Cryptocurrency investors and digital collectors think The original source code of the network More valuable than the first tweet, but not as popular as pixelated punk.

A kind “Non-fungible tokens” The network invented on behalf of Sir Tim Berners-Lee sold for $5.4 million at Wednesday’s auction. The winning bidder was not immediately determined.

Sotheby’s auction house ranks digital art and named it “This changes everything”, Is one of the most valuable NFTs ever. However, due to signs that interest in virtual collections may have diminished, this high-profile item is tens of millions of dollars lower than the high water mark set by digital artist Beeple three months ago.

The final value exceeded the $2.9 million price paid by the NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which was auctioned off by the Twitter co-founder in March. But it is much less than $69ma Cryptocurrency investors Pay for Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” in March.

Earlier this month, CryptoPunk-one of the earliest digital collectibles series-was sold at another Sotheby’s NFT auction for $11.8 million. The other two CryptoPunks are similar to the graphics in early video games, each priced at more than $7 million.

The British scientist’s work includes an archive of time-stamped files used in a web browser, a 30-minute digital “poster” with animations and codes, and a letter from Berners-Lee explaining the background of his invention.

Berners-Lee said in a statement that this process “gave me the opportunity to look back at the moment I sat down to write this code for the first time 30 years ago, and reflect on how far the network has gone since then, and how far Where is it likely to continue in the next few decades”.

He said: “I am very happy that the initiatives Rosemary and I support will benefit from the sale of NFT.”

Although the inventor of the Internet likened the token to a signed book, Sotheby’s wants collectors to treat digital objects as scientific artifacts.

Berners-Lee’s code package exceeds the amount paid by Alan Turing and Albert Einstein for handwritten manuscripts at past auctions of scientific memorabilia. The price is comparable to the price of NFT artwork by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden (Edward Snowden), which sold for $5.4 million in April.

During the week-long Berners-Lee NFT auction, there were more than 50 bids from all over the world. Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s global head of science and popular culture, said: “Our warm welcome to the auction is a tribute to this genius who will forever change our world.”

NFT uses blockchain technology to bring scarcity, traceability and identity verification to the digital world, where media can be copied endlessly.

The technical basis of the network was never patented, but was released to the public domain free of charge by Cern, a particle physics laboratory in Switzerland, where Berners-Lee worked when he proposed this idea.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on digital collectibles so far this year, although activity has decreased since its peak in March Sold out Cryptocurrency and a series of regulatory restrictions on Bitcoin.

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