The original source code for the World Wide Web that was written by British computer scientist and inventor, Tim Berners-Lee is up for sale at Sotheby’s in London from June 23-30 as part of a non-fungible token (NFT). Bidding for the auction titled “This Changed Everything” will start at $1000. The proceeds of the auction will benefit causes supported by Berners-Lee and his wife.
The NFT will include the original files containing the source code for the world wide web, 9,555 lines of code including implementations of the three languages and protocols invented by Berners-Lee: HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), and URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers); animated visualization of the code; a letter written by Sir Tim reflecting upon the code and his process of creating it; and a digital “poster” of the full code, all to be digitally signed by Berners-Lee.
Berners-Lee, invented the World Wide Web in 1989, revolutionizing the sharing and creation of information in what is seen as one of the most significant inventions since the printing press appeared in Europe in 15th Century Germany. He is currently the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which oversees the continued development of the Web.
Berners-Lee in a statement said. “Three decades ago, I created something which, with the subsequent help of a huge number of collaborators across the world, has been a powerful tool for humanity, for me, the best bit about the web has been the spirit of collaboration. While I do not make predictions about the future, I sincerely hope its use, knowledge, and potential will remain open and available to us all to continue to innovate, create and initiate the next technological transformation that we cannot yet imagine. NFTs, be they artworks or a digital artefact like this, are the latest playful creations in this realm, and the most appropriate means of ownership that exists. They are the ideal way to package the origins behind the web.” Cassandra Hatton, global head of science and popular culture at Sotheby’s, said in a statement that the “NFT format” will allow collectors to “own the ultimate digitally-born artefact.”
NFTs have gained wide popularity this year as a type of digital asset designed to show that someone has ownership of a unique virtual item, such as online pictures and videos, or even sports trading cards. A digital-only artwork by American artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold for nearly $70 Million at Christie’s in March. Total NFT sales have reached $2 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to data from Nonfungible, a website that tracks the market.