There is apparently a great deal of talk in the blockchain and cryptocurrency world about Non fungible tokens (NFTs) and how they can profit the prospective investor as it may be.
In some way or another, this has attracted the attention of influential individuals in the entertainment industry, educational institutions, and the financial sectors.
Although, this has a high potential of influencing the life of people involved in the trading and accumulation of these NFTs, the need for an elaborate form of education is necessary for all and sundry especially when it comes to the distinction of the metadata in use for the creation of these NFTs.
What is an NFT?
An NFT can be associated with a particular digital or physical asset (such as a file or a physical object) and a license to use the asset for a specified purpose.
Such NFTs can be traded and sold on digital markets such as Opensea, and our own Klever NFT Marketplace DEX.
This cryptographic transaction process (from the blockchain) ensures the authentication of each digital file by providing a digital signature that is used to track NFT ownership.
However, while someone may decide to sell an NFT representing their work (in the form of art, fashion, tweet, graphics), the buyer will not necessarily receive copyright privileges when ownership of the NFT is changed and so the original owner is allowed to create more NFTs of the same work.
What is an NFT Metadata?
In basic computer terms a metadata simply defines exactly what an NFT is supposed to be.
In other words, a metadata is data that provides information about other data; in the case of an NFT, it describes that NFT’s essential properties, including its name, description, and anything else that the creator of the NFT feels is important as an attribute to distinguish the NFT.
In many cases, an NFT’s metadata also contains links to the images and other “primary” digital attributes that can give an NFT its value.
How is the Metadata created and stored?
Most people tend to be overlabored with the numerous computer jargons attributed to the emergence of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, where the people would rather not worry about the intricacies of processes that happen behind the scenes in the development of these projects.
However, the creation of these NFTs entails an entire process or set of instructions to get the products at the required wallets or platforms.
In other words, people do not want to go through any difficulty of how they would store their NFTs or the specific file format and size to be used for the required storage.
Consequently, this is what the developers have done in a way that takes away the associated burden of the users and investors on how to manage the intricacies of their NFTs.
Based on the developer’s choice, each NFT references the visual or auditory (image, audio, etc.) file that exists online somewhere.
It makes a request for the content at a specific location, which returns the content for you to see or hear. NFTs usually point to an IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) hash or an HTTP URL somewhere on the Internet.
Why the use of Metadata?
Due to the versatility of the internet and currently the application of blockchain technology for the scaling of projects to global use, most of the data are stored in remote locations in various servers like Google, Amazon and so on.
The required information is stored as a URI (Universal Resource Identifier) inside the particular blockchain contract, rather than storing the entire JSON files as storing an entire JSON would be expensive and obviously take up a lot of resources along the line.
The URI string would point to a location where the developer or user can find the NFTs JSON file description.
Are there limitations to NFT Metadata?
As essential and proficient as the use of the Metadata for developing NFTs, there are also possibilities of limitations inherent in them. These can be in the form of the following:
- Missing links: this is often experienced by users who may want to access or review their assets in the form of NFTs and potentially struggle to view them due to missing links from the metadata repository.
- Inability to search for metadata: This can be experienced by other developers who may not be familiar with the particular blockchain or accessible by other smart contracts for compatibility issues.
However, the development of NFTs and similar projects would continue to improve with the proper educational content and review of Metadata before the deployment for relative projects.