Following the recent trend of auctioning unique pieces of the digital world, the source code for the world wide web, commonly known as the internet, was recently auctioned by Sotheby’s at $5.4 million. Earlier this year, Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet ever for almost $3 million.
How do you sell a piece of digital well in the real world? Well, blockchain technology makes it possible. Called, a Non-Fungible Token (NFT), it is used to tokenize anything from the digital world. It can be a tweet, an image, a video, a digital artwork, a GIF, absolutely anything that you think will be valued by people. Since it is unique, you can sell it and use blockchain to keep a record of its ownership. It is not very different from owning a piece of artwork, just that it will not adorn your wall at any time. It remains in the digital realm.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is credited with inventing the internet. In 1989, while working at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Berners-Lee, created the first web browser and server. Following his lead of not patenting the technology, his employer CERN also put this information into the public domain in 1993 paving the way for the creation of the free-to-all, world wide web or internet, as we know it.
The NFT put up for auction included about 10,000 lines of code written in 1990-1991, a 30-minute animated visualization of the code (the video), a digital poster of the code, and a digital letter written in June 2021 where Berners-Lee reflects on his work.
Defending his right to create the NFT, Berners-Lee explained his point of view in an interview with The Guardian. “I’m not even selling the source code. I’m selling a picture that I made, with a Python program that I wrote myself, of what the source code would look like if it was stuck on the wall and signed by me.”
Running on blockchain technology, NFT’s have drawn the ire of environmentalists, for the high energy usage. Auction houses involving in the sale of NFT’s promise to offset the carbon emissions resulting from the creation and sale of NFTs. But the need of the hour is to do more, create sustainable crypto-art.
May be El Salvador can help.