How the $5.4M NFT World Wide Web Source Code Sale Has Impacted The NFT Market

Hekuran Gashi
4 min readJul 4, 2021


The most current crypto fad — NFTs — is once again enjoying the spotlight as if it was a celebrity on Grammy’s red carpet.

Conversely, because the first NFT work of art — a montage of photos by digital artist Beeple sold for a whopping $69.3 million at Christie’s auction house a couple of months back — NFTs have unintentionally captured the world’s attention.

The source code has been auctioned in the shape of a non-fungible token (NFT) — some sort of digital currency which documents ownership rights of digital products.

Just when we thought the bubble is *poof*-ed, Sotheby’s announced on Wednesday that a blockchain-based token embodying the unique source code for the World Wide Web — produced by creator Tim Berners-Lee — sold for $5.4 million online auctions. That counts to 1.469,485 Big Mac meals(am I the only one hungry?).

What did actually happen

The World Wide Web Source Code NFT was developed by the English scientist Berners-Lee in 2021 and it symbolizes possession of multiple electronic products to when he devised the World Wide Web in 1989.

To take that out of the way, the World Wide Web on its own has not managed to sell. What’s been auctioned was a blockchain-based transcript of a file that owns the actual source code for the World Wide Web.

The files purchase has agreed to 9,550 lines of Berners Lee’s original source code. That coding has now formed the basis for many of the internet’s most fundamental structures.

The purchaser received a Python-backed “ePoster” that acts as a visualization of the source code and includes the creator’s eSignature and a letter written by Berners-Lee outlining his 1989 invention.

The final amount was $5,434,500; a good portion of the interested parties were fresh to Sotheby’s.

Why would somebody pay so much for a piece of file?

The World Wide Web — or ‘the internet’ — is the framework for exploring and obtaining online information. The NFT is highly valued mostly by seeing as what blockchain verifies that this is one-of-a-kind and has been authoritatively developed, or ‘minted’, by Berners-Lee himself.

Why and what makes it so valuable(or at least make somebody want to pay for it) is the heritage and the reality that they come from the inventor, said Cassandra Hatton, head of global of sciences and modern cultures at Sotheby’s.

“We put it up for auction on a public platform, sold it with almost no reservation (bids started at $1,000), and let the marketplace dictate how much it was worth. There have been several interested buyers, all of whom believe that it is worthwhile.”

Included within the acquisition are NFTs portraying approximately 9,555 pieces of code penned in 1990–1991, a 30-minute animatronic visual display of the script, an electronic commenter of the code, and an electronic letter written by Berners-Lee in June 2021, mirroring his innovation.

Is The Interest in NFTs is on The Rise in 2021?

Here what Berners-Lee had to say about it: “as human beings just seem to admire autographed editions of publications, here we have NFT innovation, I assumed this could be interesting to play a commemorative version of the entire code of the very first internet browser”.

The sale is the latest of its kind by online retailers to adopt the blockchain-based assets, which have come to life in early 2021.

In March, Christie’s Beeple NFT sale for $69.3 million, marked the first time a major auction site sold an artwork that does not exist materially.

Then, do you remember when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey auctioned his first tweet for $2.9 million in NFT format just a few weeks back? Ever since the Beeple trade in March, a group of dedicated NFT enthusiasts has arisen.

Who is actually buying NFTs?

The buyer of the Beeple NFT for a never-seen-before $69 million is a Singapore-based crypto trader Vignesh Sundaresan.

Justin Sun, a Chinese tech millionaire, was the under-bidder. Shalom McKenzie, the primary proprietor of the sports betting company DraftKings, paid $11.7 million for a digital “Cryptopunks” NFT figure at Sotheby’s in May.

What Does The NFT Market Have In-Store?

You remember the very first interviews of Beeple admitting that he was hoping for just a bit more than a hundred dollars when he first auctioned his now-famous NFT “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” on Christie’s? That could be written down as the true definition of the whole NFT industry’s financial potential.

Well, it looks something more than that though. Does the nft market have more “seriously?!” kinda-sales for us? It doesn’t look like we’re at the end of it.



Hekuran Gashi

A modern-day nerd who likes reading, boxing, and yep... cartoons. Hekuran writes about Finance, FinTech, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the Metaverse.