmy Wales. Also, the Wikipedia co-founder claims that the NFT contains an exact copy of the original page.

Therefore, the NFT is linked to an authentic code copy, and it will not be the only asset up for auction. The historic Strawberry iMac used to build the page will also be available for purchase by the highest bidder.

The token comes from the Ethereum technology and consists of a single smart contract. This script provides the buyer with complete control of the web page, with the following features:

  • The buyer can use the iMac to edit and restore the original code of the page
  • Each edit will be canceled in 5 minutes, restoring the original version of the page
  • The buyer can remove the automatic cancellation of the edits
  • As absurd as it may be, but the buyer may decide to close the web page permanently

The NFT is, in fact, a virtual ownership right. For this reason, the buyer may even decide to transfer control of the page to Wales himself.

Who will sell the NFT?

Christie’s auction house had the honor of putting this new NFT up for sale. “The birth of Wikipedia sale” is an active project between 3-15 December. The initiative aims to attract the attention of many collectors.

Skeptics may see this as a mere industry extravaganza. However, it is worth mentioning that Christie’s recently surpassed $ 100 million in NFT sales.

The NFT market popularity is growing and fundamental to ensuring the authenticity of digital assets. Whether it’s the first Wikipedia edit or part of an artwork, NFTs appear to be here to stay.

How much would the NFT be worth?

It is difficult to predict the final value of the NFT accurately. What we know today is that the auction starts at $100. It appears to be likely that prices will heat up by the end of the auction.

We know that, in the past, similar auctions have gained remarkable success. The first web browser source code NFT, for example, sold for over $5.4 million earlier this year. Therefore, the first Wikipedia edit may earn a similar success.

Who will receive the money?

Wales will use all the proceeds from the sale to support his WT.social project. WT is an alternative social network relying on donations without ads, a Wikipedia-style platform. The experimental website gives users the chance to donate money to create an online account.

Additionally, Wales said part of the money would go to charity. While it is still hard to tell how much the NFT will be worth, this auction’s Wikipedia philosophy is evident.

Where do we go from here?

Since the greatest inventions of the new millennium are digital assets, NFTs are likely to gain significant popularity in the future. A new collecting market was born, with an increasingly important revenue.

The hype has perhaps grown too quickly compared to the actual current possibilities of NFTs. However, underestimating the value of this technology may be a mistake.

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It took humanity decades to figure out the possibilities of the Internet. Similarly, the world is still discovering the different applications of blockchain networks. In this sense, it will be interesting to monitor future developments in the industry.

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