NFT (Non-fungible tokens) is the most popular concept this summer. We saw tens of thousands of NFT projects going on the market in only a few months. The NFT market value tripled in 2020, reaching more than $250 million, and during the first quarter of 2021, NFT sales exceeded $2 billion.
From the very original concept of the NFT, a way to prove the ownership of digital assets which include digital arts and collectibles. As the market booms, there are different types of NFTs now. Generally, we can summarize them into three categories:
- This is the original interpretation: An NFT is a digital representation of any digital asset. The digital asset can be painting, photo, animation, document, or anything that can be digitized.
- The NFT itself is a collectible asset. What lies behind the NFT is not that important. For example, Uniswap V3 liquidation is represented by an NFT, once the liquidation is removed from the pool, the NFT will still be available in that ETH account forever.
- The NFT is a digital representation of certain privileges. For example, some celebrities and influencers will issue NFTs to their fans so they can use the NFT to access certain fans-only content.
2. NFT and storage
No matter which category the NFT falls into, there is always the need to store the NFT related information which includes the NFT itself, the NFT representation, and the digital asset behind the NFT. Due to the current storage restriction of the blockchain, some of the information will not be available in the blockchain itself.
For any of the off-chain storage requirements, there are three main concerns: reliability, ownership, and privacy. Ideally, we should store the information in a decentralized way and ensure the owner's concerns have been taken care of. But in the real blockchain world, it’s not easy to find decentralized storage that works with any of the NFT projects.
Luckily Stratos is in the space bringing the most innovative storage solutions to meet all kinds of storage requirements for NFT. Stratos is the next generation of decentralized data mesh solutions. It is the first decentralized data architecture that provides scalable, reliable, self-balanced storage, database, and computation networks and offers a solid foundation for data processing.
For each of the NFT categories, it has different requirements on how to store the NFT itself and its associated digital assets. We will analyze them one by one to see how Stratos can help to solve the current problem and ensure none of the concerns we mentioned above will continue to exist for NFT owners.
Due to the storage restriction of any existing blockchain (Ex. Ethereum), most of the digital assets can not be fit into the chain storage itself. Here the Stratos will show its power. Let's take the simplest example, a digital artist wants to sell his/her masterpiece, a creative photo, as an NFT.
So the first thing he/she will do is upload the photo to Stratos network. Stratos network will return a hash code that uniquely identifies the photo to him and also a URI to retrieve the photo using the hash. The URI is permanent and also recorded in Stratos blockchain. In this way, we also ensure the photo itself is not mutable.
Then he can mint the NFT and provide the Stratos URI as the tokenURI. This will take very small amounts of storage in the blockchain where he mints the NFT. Once the NFT is successfully minted, anyone can use the token URI to locate the Stratos URI and then locate the photo itself.
Now he can sell the NFT to the potential buyers who can verify the photo from the NFT's tokenURI. Once the NFT is successfully transferred from the original owner to the buyer, the ownership of the photo was also transferred to the buyer and the buyer won't need to worry about the availability and ownership of the photo since he can also retrieve and present the photo in his own way.
This is just a very simplified scenario; the actual Stratos network can also provide more complicated and sophisticated solutions to protect the digital asset in the case that the NFT owners do not want the digital asset to be public.
Generally speaking, in this case, there's no digital asset associated with the NFT. The issuer embedded the metadata including the image presentation of the NFT in the toke URI field of the NFT on the blockchain, which is doable but totally not necessary. The NFT issuer can still store all the NFT metadata in the Stratos network and access them as a normal digital asset. For example, currently, the Uniswap V3 NFT's token URI takes around 13K. If we store it offline, we can minimize the NFT token size significantly. Again, the Stratos network can provide more protection on the metadata other than the public data on the blockchain.
This is similar to the NFT as collectives but now we can make the digital pass more creative and fancy since there's no restriction on the metadata size and also you can add the digital asset to the pass as you wish.
Since the size of metadata and digital assets are no longer an issue for the NFT itself, the NFT creators’ originalities have no limitation now. Stratos Network will provide all the necessary bandwidth and storage for them to achieve their goal.
Claire has work experience in the blockchain and crypto industry.