Sir Tim Berners-Lee is selling the first web browser’s code as an NFT

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The NFTs purchaser may have difficulty actually running the extremely first variation of WorldWideWeb. As Ars Technica explains, theres a very early copy of the source code readily available online today (which Sothebys says resembles the code being sold in the NFT, but not the original), and it seems challenging to put together according to CERNs WorldWideWeb website. Even if the buyer got the original internet browser running, there are most likely valuable few websites still around that would work well with it.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, one of the designers of the World Wide Web, is selling the source code to the original web browser as an NFT (through the BBC). The auction, being run by Sothebys, will not only consist of the code for the WorldWideWeb web browser, but likewise a letter from Berners-Lee himself, a vector file that might be printed as a poster, and a 30-minute silent video that portrays the code being typed out. According to a news release from Sothebys, the profits will benefit causes supported by Berners-Lee and his better half.

Probably, the web as we understand it was enabled by the truth that Berners-Lee decided not to patent or charge for usage of his concept, letting anybody with the technical know-how (and computer system resources) design their own website. Its easy to see, then, why some would find creating an exclusive NFT out of it as a little bit of an odd choice for Tim Berners-Lee, on top of the ecological issues around the tech. According to Financial Times, it will be the very first time hes straight profited off his development– although he states he wont be keeping that money himself.

Berners-Lee seems to think NFTs are a natural fit for code– in journalism release, he states that NFTs are “the most recent spirited productions” on the internet and “the perfect way to package the origins behind the web.” In an interview with Financial Times, he compares the NFT to an autographed book, which simply makes me envision how much cooler this task would be if he had actually instead auctioned off the code on a signed box of magneto-optical disks that wouldve been used by the NeXT Computer he used to compose it.

The code up for auction contains components of the web that much of us recognize with today, consisting of functions to parse and show HTML files, fundamental styling support, the HTTP protocol, and even the ability to print a webpage.

If you d like to see an approximation of Berners-Lees initial web browser, CERN has a reproduction that you can run right in your modern-day web browser (though accessing sites from it seems broken at the minute). If youre truly wanting to get the NFT, the Sothebys auction is ranging from June 23rd to the 30th, with bidding starting at $1,000.