Co-founder Jimmy Wales Is Selling His First Wikipedia Edit as an NFT

By

Dec. 3 2021, Published 10:46 a.m. ET

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has written himself into history—in more ways than one. Wales is auctioning off an NFT that represents the first-ever Wikipedia edit he made.

Article continues below advertisement

Auction house Christie's will host the token's sale through Dec. 15. While it represents a simple piece of code, its historical significance could bring the NFT's value beyond the fold.

Jimmy Wales' NFT is a snapshot of Wikipedia's birth.

Currently, Wikipedia boasts more than 6.4 million articles. On average, 228 million users visit the site per month. The platform already has a place in art history thanks to the New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Art+Feminism edit-a-thon.

Article continues below advertisement

Wales, who co-founded Wikipedia at the beginning of 2001, has launched an NFT sale through Christie's of his first-ever Wikipedia page edit. The image tied to the NFT's smart contract will be served alongside the physical strawberry-colored iMac that Wales used to create the site.

Wales plans to donate the proceeds from the NFT sale.

Wikipedia already operates under a non-profit organization called the Wikimedia Foundation, so it isn't a surprise that Wales plans to donate the proceeds from the NFT sale. The money will be split between charity and Wales' next venture—a paid social networking platform called WT.social.

Article continues below advertisement

WT.social is reportedly free to join but offers paid subscriptions that eliminate the need for ads.

Wales is familiar with blockchain technology and Wikipedia even accepts donations in the form of Bitcoin, although Wales says that donation strategy "hasn’t been massive."

Article continues below advertisement

Is there a new NFT trend?

Tim Berners-Lee sold an NFT representing the original web browser's source code that he created. The NFT sold for more than $5.4 million and Berners-Lee donated the proceeds to charity.

Now, Wales is doing the same with his own slice of web-based history. Heading into the Web 3.0 era, these historic NFTs show how yesterday's innovation can be transformed into something suitable for the future. While the code or the snapshots themselves aren't lucrative, the smart contracts are what brings value in the modern day.

Article continues below advertisement

Jimmy Wales has a decent net worth.

Wales says about the early days of the internet, "When most people first saw the internet they didn't think: 'Great, I can get dog food delivered to my house!' They thought: 'Wow, this is amazing, human minds can connect all around the world. We can get information, we can share our knowledge.'"

Jimmy Wales

Co-founder of Wikipedia, Wikia, and WT.Social

Net worth: $1 million

  • Birth place: Huntsville, Ala.
  • Spouse: Kate Garvey (m. 2012), Christine Rohan (m. 1997–2010), Pamela Green (m. 1986–1993)
  • Children: Kira Wales, Ada Wales
  • Education: Auburn University (1986)
Article continues below advertisement

Keeping things simple has been lucrative for Wales, who has amassed a $1 million net worth. Outside of non-profit Wikipedia, Wales earns money from his stock in his for-profit company Wikia. He isn't an internet billionaire, but he's doing what he believes is right.

As Sue Gardner, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, puts it, "Everyone makes fun of Jimmy for leaving the money on the table,” but he's more interested in keeping things, well, interesting.

Advertisement

More From Market Realist

    • CONNECT with Market Realist
    • Link to Facebook
    • Link to Twitter
    • Link to Instagram
    • Link to Email Subscribe
    Market Realist Logo
    Do Not Sell My Personal Information

    © Copyright 2021 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.