The American auction house Sotheby’s auctioned off the World Wide Web source code for $ 5.4 million (a good 4.5 million euros). Sotheby’s announced it on Wednesday. However, it was not known at the outset who bought the first digital artifact ever offered by Sotheby’s.
The piece was the original Sir Tim Berners-Lee files from 1989 with the corresponding time stamp and signature. On March 12, 1989, the computer scientist presented his proposal for an information management system from which the World Wide Web emerged. At that time he was working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. Today, he is considered the inventor of the WWW.
Sotheby’s auctioned off the source code as a so-called NFT (non-fungible token). This is a kind of digital certificate of authenticity: there can be an unlimited number of identical copies of the object, but only this can be considered the original. NFT is currently experiencing a boom: A linked copy of a collage by digital artist Beeple was recently auctioned off for a whopping $ 69.3 million.