Web inventor Berners-Lee bids original code for NFT

Sir Tim Berners-Lee auctions off his original source code for the web in file form “Non-replaceable token”Digital holdings continue to fetch millions of dollars despite recent cryptocurrency sales.

The auction at Sotheby’s will be the first time this has happened Berners Lee He was able to raise money directly from one of the greatest inventions of the modern era, and the proceeds benefited from initiatives he and his wife, Rosemary, supported.

“The idea is that someone might like a digitally signed copy of the code, a bit like a lot of people who ordered physical signed copies of the book,” Berners-Lee said.

Auction sellers hope this one-of-a-kind digital tool will spark interest in NFTs beyond their scope Emad of artwork, games and sports memorabilia. Investment in NFTs has dwindled since record-breaking March $69.3m Every Day: The First 5,000 Days Sale from Beeple.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Berners-Lee, 66, said the auction was “a chance to look back . . . after 30 years of the initial code, which was very simple, to the state.” [of the web] Now, which has some pretty cool and simple aspects but also has a lot of issues of various kinds.”

Unlike the founders of Google, Facebook, and Amazon, who have amassed vast fortunes across the web, Berners-Lee is not a billionaire.

The source code behind the World Wide Web and its first browser, which was designed and coded by Berners-Lee between 1989 and 1991, was not patented. Instead, it was released freely into the public domain by Cern, the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland where the scientist worked British at the time.

This move enabled widespread uptake of a technology that is now used by more than 4 billion people every day. But for archivists and would-be collectors, it is too فهو Complex The idea of ​​endorsing Berners-Lee’s original work.

“The cool thing about him NFTs “Can we create this digital source document, to prove the authenticity coming from the creator,” said Cassandra Hutton, Sotheby’s Global Head of Popular Science and Culture. “This will become a point of reference for all others. It truly is the most appropriate digitally-born artifact” for the NFT auction, she added.

Tim Berners-Lee at Cern in the early 1990s. He first outlined his idea for the web in a note in 1989 and began writing the code that implemented it in September 1990

While Berners-Lee said the NFT project was his “first foray into cryptocurrency,” he sees similarities in his original vision of the web and the philosophy behind the Ethereum blockchain’s decentralized network, which underpins most NFTs. It also chimes with his latest project, Solid, designed to give individuals back control of their personal data.

“The blockchain and Solid communities share a common drive to empower people,” Berners-Lee said, adding that many blockchain projects are driven by “avoid central control.”

He originally envisioned the web as a collection of personal pages that link together, rather than being dominated by a few giant corporations. “It was meant to be individual empowerment,” he said.

He fears online monopolies will “automatically stifle innovation” and sees a “huge backlash” among ordinary web users who fear their data will be used in voter manipulation.

Today, Berners-Lee is chief technology officer of Inrupt, a Business Application Development On the basis of its steel frame. The technology is being piloted by the Flanders government and parts of the NHS, among others. Berners-Lee said Inrupt has now begun its “first serious round” of fundraising.

He said, “We wouldn’t be able to make a better world without technical and policy changes, but fortunately, it’s happening at the same time.”

Nearly $650 million of Ethereum has been spent on digital artwork such as NFTs So far, according to data from Cryptoart, which tracks trading volumes. Several “CryptoPunks”, the pixelated selfies that make up one of the first series of NFTs, have sold for millions of dollars, most recently a record $11.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction just last week.

However, NFT volumes fell monthly in April and again in May, according to cryptoart, along with a massive selloff in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

After artists including Damien Hirst Musicians like Grimes have experimented with NFTs, and Sotheby’s auctions off its Berners-Lee token as being among the first to offer cryptocurrency enthusiasts a historical artifact. Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, has sold his website first tweet for $2.9 million in March.

At more traditional auctions, handwritten manuscripts of Alan Turing and Albert Einstein have sold for more than $1 million. Leonardo da Vinci Codex Lister It was purchased by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for $30.8 million in 1994.

Hutton said that Berners-Lee’s NFT winning bidder “will get what would be similar to the manuscript” for the web.

Berners-Lee first outlined his idea for the web in a note in 1989, but he didn’t begin writing the code that implemented it until September 1990.

The package being auctioned includes Berners-Lee’s original archive of timestamped files for the WorldWideWeb browser, a 30-minute animation and digital “poster” of the icon, and a letter explaining the background to his invention.

Bidding runs June 23-30 and starts at $1,000.

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