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Original files of World Wide Web being sold by Sir Tim Berners-Lee – with bidding starting at £708 

The original files of the World Wide Web are being sold at auction by British inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee – with bidding starting at just £708 ($1,000).

Digitally-signed source code documents written by the computer scientist three decades ago will go under the hammer as a non-fungible token (NFT).

An NFT is a limited edition asset which is sold without any physical form via blockchain, effectively providing certification of ownership.

They have been hailed as a way to sell digital artwork and assets.

Sir Tim said it felt like the ‘natural thing’ to do with an entirely digital artefact.

 

The original files of the World Wide Web are being sold at auction by British inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee – with bidding starting at just £708 ($1,000). Pictured: the NeXT computer used by Sir Berners-Lee to design the World Wide Web

What are NFTs?  

What is a NFT?

A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a unique digital token encrypted with an artist’s signature and which verifies its ownership and authenticity and is permanently attached to the piece.

What do they look like?

Most NFTs include some kind digital artwork, such as photos, videos, GIFs, and music. Theoretically, anything digital could be turned into a NFT.  

Where do you buy them?

At the moment, NFTs are most commonly sold in so-called ‘drops’, timed online sales by blockchain-backed marketplaces like Nifty Gateway, Opensea and Rarible.

Why would I want to own one? 

There’s an array of reasons why someone may want to buy a NFT. For some, the reason may be emotional value, because NFTs are seen as collectors items. For others, they are seen as an investment opportunity similar to cryptocurrencies, because the value could increase.  

When were NFTs created? 

Writer and podcaster Andrew Steinwold traced the origins of NFTs back to 2012, with the creation of the Colored Coins cryptocurrency. But NFTs didn’t move into the mainstream until five years later, when the blockchain game CryptoKitties began selling virtual cats in 2017.  

As well as the opportunity to delve into the bare bones of the web’s early architecture, the winning bidder will receive an animated visualisation of the code, a letter written by Sir Tim about its creation, as well as a digital poster of the full code.

Sotheby’s will launch the auction on June 23 for one week, with bidding starting at $1,000 (£708).

Money raised from the auction will be donated to initiatives supported by the computer scientist and his wife.

‘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,’ Sir Tim said.

‘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.

‘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.’

The files include code with approximately 9,555 lines which feature implementations of the three languages and protocols invented by Sir Tim that remain fundamental to the World Wide Web today, known as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), and URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers).

Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said: ‘The brainchild of one of the most important thinkers that the UK has ever produced, the web is a truly great British invention – one that has gone global in all senses of the word.

‘As a company that itself took its first steps in London, and is now making its mark all over the world, we at Sotheby’s could not be more proud to be part of a celebration of this defining moment three decades on.’

The World Wide Web was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist born on June 8, 1955

The World Wide Web was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist born on June 8, 1955

The World Wide Web was created over three decades ago by Sir Berners-Lee, who was born on June 8, 1955.

Having studied physics at Queen’s College Oxford, graduating in 1976, he started as an engineer in the telecommunications and microprocessor software industry. 

In 1980, while working as an independent contractor at CERN, Berners-Lee described the concept of a global system based on using hypertext to share information between researchers.

He built a prototype system called Enquire, which formed the conceptual basis for the World Wide Web.

In 1989 he published his landmark paper, ‘Information Management: A Proposal’, built the first WWW server and web browser ‘WorldWideWeb.app’.

In 1994, he founded the World Wide Web Consortium, the main international standards organisation for the internet. 

HOW DID TIM BERNERS-LEE CREATE THE INTERNET?

The World Wide Web was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist born on June 8, 1955.

Having studied physics at Queen’s College Oxford, graduating in 1976, he started as an engineer in the telecommunications and microprocessor software industry.

In 1980, while working as an independent contractor at CERN, Berners-Lee described the concept of a global system based on using hypertext to share information between researchers.

Tim Berners-Lee wrote (pictured) the blueprint for what would become the World Wide Web, and said he is alarmed at what has happened to it in the last year

Tim Berners-Lee wrote (pictured) the blueprint for what would become the World Wide Web, and said he is alarmed at what has happened to it in the last year

He built a prototype system called Enquire, which formed the conceptual basis for the World Wide Web.

In 1989 he published his landmark paper, ‘Information Management: A Proposal’, built the first WWW server and web browser ‘WorldWideWeb.app’.

In 1994, he founded the World Wide Web Consortium, the main international standards organisation for the internet. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk