The World Wide Web (www) was founded by Tim Berners-Lee. He wrote the original source code which is now up for sale at Sotheby’s as part of a non-fungible token (NFT). Interestingly, bids started at only $1,000.
In 1989, the London-born computer scientist invented the World Wide Web. His invention revolutionized the sharing and creation of information in what seems to be one of the most considerable inventions since the printing press that appeared in Europe sometime in 15th Century Germany.
The digitally signed Ethereum (ETH) blockchain non-fungible token (NFT), a one-of-a-kind digital asset that records ownership, includes the original source code, an animated visualization, a digital poster of the full code from the original files, and a letter written by Berners-Lee.
In recent months, NFTs have exploded in their popularity, including at the auctions. A digital-only artwork by one American artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, was sold for about $70 million at Christie’s in March. Berners-Lee said in a statement:
“Why an NFT? Well, it’s a natural thing to do … when you’re a computer scientist and when you write code and have been for many years. It feels right to digitally sign my autograph on a completely digital artefact.”
The files have 9,555 lines of code which include the implementations of the 3 languages and protocols that were invented by Berners-Lee: HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), and URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers).
Also, the original HTML documents that instructed the early web users on how to use this application are included in the NFT. The bids for NFT, which is a way of proving ownership of a digital asset, begin at $1,000 in a standalone online auction going by the title “This Changed Everything”. It will run from June 23-30.
While he was working at Europe’s physics research centre CERN in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee laid out his vision for what he had originally referred to as ‘Mesh.’ His boss at the time wrote “vague but exciting” on the cover of Berners-Lee’s 1989 paper “Information Management: A Proposal”.
In 1990, Berners-Lee was developing an application that he referred to as “WorldWideWeb”. At first, it was developed in Objective C programming language on a NeXT computer. This is a computer that had been created by Apple founder Steve Jobs after his ouster from Apple.
The global head of science and popular culture at Sotheby’s, Cassandra Hatton, said:
“Sir Tim’s invention created a new world, democratizing the sharing of information, creating new ways of thinking and interacting, and staying connected to one another. Over the past several centuries humankind has seen a succession of paradigm shifts that have brought us forward into the modern era … but none has had the seismic impact on our daily lives as the creation of the World Wide Web.”