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World's first SMS message reading 'Merry Christmas' sells for 107,000 euros in Paris



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The world's first SMS message sent from one Vodafone employee to another in Newbury has been sold for 107,000 euros – just under £91,000 – at auction.

The message was sold as a 'Non-Fungible Token' (NFT), meaning it has a digital certificate of authenticity and is considered the original, at Paris auction house Aguttes this afternoon (Tuesday).

Whoever has the code – secured by blockchain technology – will verifiably be the digital owner of the SMS.

Vodafone has sold world's first SMS at auction
Vodafone has sold world's first SMS at auction

‘Merry Christmas’ was the world’s first SMS, sent on the Vodafone network by Vodafone employee Neil Papworth from his computer to colleague Richard Jarvis on December 3, 1992.

Mr Jarvis received the message on his iconic Orbitel 901 mobile phone while he was at the company’s Christmas party.

The proceeds from the sale of the text are going to the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR to support forcibly displaced people.



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