World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners Lee has put its original source code up for auction as an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) at Sotheby’s.
The British computer scientist is auctioning the original source code for the World Wide Web, as an NFT. It is slated to go up for auction at a Sotheby’s auction dubbed, “This Changed Everything.”
The aforesaid auction will run from June 23 through the end of the month. The bidding starts at $1,000 and will go on for seven days. Although Sotheby’s hasn’t revealed an estimate for the work, ARTnews suggests its final sale price is likely to exceed its starting bid.
Proceeds from the sale will be used for different causes supported by the MIT professor, and his wife Rosemary Leith. Sotheby’s kept details about the organizations to which the sale proceeds will be given under wraps.
The time-stamped files slated to go up for sale encompasses 9,550 lines of original programming code Sir Tim Berners Lee wrote. A Python-backed digital “poster,” which is a visualization of the source code, and includes the inventor’s digital signature, will be auctioned alongside the files.
Aside from that, the winning bidder will get an additional letter penned by Berners-Lee. This letter details his 1989 creation, which he made when he was working with a Switzerland-based physics research lab called CERN.
“Sir Tim’s invention created a new world, democratizing the sharing of information,” Cassandra Hatton, who is the auction house’s global head of science and popular culture, said.
Berners-Lee’s code has been open source since 1993. The first webpage supported by his code went live in 1991.
The auction offers an opportunity “to own the ultimate digitally-born artefact,” Hatton said. This version of the source code is the first one of its kind to be offered at auction, making it a unique NFT that is highly valuable as a collector’s item.
“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,” Berners-Lee said in a press statement.
The scientist explained that an NFT is the “ideal” format and “the most appropriate means of ownership that exists” for his invention. NFTs are minted as unique editions with the help of blockchain technology.
However, some sales of NFTs triggered controversies over issues around authenticity. Watch this space for the latest auction news.