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World Wide Web Creator Tim Berners-Lee Auctions Source Code as NFT: Bids Soar to $2.8 Million

Bids for a non-fungible token of the original source code for the World Wide Web written by inventor Tim Berners-Lee have soared to $2.8 million (roughly Rs. 20 crores) from an opening price of $1,000 (roughly Rs. 74,000) with two days to go until the Sotheby’s auction ends.

Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist, invented the World Wide Web in 1989, revolutionising the sharing and creation of information in what is seen as one of the most significant inventions since the printing press appeared in Europe in 15th Century Germany.

The digitally signed Ethereum blockchain non-fungible token (NFT), a digital asset which records ownership, includes the original source code, an animated visualisation, a letter written by Berners-Lee and a digital poster of the full code from the original files.

The auction ends at 18:01 GMT (11:31pm IST) on Wednesday.

NFTs have exploded in popularity in recent months.

The most expensive NFT known sale to date was in March 2021, when a digital collage by the American artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, sold for $69.3 million (roughly Rs. 510 crores) at Christie’s.

It was the first ever sale by a major auction house of a piece of art that does not exist in physical form.

Since then, no NFT sale is known to have come close to this amount. In June, a single CryptoPunk NFT – a pixelated image of a cartoon face – fetched $11.8 million (roughly Rs. 90 crores) at Sotheby’s.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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