While there have been talks around that the NFT market is facing a severe slowdown, the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) linked to iconic works are fetching millions of dollars. An NFT for the Internet’s original source – World Wide Web (WWW) – was sold for a massive $5.4 million at the Sotheby’s auction house.
This NFT dubbed “This Changed Everything” is basically a blockchain-based token Berners-Lee’s nearly 10,000 lines of code for the Internet. The original code has been here and powering the internet for more than 30 years. Sotheby’s started the auction of the WWW source code earlier this month.
#AuctionUpdate One of the most historically significant digital artefacts ever sold, an NFT of the source code for the Web has brought $5.4 million. Offered by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, proceeds will benefit initiatives that Sir Tim & Lady Berners-Lee support.#ThisChangedEverything
— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 30, 2021
The NFT represents the animated visualization of the code, a scalable vector graphics representation of the code, a graphic autograph of the creator Berners-Lee, and a digital letter that he wrote representing his thoughts on the work.
Cassandra Hatton, vice-president at Sotheby’s, called this work unique and revolutionary. He added:
“Ten years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to do this. That changed every aspect of your life. We don’t even fully comprehend the impact that it has on our lives, and the impact that we will continue to have on our lives. Previously in the history of science you had manuscripts you could hold in your hand. As we move forward, more and more of these manuscripts are created in a digital format.”
But Hatton has clarified that the code auction and sale doesn’t “does not represent any ownership of the World Wide Web as an application”.
Details of the WWW Source Code NFT Auction
The bidding for the www source code NFT started at a price point of $1000 with bidders getting a week to bid their highest price. As per Sotheby’s website, the NFT attracted 51 bids in total. The winning bidder will remain anonymous, as per the rules established by Sotheby’s. Also, the proceeds of the sale will go towards unnamed initiatives supported by the source code creator.
Berners-Lee had himself approached Sotheby’s to conduct an NFT sale for his work. Lee has been an ardent proponent of the NFT innovation. Speaking of it, he said:
“NFTs, be they artworks or a digital artifact like this, are the latest playful creations in this realm, and the most appropriate means of ownership that exists. They are the ideal way to package the origins behind the Web.
As people seem to appreciate the autographed versions of books, now we have NFT technology, I thought it could be fun to make an autographed copy of the original code of the first web browser”.
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