Tim Berners Lee World Extensive Net NFT being bought by Sotheby’s

Tim Berners-Lee, a native of London, received the MacArthur Fellowship in 1998 with a grant of $ 270,000 for his pioneering work on the World Wide Web.

Elise Amendol | AP

LONDON – In a few hours, a non-fungible token of the original code for the World Wide Web is currently being sold for $ 3 million in an online Sotheby’s auction.

The auction ends on Wednesday at 7 p.m. London time.

NFTs are a type of digital asset designed to show that someone is the owner of a unique virtual asset, e.g. B. Online pictures and videos or even sports trading cards.

The Web-NFT was developed by the British computer scientist and web inventor Tim Berners-Lee.

It contains original timestamped files containing the source code written by Berners-Lee, an animated visualization of the code, a letter written by Berners-Lee about the code and its creation, and a digital “poster” of the complete code. They are all digitally signed by Berners-Lee.

“NFTs, be they works of art or such digital artifact, are the latest playful creations in the field and the most suitable forms of ownership out there,” Berners-Lee said in a statement.

“They are the ideal way to package the origins behind the web.”

In a bizarre turn of events, in an interview with The Guardian published last Wednesday, Berners-Lee appeared to downplay the importance of the NFT after critics questioned whether the auction was in line with the values ​​of the web. “I don’t even sell the source code,” he said. “I’m selling a picture I made with a self-written Python program of what the source code would look like if it were stuck on the wall and signed by me.”

The auction for the NFT, entitled “This Changed Everything,” began on June 22, with bids starting at $ 1,000.

The proceeds will go to initiatives that support Berners-Lee and his wife Rosemary Leith, Sotheby’s said.

Some NFTs have sold for millions of dollars in the past few months.

In March, South Carolina-based graphic designer Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, sold an NFT at a Christie’s auction for a record $ 69 million. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, sold his first tweet as NFT for $ 2.9 million later that month.

Earlier this month, a rare digital avatar known as CryptoPunk was sold at Sotheby’s for over $ 11.7 million. NFT’s total revenue hit an impressive $ 2 billion for the first quarter of this year, according to data from Nonfungible, a website that tracks the market.

However, there are signs that the bubble may burst as sales of digital collectibles have declined dramatically in the past few weeks. Total sales fell from a seven-day high of $ 176 million on May 9 to just $ 8.7 million on June 15, according to Nonfungible figures. The volumes are now roughly back to the level at the beginning of 2021.

– Additional coverage from CNBC’s Ryan Browne.

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