NFT of original “worldwide web” source code sells for $5.4 million


In an online auction, an NFT of the original worldwide web’s source code has been sold for $5.4 m million at Sotheby. The source code was written by its inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who is widely credited as the creator of the world wide web.

A non-fungible token (NFT) acts as a crypto asset that records ownership of digital items. In recent years, NFTs have grown to become a major asset in the creative world, with artwork, music, and internet memes selling for millions.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s source code’s NFT features a 30-minute animated visualization of the code, a digital poster of the code, a digital letter, and a time-stamped signed archive including 9,555 lines of the source code that actually made it possible to display an HTML document.

Bernards-Lee and his wife say that they will use the proceeds to make donations to causes they care about.

In an interview with The Guardian, Berners-Lee said,

“This is totally aligned with the values of the web … I’m selling a picture that I made, with a Python programme that I wrote myself, of what the source code would look like if it was stuck on the wall and signed by me.”

Data security of this particular NFT is described as being “very high” by Sotheby’s according to its condition report. Those worried that servers might go down or cables might decay can rest assured that the platform they’ve used includes both Arweave and InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).

English scientist Berners-Lee created the NFT  in 2021, and it represents ownership of digital items dating from 1989 when the World Wide Web was invented.  The auction’s final price was $5,434,500, and half of the bidders were first-time buyers.

The NFT is deemed valuable by some because blockchain verifies it is an original, one-of-a-kind, and actually minted by Berners-Lee himself.

The work Berners-Lee accomplished during his life resulted in his being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, adding the prefix of “Sir” to his name.

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