World Wide Web Source Code NFT Sells for $5.4 Million

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  • An NFT package including the source code for the first ever web browser has sold for $5.4 million
  • The NFT package, which included other digital memorabilia from internet creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee, sold at an online auction through Sotheby’s
  • ‘WorldWideWeb’ was proposed by Berners-Lee in 1989 and essentially created the internet

A physical depiction of the source code that created the World Wide Web has been sold as an NFT through an online auction at Sotheby’s for $5.4 million. The code for the first web browser, proposed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, essentially ushered in the internet age, and an NFT package to commemorate the event was auctioned off at the famous auction house, the latest in a variety of NFTs to go under the virtual hammer.

WorldWideWeb Browser Code Turned into NFT

The internet had been in development since the first concept of a connected network in the 1960s, but by the 1980s TCP/IP technology had advanced to the point where Berners-Lee was able to envisage and design a user interface to make use of the technology. This interface, called WorldWideWeb (later changed to Nexus) would become the world’s first web browser, and it is the code from this browser that was auctioned off as part of an NFT bundle yesterday.

The package included NFTs representing over 9,500 lines of code written in 1990-1991 when Berners-Lee was developing WorldWideWeb, a 30-minute animated visualization and digital poster of the original code, and a digital letter written by Berners-Lee in June 2021. Sotheby’s described the package as one-of-a-kind, noting that nothing like it had ever been sold before, highlighting once more the value and potential of NFTs.

Berners-Lee Trying to Decentralize His Creation

Berners-Lee recently told The Guardian that his choice of an NFT “is totally aligned with the values of the web” following criticism that he was monetizing the web. His own blockchain project, Solid, aims to decentralize the web that he created over 20 years ago using code that one lucky buyer now owns through this NFT.