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The original source code of the World Wide Web to be auctioned as an NFT

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Jun 17, 2021 5:05 pm

The bidding for this unique NFT will start at $1,000 or about P48,000.

We have just seen several popular memes like “Distaster Girl" and  Nyan Cat, and viral “Charlie Bit Me Again” video rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars from being auctioned as NFTs or non-fungible tokens. Same with NFT artworks that have been sold for millions of actual dollars.

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are a form of unique digital assets that are designed to show that someone owns the particular virtual item like artworks, viral memes, songs and even GIFs. 

The most recent NFT that will be go under the virtual hammer is the “World Wide Web.” Its inventor, British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, is selling the original field of the source code as part of a Sotheby’s auction dubbed “This Changed Everything.”

The NFT will include an animated visualization of the code being written lasting for 30 minutes. Screenshot from Sotheby's

It was in 1989 when Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, which has been widely considered as one of the most significant inventions of our time.

Berners-Lee was also responsible for the invention of the fundamental technologies that remain the foundation of the web today: HTML (HyperText Markup Language), URI (Uniform Resource Identifiers), and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

The auction will open from June 23 to June 30, with the starting bid at $1,000 (about P48,000). According to Sotheby’s, the sale will benefit the initiatives that Berners-Lee and his wife Rosemary are involved in.

The unique NFT is composed of four elements that the inventor will sign digitally—the original, time-stamped code files written by Berners-Lee; an animated visualization of the code; a digital “poster” of the full code created by Berners-Lee; and a letter written by the "www" creator reflecting on the code today.

British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the “World Wide Web” in 1989. He is also responsible for the creation of HTML, URI and HTTP. Photo from Sotheby's

“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,” Berners-Lee said in a statement.

“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 image,” he said. 

Recently, NFTs have been getting the spotlight for massive million-dollar sales of these unique virtual items. For example, in March, graphic designer Beeple sold an NFT of his digital artwork called Everydays-The First 5000 Days for a record-smashing $69 million (P3.3 billion) at Christie’s auction.

An NFT of a living digital art collectible called Hashmasks created by over 70 artists was sold for $16 million (P774 million). Even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million (P140 million).

But experts revealed that the NFT market looks to be shrinking. According to Protos, NFT sales have peaked in the beginning of May at $102 million (P4.9 billion) in sales in North America alone. But towards the end of the month, it dropped to $19.4 million (P938 million).