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Tim Berners-Lee’s Source Code Was Sold for $5.4m

An NFT of the source code for the world wide web, written by its inventor Tim Berners-Lee’s, has sold for $5.4m at Sotheby’s in an online auction on Wednesday. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a kind of crypto asset that records ownership of digital items.

It has become a major asset in the creative world, with NFTs of artwork, music and internet memes selling for millions of dollars.The NFT sold was created by the English scientist Tim Berners-Lee’s in 2021 and represents ownership of various digital items from when he invented the world wide web in 1989.

The sale effectively includes a blockchain-based record of ownership of files containing the source code for the world wide web. The final price was $5,434,500 and half of the bidders were new to Sotheby’s.The world wide web is the system for navigating and accessing the information on the internet. The NFT is considered valuable by some because its basis in the blockchain authenticates that it is one-of-a-kind and has been officially created by Berners-Lee.

Cassandra Hatton, the global head of science and popular culture at Sotheby’s said that the symbolism, the history, the fact that they’re coming from the creator is what makes them valuable, and there are lots of people who collect things for exactly those reasons. Included in the purchase are NFTs representing about 9,555 lines of code written in 1990-1991, a 30-minute animated visualisation of the code, a digital poster of the code, and a digital letter written by Tim Berners-Lee’s in June 2021, reflecting on his invention.

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