World's first SMS message, 'Merry Christmas," sold for $120,600 at Paris auction

An SMS message is received on a Motorola RAZR handset. Photo by Scared Poet/<a href="" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>
An SMS message is received on a Motorola RAZR handset. Photo by Scared Poet/Wikimedia Commons

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The world's first Short Message Service text message sent to a mobile phone, "Merry Christmas," sold Tuesday at the Aguttes auction house in Paris for $120,600.

Vodafone programmer Neil Papworth, now age 51, sent the 15-character message in December 1992 to his colleague Richard Jarvis, wishing him "Merry Christmas," DPA International and reported.


The buyer is a Canadian involved in the tech sector whose name has not been disclosed, according to

He is now the digital owner of a unique digital replica of the first SMS message in the form of a Non-Fungible Token, which means it was secured by blockchain technology and authenticated.

Vodafone plans to donate the proceeds from the sale to the United Nations refugee agency.

Papworth said he believes SMS text messaging will continue despite alternatives like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

"SMS was declared dead 20 years ago, but it is still here -- and its will still be here in the future," Papworth told DPA in Montreal.

Digital certificates are gaining in popularity, according to DPA international.

Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet that he published in 2006 as a NFT for over $2.9 million.


Dorsey said on Twitter that he would convert the money made from the tweet into Bitcoin and donate it to the charity GiveDirectly, helping people living in poverty, with response in Africa.

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