The NFT, of the source code for the World Wide Web, auctioned by WWW inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has sold for $5,434,500 at a Sotheby’s auction. It was put up for sale on June 23, with a starting bid of $1,000. The NFT will go the sale will benefit initiatives that Sir Tim and Lady Berners-Lee support.
“The process of bringing this NFT to auction has offered me the opportunity to look back in time to the moment I first sat down to write this code 30 years ago, and reflect on how far the web has come since then, and where it could go in the decades to come. I am thrilled that the initiatives Rosemary and I support will benefit from the sale of this NFT,” Berners-Lee said in a statement.
The NFT, or non-fungible token, is a type of cryptocurrency that resides on a smart contract platform, typically Ethereum. Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum’s interchangeable units, each NFT is unique, and lately they’ve found a market that’s somewhere between digital collectible cards and artwork, often selling for outrageous amounts.
In this particular case, the NFT that Berners-Lee has sold consists of four parts: “original time-stamped files containing the source code written by Sir Tim; an animated visualization of the code; a letter written by Sir Tim reflecting on the code and the process of creating it; as well as a digital ‘poster’ of the full code created by Sir Tim from the original files using Python including a graphic of his physical signature.”