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Creation of the Internet sells for $7.27 million

·2-min read
Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the source code he wrote for the creation of the World Wide Web.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the source code he wrote for the creation of the World Wide Web (Source: Sotherby's)

The World Wide Web was created in 1990. Just over two decades later, it has now been sold for over $7.27 million.

To be clear, the internet has not been sold. Instead, a video of the original source code used to create the very first browser was sold as a non-fungible-token (NFT) at auction.

The video goes for 30 minutes and 25 seconds and shows all 9,555 lines of code used to create the World Wide Web.

Invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, the “World Wide Web” application was the first ‘hypermedia’ browser that gave humanity access to the internet we all rely on today.

The video was sold by the auction house Sotheby's, which said Berners-Lee’s invention changed the world.

“Over the past several centuries, humankind has seen a succession of paradigm shifts that have brought us forward into the Modern Era; Galileo’s proof of Heliocentricity, Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to name a few,” the auction house said.

“But none has had as seismic of an impact on our daily lives as the creation of the World Wide Web.

“Sir Tim’s invention changed everything, and created an entirely new world, democratising the sharing of information, and creating new ways of thinking, interacting, and staying connected to one another.”

Sold along with the video is also an original note file with Berners-Lee’s thoughts and reflections about his creation.

“It has been a lot of fun for me to go back and look over the code. It is amazing to see the things that those relatively few lines of code, with the help of an amazing growing gang of collaborators across the planet, stayed enough on track to become what the web is now,” Berners-Lee wrote.

“I have never once felt I could relax and sit back – as the web was and is constantly changing.

“It is not yet the best it can be: there is always work to be done!”

For those wanting to take a trip down memory lane, you can still access what the first web browser looked like.

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