Key Takeaways

  • Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, is auctioning the code behind his creation as a non-fungible token (NFT).
  • The NFT in this case is a digital representation of over 9,500 lines of code written by Lee between 1989 to 1991.
  • The collectible token will be auctioned by Sotheby’s.

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Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, will auction his original source code as a non-fungible token (NFT) via Sotheby’s.

Lee submitted a proposal for the World Wide Web in 1989 while working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

Now, Lee will auction the code for the Web as an Ethereum NFT. The token contains over 9,500 lines of code written by Lee between 1989 to 1991. That code makes use of three programming languages and is the basis of the three protocols which form the basis of the of the modern internet (HTML, HTTP and URIs).

The unique NFT incorporates four different elements: the original time-stamped code, an animated visualization, a digital poster, and a letter penned by Lee detailing his thoughts about the code.

Tim Berners-Lee explained why he chose to auction his code as a non-fungible token. “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,” he stated. “They are the ideal way to package the origins behind the web.”

Sotheby’s Will Auction the Code

Sotheby’s will carry out the auction, which is set to take place between June 23 and June 30, 2021. Bidding will begin at $1,000.

Various auction houses dealing in collectibles have expressed great interest in NFTs and are now facilitating high-value sales. Earlier this year, Sotheby’s sold a special edition of the iconic CryptoPunks NFT series called “Alien” Punk #7523 for $11.8 million.

Elsewhere, Christie’s ran an auction for Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days.” The token was sold for $69.34 million in March of this year and remains the highest NFT sale to date.

Just as the internet exploded in popularity in its early years, blockchain-based NFTs have attracted mainstream attention. NFTs are now used to trade digital art, physical items, music, gaming items, sports memorabilia and even Twitter posts.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held Cosmos (ATOM).

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