Jimmy Wales Is Auctioning The “Birth Of Wikipedia” As An NFT.


And a few Wikipedians are pissed.

Picture illustration by Slate. Pictures by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Photos for Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis and Valengilda/iStock/Getty Photos Plus.





Welcome to Source Notes, a Future Tense column concerning the web’s info ecosystem.

Again in January 2001, Wikipedia’s co-founder typed the phrases “Whats up, World!” into the brand new web encyclopedia. This week, Wales is promoting a nonfungible token, or NFT, on the Ethereum blockchain primarily based on what he has described because the first-ever Wikipedia edit. Public sale home Christie’s is providing the token from Dec. 3 to fifteen alongside the Strawberry iMac that Wales used on the time of Wikipedia’s launch. Based on Christie’s, the customer of the NFT will obtain a re-creation of Wikipedia from its first moments of existence, primarily based on code from the earliest out there backup of the positioning.

The “Birth of Wikipedia” NFT auction listing evokes a sure nostalgia for the web’s early days, with its plain textual content interface and primary homepage. The brand new public sale resembles an earlier sale by Tim Berners-Lee, often known as the inventor of the World Broad Net, who bought an NFT representing the supply code to the unique net browser for $5.4 million this 12 months. Sources advised me that Christie’s likewise expects the unofficial Wikipedia NFT to promote for tens of millions of {dollars}.

However lots of the volunteers who edit Wikipedia have critical reservations about Wales promoting this NFT,

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