Sotheby’s Is Auctioning The World Wide Web’s Original Source Code As An NFT


Image via atm2003 /

Sotheby’s has teamed up with British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee to auction off his most famous creation as an NFT: the original source code to the World Wide Web.

The NFT will appear at Sotheby’s This Changed Everything auction, running from June 23 to June 30.

The starting bid for the NFT is priced at US$1,000, and while Sotheby’s has not released an estimate for the work, its final sale is likely to exceed its starting bid by a long shot.

According to ARTnews, proceeds from the sale of the NFT will go towards “causes” supported by Professor Berners-Lee and his wife, Rosemary Leith, though the exact organizations are not known.

Berners-Lee’s code served as the basis for the internet as we know it, including key features such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and Universal Document Identified (URI).

Apart from the source code files, a signed Python-backed digital “poster,” which serves as a visualization of the code, will also go under the hammer.

Additionally, a personal letter written by Berners-Lee, detailing his 1989 creation, will also go to the winning bidder.

Despite the code being open-source since 1993, the auction is a chance “to own the ultimate digitally-born artifact,” said Cassandra Hatton, Global Head of Science and Popular Culture at Sotheby’s.

[via ARTnews, cover image via atm2003 /]

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