July 06, 2021

World Wide Web Sells for $5.4 Million

The World Wide Web, or rather its source code, was recently sold as an non-fungible token (NFT) to a private buyer for a whopping $5.4 million.

NFTs are digital representations – or digital assets – of objects such as photos, videos, audio or art. They have exploded in popularity since the end of last year.

This particular electronic collection of ones and zeros – which has been in the public domain since 1993 – was made available for purchase last month by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, its creator.

The 66-year-old computer scientist also included a few other goodies as part of the package: an animated video of the code’s construction; a poster made by Berners-Lee; a hand-written letter discussing the code’s significance, and a certificate of ownership.

Funds from the sale will be put into Inter-advancing initiatives championed by him and his wife, Rosemary Leith, such as the World Wide Web Foundation.

Berners-Lee commented on the exchange: “The web is just as free and just as open as it always was. I’m not selling the web … I’m selling a picture that I made, with a Python programme that I wrote myself, of what the source code would look like if it was stuck on the wall and signed by me.”