In a nutshell: The auction of World Wide Web source code's NFT started on June 23rd with an initial bid of $1000. Since then, the bidding war scaled to millions of dollars until the auction's closure on June 30th, where it was sold for $5.4M.
Considering all the craze in the NFT world, it was safe to assume that the initial $1000 bid for the World Wide Web source code NFT was only temporary. Just a day after the auction began, it had attracted 41 offers, with the highest one being $2.2 million. Fast-forwarding six days, and the highest bid rose to $5.4 million.
In total, the World Wide Web source code NFT auction hosted by Sotherby's pulled 51 bids. From these, about 60% were bidding on the platform for the first time.
#AuctionUpdate One of the most historically significant digital artefacts ever sold, an NFT of the source code for the Web has brought $5.4 million. Offered by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, proceeds will benefit initiatives that Sir Tim & Lady Berners-Lee support.#ThisChangedEverything— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 30, 2021
Offered directly by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, this non-fungible token is composed of the original time-stamped files containing 9,555 lines of code written by Sir Tim, including the implementations of the languages and protocols — HTML, HTTP, and URIs — also invented by himself.
The NFT also includes a 30-minute animated visualization of developers writing the code, a letter written by Sir Tim where he explains the creation process, and a digital “poster” of the code created by Sir Tim featuring a graphic of his signature. All four items are digitally signed.
Snippet of the 30-minute animation of the World Wide Web source code being written
"The source code to the web itself is a digital artifact that has existed since 1990, [but] it is not until the emergence of NFTs that something like this could ever have been harnessed for sale," said Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby's Europe.
Although $5.4 million seems pricey for an NFT, it's far from being the most expensive one. The "Everydays: The First 5000 Days" NFT created by beeple was sold in an auction for $69 million, about 13x times more expensive than the WWW's code.