British scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee is auctioning the original World Wide Web code as an NFT in an upcoming auction at Sotheby’s.
The work, which is a time-stamped original code containing 9,550 lines, will go on sale at Sotheby’s from June 23. The auction, appropriately titled “This Changed Everything”, will run till the month’s end. While the opening bid is set at $1000, experts agree that the final amount will far exceed this. Sotheby’s said that the proceeds from the sale will go towards causes supported by Berners-Lee and his wife Rosemary.
The original code was written by Tim Berners-Lee during his work at CERN in Switzerland. The code went live in 1991, essentially ‘creating’ what we know today as the Internet. While the code has been open-source since 1993, the NFT will give people a chance to own the actual file that created the World Wide Web. The code has formed the backbone of essential web technologies like HTML, HTTP, and URI. The code will be accompanied by a digital “poster” built on Python, which visualizes the working of the code and the digital signature of Berners-Lee. Also, a 1989 letter by the inventor discussing the idea will also be included.
Cassandra Hatton (Global Head, Science & Popular Culture, Sotheby’s) said: “Sir Tim’s invention created a new world, democratizing the sharing of information.” Additionally, Berners-Lee himself attested that an NFT would be an ideal way to sell the source code.
Recently, NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens have taken the art world by storm. Following the record-breaking NFT auction of $69 million at Christie’s in March, more artworks and other objects are being sold as NFTs.