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Error in Tim Berners-Lee’s $5.4M NFT Can Increase Its Value

UTC by Patrick Kariuki · 3 min read
Error in Tim Berners-Lee’s $5.4M NFT Can Increase Its Value
Photo: Unsplash

The detected error, however, doesn’t render the NFT worthless. A research article published in 2017 by Harvard Business Review suggested that even when a piece of digital art contains errors, consumers will not shy away from purchasing it.

Only two days ago, the web’s inventor Tim Berners-Lee auctioned his source code to raise funds for charities associated with him. The wide world web’s Ethereum-based NFT that was sold to an unknown buyer for $5.4 million is now believed to be having a coding error. The auction was done at Sotheby’s. The surprising part is that the NFT is now showing bullish signals, all because of the alleged error.

The sale came with a video of Berners-Lee showing off his coding skills while using the C programming language to write the code. However, the code includes some HTML characters.

Discovery of an Error in the NFT

About 30 minutes after the closure of the auction, PleasrDAO, a collective firm that mainly deals with decentralized investments, mostly high-end NFTs, discovered the error in the video while the typing of the source code was being done.

After the successful sale, Sotheby’s said via a tweet that the auction was one of a kind and unique in the digital artefacts space. The tweet also revealed that funds from the auction would go towards charity initiatives associated with the inventor. Thirty minutes later, PleasrDAO, discovered the coding where characters meant to be written in C programming language had been written in HTML.

Scott Burke, a member of PleasrDAO, is the one who spotted the error, not maliciously, but when evaluating the NFT of his DAO. He notified Sotheby’s of the error on Tuesday, June 29. Sotheby’s however said that they didn’t know that the error existed. In an interview with Decrypt, Burk said that whoever coded the video may be inexperienced in C programming language. He added that in such a case, the error may have passed unnoticed.

Future of the NFT

The detected error, however, doesn’t render the NFT worthless. A research article published in 2017 by Harvard Business Review suggested that even when a piece of digital art contains errors, consumers will not shy away from purchasing it, and they can buy it at whatever amount since the errors are what make the artwork rare.

Burke said that the whole error situation is symbolic, noting that the errors existed only because Berners-Lee had invented the world wide web first. Burke compared the NFT to “The Beach at Trouville” that had real grains of beach sand that Claude Monet was painting. He added that the error, which is an imperfection, manifested the reality of life brought out by the source code.

Burke was quoted saying that the error only has an impact on a small part of the NFT, a quarter. Burke however discovered more errors in the other components, which include Berners-Lee’s letter, a digital copy containing the written code, and copy of the original source code. PleasrDAO also said that the anonymous buyer can work with Sotheby’s to correct the situation. However, Sotheby’s is yet to confirm this.

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Patrick Kariuki

Patrick is an accounting & economics graduate, a Cryptocurrency enthusiast, and a Blockchain technology fanatic. When not crafting informative pieces on any of the above subjects, he will be researching on how the Blockchain technology can transform the world, particularly the financial space.

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