Based in Herisau in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Blockchain Trust Solutions AG (BCTS) has created a non-fungible token (NFT) of the first SMS sent anywhere in the world for Vodafone, as reported by the newspaper “Tagblatt”. The original SMS was received on December 3, 1992 by Richard Jarvis, a Vodafone employee, during a Christmas party. The text simply read: Merry Christmas.
The telecommunications firm recently commissioned the French auction house Aguttes to auction off this blockchain-based, forgery-proof digital twin of the original communication protocol. According to the “Tagblatt” article, the winning bid of 107,000 euros was submitted by a Canadian collector.
As Jakob Gülünay, CEO of BCTS AG, explained to the newspaper, without such a large interdisciplinary team it would have been “simply unthinkable to realize a project of this size within 32 days from the idea through to the auction”. BCTS was responsible for the entire technological side, ranging from consulting to the design of the smart contract and the programming of the NFT. The latter aspect was handled by Toni Caradonna, Chief Technology Officer at BCTS. In addition, the auction house and a Swiss lawyer were also involved in the process, as were companies from Germany, France and Switzerland
Since the auction took place, BCTS has received “many enquiries in relation to implementing similar ideas”, above all from the worlds of sport and art. Moreover, a forgery-proof vaccination certificate was already developed back in the summer of 2020, although at this time the authorities did not see any urgent need for something of this kind.
At present, regulatory aspects continue to present “major hurdles” for blockchain solutions. From Gülünay's point of view, however, this is something that will be resolved over time. In fact, Switzerland is “very progressive and leading the way internationally” in this regard.