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The Anatomy of an NFT

Building Blocks of Ownership and Engagement

Now that we’ve got Web3, blockchains and crypto down, let’s dig into more practical and creative uses already changing commerce, content, and community. Tokens are items that can be bought with both cryptocurrency or standard fiat, and are already changing how we interact with, and experience, the world around us. Tokens can either be fungible or non-fungible.

  • Fungible assets and tokens are completely interchangeable with each other, and the best example is “fiat currencies,” which you can transfer from one owner to another to make payments for an item. A $5 bill holds the same value as every other $5 bill. Cryptocurrency is also an example of a fungible asset because having one BitCoin in your wallet is the same as any other BitCoin.
  • Non-fungible assets and tokens (NFTs) are different from fungible tokens and cryptocurrencies in that they do not have any inherent value, but will have applied value based on demand, desire, rarity, scarcity, and the reputation of the creator in the same way that art or other collectibles have value in the marketplace. NFTs use different types of smart contracts and are typically bought and sold using cryptocurrency values.

What is an NFT, Really?

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a uniquely identifiable and non-interchangeable record on the blockchain. At its core, every NFT is assigned a unique ID, is owned by a single wallet, and stores some metadata. The nature of the metadata and what the NFT represents varies greatly between projects: it could be a video file, an artwork, or even a deed to a house!

The revolution that NFTs have sparked is rooted in the concepts of scarcity and ownership. Previously, digital items could be duplicated and without any controls or verification. With NFTs, ownership is guaranteed, the metadata is publicly visible, and cannot be forged or questioned. As a result, NFTs can become a form of certification that users can display in the digital world. Since the ownership can be publicly read on the blockchain, third parties can easily create applications to cater to specific NFT holders.

Most of the things we’ve sold and bought online over the past decade have been “governed” by a centralized transaction model. It took time for consumers to embrace digital transactions, but people have learned to trust Paypal and Venmo and Stripe. We show almost no reservation sharing sensitive information and personal data (bank accounts, credit card info, etc.). Now, consumers are increasingly diversifying their assets. Newer, more evolved platforms, marketplaces, and payment methods make this entire process even easier, no longer requiring friction-filled steps in order to interact with, and participate.

What Makes MINT NFTs Special

Most MINT NFTs are minted on the Flow blockchain, which is a proof-of-stake chain with low transaction costs, high throughput, and relatively low environmental impact (yes, we can mint on others, when relevant).

Our smart contract generates fully-compliant NFTs with additional features associated with the metadata:

- Merchant is an ID associated with the entity responsible for creating the NFT, for example an artist or a sports team. Setting this ID facilitates filtering NFTs into separate collections.

- Editions are a series of NFTs that have identical metadata except for the unique token ID and edition number (similar to print magazines). Editions have a definite printing limit, therefore collectors NFT can be assured that no subsequent tokens will be created to dilute the set.

The NFT metadata is highly customizable to suit the needs of each project. Unless there are special applications to consider, we recommend using one of our predefined metadata structures to facilitate third party integrations.

The reference to the media file in the metadata is not mandatory, since it can be assigned off-chain. Similarly, the media file does not need to be hosted using a decentralized storage method. Centralized file hosting tends to yield better performance to the end user, since they can benefit from the standard caching techniques and content delivery networks.

How Our NFTs Works

With MINT-led projects and partnerships, our application assigns a name / description in the metadata, and host an associated thumbnail / video off-chain. For the best viewing experience, we recommend making the video a perfect loop.

For example, the Chicago Bulls released a series of 6 limited-edition NFTs with similar attributes. One example of how the NFTs are set up:

  • Name: “1991 Legacy Collection: 1991 Championship ring”
  • Description: “The ring that started a dynasty. Entering the Finals as underdogs against the 11-time champion Los Angeles Lakers, the Bulls showed the world that experience doesn’t outweigh hunger. Despite dropping the first game to the Lake Show, Chicago never looked back as they won the next four. It was truly only the beginning for a team that would rule the NBA throughout the decade.”
  • Edition Size: 91
  • Thumbnail: (.png) — 1550 x 1550–2.9MB
  • Video: (.mp4) — 2000 x 2000–42.2 MB — 33 seconds

The beauty of Mint’s platform is that it is truly creative agnostic. As a very different example from the Chicago Bulls, the MISA art gallery mints and sells digital art directly from a Shopify ecommerce page. The following is an example from their featured artist Refik Anadol:

  • Name: Nature Dreams — Generative Landscape, 2021
  • Description: An AI Data Painting 16:00 min
  • Edition Size: 1
  • Thumbnail: (.jpeg) — 1164 x 2048–335 KB
  • Video: (.mp4) 1920 x 1080–1.2 GB — 16 mins

With Mint NFTs and our Shopify partnership, you don’t need cryptocurrency to make the purchase. Simply using your credit card with a valid email address, the front-end user experience is exactly what they’re used to with any other purchase. Once the transaction is complete, the buyer is sent an email with a link to claim her NFT. It’s that simple. No clunky fees, no confusing transfers. Leave it to us to put the “fun” back in non-fungible.

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Mint

Mint simplifies the experience for brands to sell NFTs, launch branded marketplaces, and provide seamless transactions, interactions, & utility for collectors.