This is Your One Chance to Own the Internet’s Original Source Code From Tim Berners Lee

Tim Berners Lee wrote the Internet's original source code in Python, and he's auctioning off the 9555 lines of code now.

If you ever wanted to learn where the Internet came from, here’s your chance. The Internet’s inventor, Tim Berners Lee, is auctioning the source code used to build the world wide web this month. The auction will be handled by American auction house Sotheby’s and bidding for the code will continue between June 23 and 30, starting at $1000, which is approximately Rs. 75000. NFT sales of digital artworks have gone for millions in the past though, but you have to believe that something as significant as the Internet’s original source code will fetch much more than any digital artwork can.

Further, buyers will get four elements with the NFT. This includes the original time-stamped files containing the source code written by Lee, a letter with his thoughts on the code, an animated visualisation of the code and a digital poster that is made out of the original files using Python, which includes a graphic of his signature. All of these things will be digitally signed by Lee as well, and the NFT is based on the Ethereum blockchain. 

“The files referenced by the NFT contain code with approximately 9,555 lines, whose contents include implementations of the three languages and protocols invented by Sir Tim that remain fundamental to the World Wide Web today; HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), and URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers), as well as original HTML documents that instructed early web users on how to use the application,” Sotheby’s said in a press release.

“Three decades ago, I created something which, with the subsequent help of a huge number of collaborators across the world, has been a powerful tool for humanity. For me, the best bit about the web has been the spirit of collaboration. While I do not make predictions about the future, I sincerely hope its use, knowledge and potential will remain open and available to us all to continue to innovate, create and initiate the next technological transformation, that we cannot yet imagine,” said Lee, who is also the director of standards body World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). “NFTs, be they artworks or a digital artefact like this, are the latest playful creations in this realm, and the most appropriate means of ownership that exists. They are the ideal way to package the origins behind the web,” he added.

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