Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, has announced that he is auctioning off the original source code for the web as an NFT, which is a unique digital asset that exists on blockchains.

Sotheby’s will be running the auction from June 23 to June 30, with the initial bidding starting at $1,000. The proceeds from the NFT sale will go to initiatives supported by Berners-Lee and his wife Lady Rosemary Leith Berners-Lee.

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The NFT will contain four elements:

  1. Original time-stamped files that contain the source code
  2. A visualization of 10,000 lines of code
  3. A letter written by Berners-Lee
  4. A digital poster of the full code created by Berners-Lee.

According to Sotheby’s, the lines of code in the NFT include implementations of three languages and protocols that were invented for the Web, including HTML, HTTP, and URIs.  It also includes original HTML documents that were created to instruct early users of the web on how to use it. 

“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,” said Berners-Lee. “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. 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.”