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 auction ended with a final price of $5,434,500. Yes, almost five and a half million was paid for a package of digital elements that started at $1,000.
The piece, titled “This Changed Everything” includes a time-stamped file consisting of over 9500 lines of source code, a high-fidelity image, a 30-minute animation that reproduces the writing of the code, and a letter written by the Berners-Lee himself. The auction was organized by the famous Sotheby’s house . The auction took place during the last week, from June 23 until this Wednesday 30.
Now, the creator of the WWW will allocate the money raised to charitable causes that he sponsors with his wife.
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:
“This is totally aligned with the values of the web. The questions I’ve got, they said: ‘Oh, that doesn’t sound like the free and open web.’ Well, wait a minute, the web is just as free and just as open as it always was. The core codes and protocols on the web are royalty free, just as they always have been. I’m not selling the web – you won’t have to start paying money to follow links. I’m not even selling the source code. I’m selling a picture that I made, with a Python programme that I wrote myself, of what the source code would look like if it was stuck 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, 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.