The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, decided to sell the source code that he used to create the modern internet as an NFT. The auction will be online and will be held by the auction house Sotheby’s and the proceeds will be donated to charity.
According to Sotheby’s, the auction called “It Changed Everything” will be held online from 23 to 30 June. The starting bid price will be $1000.
According to Sotheby’s, the NFT to be auctioned consists of four elements. On one side are the original files that contain the source code written by Tim Berners-Lee. There are approximately 9955 lines of code written between October 3, 1990 and August 24, 1991, and include the implementation of HTML, HTTP, and URI. Also included are original HTML documents that explained to early users how WorldWideWeb worked.
On the other hand, the buyer also receives an “animated visualization” of the code being written. The clip is just over 30 minutes long and is black and white, with no audio.
In addition, the NFT includes a digital “poster” representing the complete code. This is an SVG graphic 841 millimetres wide and 1189 millimetres high, which was created by Berners-Lee in Python from the original files. In the lower right corner, it incorporates the graphic representation of the signature of the creator of the WWW.
Lastly, the package incorporates a Markdown letter written by Berners-Lee this year. In it, the computer scientist reflects on the code and its creation process.
“Three decades ago, I created something that, with the help of a huge number of colleagues around the world, became a powerful tool in the hands of humanity. Speaking of the World Wide Web, what pleases me most is that it was created as a result of cooperation,” – Tim Berners-Lee said ahead of the auction.
According to the BBC, Berners-Lee’s decision has come as a surprise because in the past, he refused to patent his invention. In any case, as it is an initiative with charitable purposes, it is understood that the creator of the WWW does not intend an economic profit. In addition, the source code of the WWW has been publicly available for years.