30 years ago Sir Tim Berners-Lee created world' first web browser, the WorldWideWeb. Now, decades after the it's creation, the dotcom boom and the rise of social media, we're in the era of crypto. That technology has just come full circle, as Berners-Lee's original work has been recently auctioned off online.
Sold as an NFT (non-fungible token), Berners-Lee sold off a digital representation of the original WorldWideWeb on Sotheby's. The digital item included time-stamped files written “between 3 October 1990 and 24 August 1991”. These files contain the original web browser’s code that started development in 1989.
WorldWideWeb sold at auction
On Wednesday, NFT auction website Sotheby's conducted the sale of the original WorldWideWeb source code. Berners-Lee sold the WWW without reserves to “let the market decide what the value is going to be.”
Not only did the auction include the original files including 9,555 lines of code, but also some additional goodies. The top bidder also gained access to a 30-minute-long video of the code and a poster of the code. Finally, the winner received a letter from Sir Tim Berners-Lee that described the browser's creation.
Berners-Lee has come under pressure following the decision to sell off the WorldWideWeb. With the discussion surrounding the technology's massive environmental impact, many turned against the internet creator. In an interview with The Guardian, he responded:
“This is totally aligned with the values of the web. 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.”
In the end, the auction ended at a whopping $5,434,500. The item is far from the most expensive NFT on the market. Digital artist Beeple sold the most expensive NFT with the $69 million sale of Everydays: the First 5000 Days.