The first edition of Wikipedia will be auctioned off as an NFT token
Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the world-famous online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has auctioned off the first edition of "Hello, World!" he put on the site's home page, in NFT format. The first edition was launched on January 15, 2001, and since then, Wikipedia has become the largest, free online repository of information! The online encyclopedia is now published in more than 300 languages, edited by thousands of volunteers, and read by millions of people.
Jimmy Wales admits that he did not expect such a large-scale response to his brainchild, and what was written 20 years ago could have caused a huge furore among potential seekers of knowledge. Jimmy Wales talks about himself as a pathological optimist, and all the worries in the beginning were simply in vain, because now Wikipedia is in the top 10 most viewed resources for several years. Any user who wants to find the right information on the right topic will be redirected to one of the 6,408,480 articles on Wikipedia. According to the Wikipedia resource, more than 228 million daily users registered on the site in October 2021 alone, and the average reading time was 4 minutes.
Few people know, but Wikipedia was the second project Jimmy Wales wanted to create. Nupedia, a peer-reviewed site written by experts and scientists, took the lead. But the process of approving applications was too long, and it took too long for the volunteers to get involved. Then Nupedia editor-in-chief and Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger suggested using the existing "Wiki" software, which gave a push to simplify the existing collaborative work on the web pages. However, what made Wikipedia fully functional made it vulnerable. The fact is that at that time, anyone with access to the internet could edit the site. And to avoid "vandalism", Wales wrote code to create usernames and passwords for editors. He also started keeping a complete history of the site so that any changes could be undone.
The very code that saved Wikipedia from potential vandalism has become part of a dynamic, non-interchangeable NFT token. This code will be presented at Christie's The Birth of Wikipedia auction, which runs from December 3-15, along with a strawberry-colored iMac computer, because that's where Wales was working in his home when he created the code. Eventually, a potential buyer will be able to edit the NFT back to its original appearance. According to Jimmy Wales, creating a modified work will help unlock the artistic potential of anyone who wants to touch the old version of Wikipedia with their actions and remember the crazy idea one January morning."
All proceeds from the sale of NFT will go to the development of WT.Social, which will be Wales' attempt to find an alternative, non-toxic platform. WT.Social will be ad-free, based on donations that will help various charities working in a free social culture.
For 20 years, Wikipedia has managed to unite several million like-minded people, making useful information available to every user around the world. And now, if you think it's not perfect, that's a huge reason for the developers to keep moving forward and improve their knowledge system!