Original world wide web source code NFT sold for $5.4m

The original source code for the world wide web written by its inventor Tim Berners-Lee sold for $5.4m in an online auction yesterday (30 June).

The auctioned NFT includes 9,555 lines of original world wide web code, an animated visualistation and digital poster of the code and a digital letter written by Berners-Lee.

When the auction was first announced, the so-called ‘father of the internet’ said it felt like the “natural thing to do” as a computer scientist. “It feels right to digitally sign my autograph on a completely digital artefact.”

An NFT is unit of data on a digital ledger verified using blockchain technology, which can represent a unique digital item such as photo files, video clips or even tweets.

‘They are the ideal way to package the origins behind the web’

The world wide web application was the first hypermedia browser, allowing users to create and navigate links between files across a network of computers.

Three decades after Berners-Lee’s invention, there are more than 1.7bn websites being accessed by 4.6bn people around the world.

From the start, Berners-Lee has been adamant that the web is for everyone. Marking the web’s 30th anniversary in 2019, Berners-Lee spoke about the importance of ensuring the web is used for good.

“Given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can’t be changed for the better in the next 30. If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web,” he said.

The growth of NFTs

Money raised from the world wide web’s NFT auction will be donated to initiatives supported by ...

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