August 5, 2021

NFT: The program behind the Web is up for auction

The founding piece of the Internet for the general public is now available to collectors. Briton Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the program that defined the World Wide Web, is auctioning it off in the form of NFT.

The Sotheby’s house is currently in charge of the sale in New York which should be completed on June 30 and whose current best offer approached $ 2.8 million this Friday June 25 on the official site. This sale is part of the current logic of offering digital works of art or programs that have marked the history of computing in the form of NFT. Three letters for Non Fungible Token. This allows their buyers to actually own the rights to a digital work, whether it is an image, an animation or a video. This work is also completely secure since it is registered on the blockchain.

A technological revolution

“Ten years ago, we could not have made this sale,” said Cassandra Hatton, vice-president of Sotheby’s, which relies on this technology guaranteeing digital ownership of the property. On the model of Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter who sold the very first tweet in history in NFT for $ 2.9 million (about 2.4 million euros, Editor’s note), Tim Berners-Lee intends to propose this computer program which is arguably one of the greatest technological revolutions of the twentieth century.

A revolution born between 1990 and 1991

This physicist by training who became a genius computer scientist had produced in 1989 an information sharing system that was to allow scientists to access data wherever they are in the world. While employed at CERN near Geneva (Switzerland), he then named his new network World Wide Web. In 1990 and 1991, he wrote the program that created the first internet browser. Tim Berners-Lee had subsequently perfected his idea by inventing the concepts of URL (internet address), HTTP (to find a site) and HTML (to create internet pages).

The source code auctioned as an animated NFT (above) thus shows a video of about 25 seconds which shows the 10,000 or so lines of code typed in by the researcher. A handwritten and signed letter from Tim Berners-Lee will also be sent to the highest bidder, indicates Sotheby’s for this sale which does not specify any estimate as to the value of this unique NFT in the world.