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The creator of the World Wide Web sold the source code for $5.4 million.
The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has sold an NFT of the web’s source code for $5.4 million at fine art auction house Sotheby’s.
The ‘This Changed Everything’ installation contains a time-stamped copy of the source code’s 9,555 lines, a high-fidelity picture, a 30-minute animation of the code being produced, and a message written by Berners-Lee.
While $5.4 million is a considerable amount, it is considerably less than the $69 million record established in March for Beeple’s Everydays and less than some analysts had expected. Delphi Digital’s Piers Kicks predicted a $10 million sale, noting:
I know what I’m keeping an eye on at @Sothebys today.
An NFT of the source code for the World Wide Web from the legendary @timberners_lee.
Bidding already at $3M, I expect this to go for >$10M.
It doesn’t get much cooler than this for internet history. pic.twitter.com/Tx8nW1CYFa
— Piers Kicks ???️ (@pierskicks) June 30, 2021
According to Berners-Lee, he and his wife will donate the proceeds of the auction to causes supported by the family.
In a statement to the press released by Sotheby’s, Berners-Lee discussed the future of the internet and expressed his hope that it would remain open to allow it to be a continual source of creativity, technical innovation, and social transformation. These ideals were the inspiration behind Berners-Lee move into the NFT space, he said:
“NFTs, be they artworks or digital artifacts 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.”
This week’s high-profile auction of the web’s source code isn’t the only multi-million dollar sale of a digital artwork held by a renowned auction house. Christie’s Auction House completed a $2.1 million auction for the works of transgender digital art FEWOCiOUS on June 30th.
The NFT “Hello, i’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life,” includes five individual pieces each depicting a year in the artist’s formative years from ages 14 to 18 as he transitioned to male. The works illustrate the artist’s struggles with loneliness and identity as he strove to become an artist.
at a loss for words right now ? thank you so much to everyone for making me feel so loved, believing in my art and believing in me, it means the world ❤️ i’ll never forget this feeling or these last few weeks #FEWOCiOUSxCHRISTIES FOREVER ??? pic.twitter.com/1BYNXX2SPN
— FEWOCiOUS (@fewocious) June 30, 2021
The arc of the young artist’s career exemplifies the opportunities for upward mobility that the internet market provides for digital artists. In September of last year, FEWOCiOUS launched his first tokenized sale on the marketplace SuperRare for $6,000, and he was soon selling artworks for more than $1 million on Nifty Gateway.
According to Cryptoart.io data, overall sales from the digital art marketplaces fell to $18.3 million in June from a high of $205 million in March. Nifty Gateway, owned by Winklevoss, witnessed a 94 percent drop in sales from a peak of $145 million to $7.6 million.
Some digital asset platforms have been successful. hic et nunc, a relative newcomer to the digital art field, has seen sales increase 276 percent from $717,000 in March to $2.7 million in June, capturing 14.7 percent of the market.