World Wide Web source code to be auctioned as NFT

World Wide Web source code to be auctioned as NFT
© iStock

The inventor behind the original source code for the World Wide Web is planning on having it auctioned as a nonfungible token (NFT) to secure digital ownership over the code considered by many to be one of the most significant inventions of all time. 

Tim Berners-Lee unveiled the plans Tuesday, with the official auction page by auction house Sotheby’s stating that bids starting at $1,000 will be accepted from June 23 to June 30. 

The auction, titled “This Changed Everything,” will allow individuals to bid on the original time-stamped files containing the source code for the application invented by Berners-Lee in 1989. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The NFT also includes an animated visualization of the code, a letter from Berners-Lee discussing the code and its inception, and a digital “poster” containing the full code. 

All of the items included in the NFT will be digitally signed by Berners-Lee. 

The description for the auction lists Berners-Lee’s breakthrough among a series of revolutionizing inventions throughout history, including “Galileo’s proof of Heliocentricity, Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.”

“Sir Tim’s invention changed everything, and created an entirely new world, democratizing the sharing of information, and creating new ways of thinking, interacting, and staying connected to one another,” the auction noted. 

Berners-Lee, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, said in a statement Tuesday, “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,” he added, according to CNBC

ADVERTISEMENT

“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,” the inventor continued. “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,” he said. 

The move by Berners-Lee comes as NFTs have emerged as an increasingly popular method for individuals to secure their digital ownership over works ranging from online pictures and videos to sports trading cards. 

Last week, an NFT of a digital artwork titled “CryptoPunk” was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for a world record amount of $11.8 million. 

Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first post on the social media platform was sold as an NFT for $2.9 million, which Dorsey at the time said he would convert into bitcoin and donate to the charity GiveDirectly’s Africa Response.