Wikipedia’s First Edit NFT: A Step Forward￼
Another day, another piece of internet history is being transformed into a costly NFT. Almost everyone visits Wikipedia, an online collection of knowledge and data generated and maintained by volunteers all over the globe. However, few people are aware of the first modification ever made to a Wikipedia article. The inventor of Wikipedia is auctioning off a freshly minted NFT of the first update made to a Wiki page, thanks to blockchain technology and the growing interest in non-fungible tokens. Did you know that Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, minted his first tweet as an NFT and sold it for $2.9 million (approximately Rs. 21.88 crores) in Bitcoin? Me neither!
What Should You Know About Wikipedia?
Wikipedia, in a nutshell, is a multilingual, publicly collaborative online information platform. The material of the online encyclopedia, like that of previous “wikis,” is modifiable by volunteers from all around the world. Wikipedia includes tens of thousands of editors, ranging from subject matter specialists to casual users, who may add, remove, or update material at any time. This enables a broad range of information on a specific person, place, or item to be submitted and validated. As a consequence, Wikipedia may serve as an excellent beginning place for research, providing visitors with generic information that can be supplemented with more authentic and credible sources found outside of the site. A Wikipedia page, for example, may expose a reader to a certain topic or idea, leading to further investigation of the finer details and the reality of the claims made. The platform’s finance, like its information, is crowdsourced. As a user-funded project, Wikipedia relies completely on user contributions and grants to achieve its ultimate goal of providing free information to everyone.
How Much is Wikipedia Worth?
Consider this the next time Jimmy Wales approaches you and asks for money: Wikipedia has a monetary value in the tens of billions of dollars. Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites in the world, with over 4.3 million English entries and a total of 22 million pages authored in 285 languages. But how much is it really worth? Market value, replacement cost, and consumer value are three characteristics highlighted by two academics as being relevant to answering the issue. They looked and assessed how much comparable sites with similar traffic are worth, how much people would pay for Wikipedia if it weren’t free, and how much it would cost to replace the site. The website is worth “tens of billions of dollars” and would cost $6.6 billion to rebuild.
To put this in perspective, the site costs $25 million to operate each year. In contrast, Twitter’s recent IPO announcement valued the firm at around $12.8 billion. Volunteer writers and editors devote millions of hours, transforming a tiny budget backed by contributions into an asset worth tens of billions of dollars that generates hundreds of billions of dollars in consumer value.
Which is this Wikipedia Page?
On January 15, 2001, Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, started this open-source project and published “Hello World!” on it. Since that first post, Wikipedia has grown into, well, Wikipedia: an incredible giant of digital knowledge with over 6.4 billion pages covering every subject imaginable, mostly monitored by many volunteer moderators from across the world. As of the current year, the free digital encyclopedia is the 13th most popular website on the internet, with about two billion visitors every month.
Wales said that he intends to utilize the funds raised via the auction to establish an ad-free social network which he characterizes as a “non-toxic” alternative to large social networks like Facebook or Reddit. But what does Wales think about individuals who are opposed to NFTs and cryptocurrencies for a variety of reasons, including issues of trust? Wales acknowledged that there is now a speculative bubble around NFTs, but he remains optimistic about the technology in general.
How Will the Wikipedia NFT Look Like?
Wales’ NFT is more than just a JPEG snapshot of the webpage. It will provide an interactive experience via the use of a dedicated homepage. Whoever is able to purchase the NFT will be allowed to alter the “Hello World!” Wiki page in any manner they desire, as well as restore the page to its prior condition.
Additional Read: Learn About NFTs from Someone Who Knows Nothing About Them
What Else is There For Us?
Wales is selling another piece of Internet history at auction. His Strawberry iMac, on which he worked on the Wikipedia entry.
How is the Wikipedia NFT Put into Action?
Unfortunately, the HTML on the website’s initial page is no longer accessible. Christie’s auction house emphasizes that the NFT is a direct purchase from Jimmy Wales. Furthermore, the co-founder of Wikipedia asserts that the NFT has an identical duplicate of the original page.
As a result, the NFT is connected to a legitimate code copy, and it will not be the sole asset auctioned off. The successful bidder will also be able to acquire the vintage Strawberry iMac that was used to create the page.
The token is based on Ethereum technology and is made up of a single smart contract. This script gives the buyer total control over the web page and includes the following features:
- The buyer may use the iMac to change and restore the page’s original coding.
- Each modification will be canceled after 5 minutes, returning the page to its original state.
- The buyer has the option to disable the automatic cancellation of modifications.
- As ludicrous as it may seem, the customer may opt to permanently shut the web page.
- In reality, the NFT is a virtual ownership right. As a result, the buyer may choose to hand up ownership of the page to Wales himself.
When is the Wikipedia NFT Auction?
Christie’s Sell House in the United Kingdom is in charge of the auction, which will run through December 15. The exact price on the NFT of Wales’ post is unknown; bids begin at $100, according to the auction’s most recent update.
Where Do We Proceed From Here?
NFTs are anticipated to acquire substantial appeal in the future since the greatest innovations of the new century are digital assets. A new collecting market was established, with an ever-increasing income. Perhaps the excitement has developed too rapidly in comparison to the real existing capabilities of NFTs. Underestimating the importance of this technology, on the other hand, may be a mistake. It took mankind decades to realize the potential of the Internet. Similarly, the world is still learning about the many uses of blockchain. In this regard, it will be fascinating to see how space evolves in the future.