The creator of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is selling off the original code used to create the modern internet as a non-fungible token (NFT). The sale started June 23 and ends on June 30. The sale is being handled by Sotheby’s auction house. So far, the bidding has reached $2.8 million.

Sotheby’s is auctioning off a collection of four different items as a single digital NFT– “The original time-stamped files” of the source code written for the project, “an animated visualisation” of that code, a letter from Sir Tim about the process, and a “digital poster” of the code created by him.

In all, the files represent nearly 10,000 lines of written code.

The winning bidder will also receive a letter from Berners-Lee “reflecting on the code and the process of creating it”, along with a 30 minute-long video, created by a graphic designer, that shows the code being written.

The buyer will also receive a “digital poster” that contains all 9,555 lines and a graphic of Berners-Lee’s physical signature.

The Code’s Origins

While working at the research laboratory CERN in the late 1980s, Berners-Lee proposed an information management system his boss judged “vague, but exciting.”

Undaunted by this less-than-full-throated endorsement, Berners-Lee eventually wrote the implementations of three languages and protocols, which fill most of the 9,555 lines of code that are up for auction. Included are the origins of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), and URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers).

The code auctioned at Sotheby’s also contains original HTML documents that served as a user’s manual.

What is NFT?

An NFT is a digital object such as a drawing, animation, piece of music, photo or video with a certificate of authenticity created by blockchain technology that underlies cryptocurrency. It cannot be forged or otherwise manipulated.

NFTs currently generate several hundred million dollars in transactions every month.

NFT exchanges take place in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin on specialist sites.

The most expensive NFT ever was sold by Christie’s in March for $69.3 million. Recently, Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey has promoted an NFT of the first-ever tweet, with bids hitting $2.5m.

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