The source code to the original world wide web (WWW) will be auctioned off as an NFT. Starting at $1,000, the auctioned lot will include four different files all authenticated by the Sotheby's auction house.
Find out how you can join the auction and what the winning bid will receive.
What Is an NFT?
Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are digital assets that show ownership for a particular virtual item, Cnet explained.
To further illustrate, Bitcoin tokens are fungible tokens. You can trade one Bitcoin token for another and you basically have the same thing, The Verge said. One-of-a-kind trading cards are non-fungible, and so if you trade one card with a different one, you get a completely different card. NFTs are basically one-of-a-kind trading cards.
Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. So besides storing ETH coins, the blockchain holds the extra information of the NFTs and keeps track of who has ownership of the file.
NFTs can be pretty much anything digital: music, drawings, videos, and even memes. Anything a digital creator has made can be sold as an NFT.
Even though the digital file can be downloaded by multiple people, what buying the NFT grants the owner is exactly that: ownership. Some artists and creators can still retain copyrights and production rights to their work, kind of like how physical artwork is sold to an art collector but the artist can still sell prints.
The World Wide Web (WWW) Source Code NFT
Sir Tim Berners-Lee is one of the architects of the World Wide Web, and he's offering up the source code to the original web browser as an NFT.
Sotheby's London will be the host of the auction and the event is called: "This Changed Everything."
The work being auctioned off is the original archive of dated and time-stamped files containing the source code which was written between October 3, 1990 and August 24, 1991.
Animated visualization of the 9,555 lines of code being written is also included. The video is 30 minutes and 25 seconds long, is black and white, and has no audio.
The winner of the auction will also get a Scalable Vector Graphics or SVG representation of the full code created by Sir Time Berners-Lee from the original files using Python. A graphic representation of his physical signature is affixed at the lower right.
Lastly, a letter written in the README.md file by Berners-Lee in June of 2021 reflecting upon the code and his process of creating it is included in the whole file bundle.
The Verge pointed out the future owner of the NFT may have trouble actually running the first version of the WWW. There are only very few websites still up that work well with it, or work with it at all.
But perhaps the allure of owning the source code isn't for the functionality of the code itself but for the symbolism of what it had started.
The unique NFT is composed of 4 elements: the original, time-stamped code files written by Sir Tim; an animated visualization of the code; a digital “poster” of the full code created by Sir Tim; and a letter written by Sir Tim reflecting on the code today. (2/4)— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 15, 2021
NFT Auction for the WWW Source Code
The WWW source code auctions will be running from June 23 to 30. Bidding will start at $1,000 and Sotheby's will accept cryptocurrency as a mode of payment.
Cnet reported that the proceeds of the auctions will go towards the initiatives that Berners-Lee and his wife supports.