Either worth millions or worthless, it really matters where NFT is kept
“We call this: The Metaverse.”
Zuckerberg said when he changed the name of Facebook to Meta.
The metaverse liberates the Internet from our hands, the tangible space of our desks and walls, and absorbs us into this virtual yet real world. NFT, then, is the digital key to unlocking the metaverse.
As a unique digital asset inseparable from the blockchain, NFT gives its holder ownership in the digital world, making it possible for digital business activities to be carried out, and laying the foundation of the metaverse. Since then, the future has been approaching us infinitely at an unimaginable speed.
That’s why people are pursuing NFT. According to NFTGO, last week NFT market value rose 13.28% YoY to $5.91 billion; total accounts held reached 601,000; 7-day trading volume accumulated to $304 million; and there were 131,329 active addresses.
With thousands of NFTs being minted every day, a very important but always overlooked question arises: the one you just bought in your hand, where was it stored?
Although NFTs exist in digital form, the requirements for security, continuity and accessibility are no less important than for physical assets in terms of how they are stored.
For many of the NFTs released or being released, visual images/video/audio are integrated on centralized servers because they are very storage intensive. This includes the famous CryptoPunk. As shown in the figure below, CryptoPunk has only stored image Hash in its contract.
Where are the images stored? CryptoPunk images are stored on Lava Labs’ centralized servers. The image contains a collection of all CryptoPunk headshots, with each number determining which one from this collection is displayed by each NFT.
The over-reliance of data on centralized servers poses a great risk. It’s hard to imagine what we’ll have to face once the server goes down.
Earlier this year in March, musician 3LAU sold an NFT album on NiftyGateway for $11 million. Now, however, this NFT has been lost because 3LAU’s NFT was indexed on a centralized server via an HTTP URL. The centralized server erased the data and the NFT also was gone.
From worth millions to worthless, perhaps only one step away.
There are also some publishers that cast NFTs directly in OpenSea for the convenience of selling them, although OpenSea will store the user-cast NFT images on Google servers by default. Here is an NFT we have built on OpenSea, the contract is not open sourced. This NFT image was issued in the OpenSea Shared StoreFront, while the actual path shows that the image has been saved to Google User Content.
It seems that centralized cloud storage doesn’t make a real difference. Isn’t there an option for NFTs to be housed in decentralized storage? There is.
Pinata Cloud, the most commonly mentioned decentralized long-term storage on the market today, is a startup that can provide IPFS Pin Service.
However, it is well known that IPFS does not guarantee permanent data retention; after all, they cannot bind all storage backup nodes to store information at all times. So Pinata Cloud maintains some of the nodes at its own expense and offers a time-based storage service to the public.
It seems to be a really good choice, but the price of this service is not low, and Pinata Cloud’s solution of “ storage in its own nodes ”is just a guise of decentralized service, its essence is still a centralized one. Also, the pay-per-time mechanism is a time bomb. Once the NFT is sold if the issuer refuses to renew the storage service, who will be the “backup man”? The same question will naturally arise with Filecoin.
For NFT issuers, “make once, keep forever” is the best solution. In terms of this demand, Pinata Cloud and Filecoin are more like “semi-products”, and clearly neither is a good solution.
So NFT’s decentralized storage is a dead end? Not really.
The newly launched EternalNFT.IO, a “0 cost” distribution platform for NFT based on EpiK Protocol. EternalNFT.io supports ERC 1155/ERC 721 multi-protocol NFT production on multiple platforms such as Ethereum, BSC, etc. NFT metadata will be recorded on an NFT distribution network such as Ethereum or BSC, and NFT visuals/video/audio, etc. are permanently stored on the EpiK Protocol, an eternal storage protocol built on the IPFS protocol. Every piece of NFT data and images/video/audio is backed up to at least 100 copies. Currently, EpiK Protocol is giving full support to Eternalnft.IO by granting rights of full storage, perpetual free, and perpetual retention. (Full storage means that the files will be stored by all 34,000 nodes).
EternalNFT.IO truly enables “NFT data to be generated once and stored forever”, and high-quality NFT artists will be granted an EPK creation reward from EternalNFT.
As the first Grants program of the EpiK Protocol, EternalNFT.IO has been applied by NFT domain experts in the EpiK Protocol network to become the first revenue-bearing decentralized NFT storage service platform built in the IPFS ecosystem.
EpiK Protocol, as the infrastructure of eternalnft.io, has 76,170 registered knowledge nodes since its mainnet was launched in August this year, with more than half of the knowledge nodes being active. It is the project with the most nodes on the IPFS distributed storage field, which can effectively overcome the shortcomings of the centralized storage HTTP protocol such as low efficiency, insufficient data security and high storage cost; it can also effectively avoid the shortcomings of traditional IPFS storage transaction aggregation platforms such as Filecoin in terms of data quality management, as well as storage device disaster recovery, backup and expansion.
There is no doubt that NFTs have become an integral part of humanity’s cultural heritage.
Digital artwork, star cards, IDs, virtual real estate …should provide a storage solution for their physical holders to ensure that these NFTs can be stored securely and long-term on the network.
This is not just about preserving an NFT, it’s about preserving a precious human culture.
If you are interested to be a creator of EternalNFT.IO, please be free to send your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us who you are and what is the NFT you want to create.