Words by Smiley Team
There are smiles ahead for one lucky bidder, as a set of 42 three-dimensional Smileys are being auctioned to celebrate World Emoji Day.
The Smiley Revolution: An NFT Auction consists of an NFT of the world's first graphical emoticons, that served as the launchpad of the Smiley brand into the digital age. The NFT is accompanied by a canvas print of the first graphical emoticons.
Importantly, all proceeds from the sale will benefit the nonprofit Smiley Movement, which aims to inspire people to drive positive action through news, talks and charity matchmaking.
The live proxy bidding is open now and, at the time of writing, has 31 registered bids – the current being $8,000.
Created by CEO Nicolas Loufrani in 1997, the original set of 3-dimensional Smileys represents the early roots of modern-day emojis, as well as the birth of a language that became a huge part of the internet as we know it today.
Now, for the first time, – thanks to NFT and blockchain technology – Smiley is bringing the ownership verification to digitally-native pieces of history.
"We are honored to be offering the first 3D Smileys at auction," says Taylor Curry, Heritage Auctions' Director of Modern & Contemporary Art, New York.
"While these have existed since 1997, it wasn't until the emergence of NFTs that something like this could be sold with direct verifiable provenance from their creator.”
Nicolas Loufrani added: “I am super excited to release the archives of the first 42 3D Smileys I created to replace ASCII emoticons with a universal logographic language, easily understandable by everyone across the world.
“NFTs give collectors the opportunity to make this artwork a unique edition, witnessing a key milestone in the development of the fastest-growing language ever created — and the first, and probably still the biggest, viral digital phenomenon in history."
This auction also marks the beginning of Smiley's dive into the Web 3.0 space. Blockchain technology allows The Smiley Company to further embrace positivity, creativity and collaboration in the near future through NFT drops, Metaverse projects and community collaborations.
You can find out more about Smiley Movement – where all proceeds will be going – by heading to its website.