The personal computer used by Jimmy Wales when he launched Wikipedia 20 years ago is now being auctioned by the Christie’s company, along with an NFT (non-fungible token) of the first page of his site.
The sale began on Friday at Christie’s headquarters at the Rockefeller Centre in New York, Belga news agency reported.
The strawberry IMAC computer was the one used by Wales for development and research when he launched his site on 15 January 2001, the company wrote in a press release.
The second lot is for an NFT that Wales created of Wikipedia’s initial onscreen image when he first posted the words “+Hello World+,” Peter Klarnet, specialist in books and manuscripts at Christie’s, told French news agency AFP. NFTs are unique digital objects that confer ownership through blockchain technology.
The page, presented in JPEG format, will be interactive and can be “edited” by the buyer, then “reset with a timer to revert to its initial state,” according to Christie’s.
In the press release, Wales announced that part of the proceeds from the sale would be used to finance his W.T. Social project, defined on its home page as a “nontoxic alternative” social media network.
The two lots are on sale until 15 December, with a minimum starting bid of 100 dollars each, but Christie’s expects to sell them for “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Klarnet said.
On Friday, Christie’s also announced the online sale, until 9 December, of a bullet-proof vest worn by rapper Kanye West at the presentation of his latest album, Donda, on 5 August 2021 in Atlanta.