An NFT of the source code for the World Wide Web (WWW) has sold for $5.4 million USD at Sotheby’s. The auction was announced on June 15 and wrapped up on June 23, with over 50 participants having placed a bid on the NFT. The identity of the buyer is still unknown.
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the WWW, originally wrote the code in 1989, and the Ethereum-based token he created based on it includes archived and time-stamped files of approximately 10,000 lines of code, as well as an animated video and digital poster.
“As people seemed to appreciate autographed versions of books, now [that] we have NFT technology, I thought it could be fun to make an autographed copy of the original code of the first web browser,” Berners-Lee wrote in a digital letter in June.
While some may worry that the sale of the NFT will threaten the free design of the WWW, Berners-Lee still holds exclusive control over the original version of the NFT. He defended his decision to create the NFT in an interview with the Guardian, saying, “I’m not even selling the source code. 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.”
The WWW NFT is available for viewing online at Sotheby’s.
In other tech news, Twitter is giving away 140 free NFTs.