Finally, the auction for Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s NFT, which included original files with the source code from the World Wide Web, was closed. The final price in dollars has been shocking: $ 5,434,500. Yes, almost five and a half million was paid for a package of digital elements that started at $ 1,000.
The auction took place during the last week, from June 23 until this Wednesday 30, and was in charge of Sotheby’s. According to the BBC, the highest offer remained at $ 3.5 million for much of the last day. However, there was an “avalanche of offers” in the final 15 minutes which raised the final price by practically two million.
Now, the creator of the WWW will allocate the money raised to charitable causes that he sponsors with his wife. “NFTs, whether they be works of art or a digital artifact like this, are the most convenient proprietary medium out there. They are the ideal way to package origins behind the web,” Berners-Lee had said.
Files with the source code of the WWW make up an NFT valued in millions
The NFT includes a display of the WWW code being written
The now auctioned NFT consisted of four digital elements:
Original files with almost 10,000 lines of WWW source code, written between October 1990 and August 1991; A 30-minute long video with a visualization of the code being written; A digital poster in SVG format, created in Python; A letter from the British computer scientist, reflecting on the code itself and its creation process.
The NFT auction earned Sir Tim Berners-Lee a significant amount of criticism. However, it was the “father of the World Wide Web” himself who came out at the crossroads in an interview with The Guardian:
Many have told me, “Oh, that doesn’t sound like the free and open web.” Well wait a minute, the web is as free and open as it ever was. The core codes and protocols on the web are royalty free, as they always have been. I am not selling the web; you won’t have to start paying money to follow links.
I am not even selling the source code itself. What I am selling is an image that I made with a Python program that I wrote myself, of what the source code would look like if it were pasted on the wall and signed by me.
With its valuation of nearly $ 5.5 million, Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s NFT outperformed other similar online auctions. In March, for example, Jack Dorsey sold the first tweet in history for $ 2.9 million. Yet no one has yet come close to the $ 69 million paid for Beeple’s digital artwork.