Blog Post #7 Addressing NFT Authenticity Problems with Capture App

Ethan Wu
Numbers Protocol
Published in
4 min readMar 18, 2021


In Blog Post #5, we discussed the potential authenticity issues NFTs may face as it continues to grab headlines. The appeal of owning an NFT is the novel idea that ownership of something intangible can now be traced via blockchain record. But as we enter a few weeks into the NFT craze, it has become apparent that blockchain / tokenization is not enough to prevent infringement and violation digital asset rights.


At the heart of the NFT authenticity discussion is ownership. Who has the right to mint a NFT token and list it on the marketplace. As it stands, the answer to that question, to the dismay of artists everywhere, is ANYONE.

"So apparently someone is minting my work? Quickly not becoming a fan of this stuff."


This is what I don’t understand about this whole NFT thing. I get if you’re the original owner or creator of the art. But how is it ok that someone can take another artists work that’s owned or copyrighted and mint it as their own and then sell it? I’m lost on it.

You are not lost, because it's not ok.

In response to these types of inquiries, platforms have responded with the following:

"It's a user on our platform thats a fan of you that minted this as a collectable bookmark. If you want it removed please let us know and we remove the image."

It has become apparent that it will take more than blockchain record to legitimize digital assets. With the NFT craze in its early stages, the lack of standards are apparent and the industry is scrambling. With the internet as it is, it is extremely easy for digital assets to be copied and proliferated without your knowledge or permission. Establishing yourself as the owner / creator poses its own challenges as it is nearly impossible to trace digital assets.

2.5 billion unlicensed photos are stolen daily equating to $600 billion in losses daily globally. Over-saturation of photos over the web have effectively made them valueless. The value of NFTs come from their apparent “scarcity”, however if the “anyone can mint NFTs” trend persists will NFTs be the next valueless asset?

Context of the Creator

At the heart of any creation is Ownership. Foundation CEO Kayvon Tehranian says it well:

“This work requires context. It’s not just the blockchain. You can’t just upload an image to a blockchain and have its value. There has to be context of the creator.” — Kayvon Tehranian

The question becomes how do you get “context of the creator”? Capture App Blog #3 What is Capture? goes into detail on how w hen a photo is snapped with Capture App, the who, where, and when is recorded and stored with the photo. Photos taken with Capture App, coined as ‘Captures’ have their value, ownership and context preserved through the use of space time tracking, associated certificate of authenticity and blockchain traceability/immutability. Plainly stated, Capture App makes it possible for its users to painless establish ownership and give their work context of the creator.


Proving ownership is an entirely separate issue. Currently in the NFT sphere, ownership is established through “reputation” and “word of mouth”. Capture App Blog #5 Enhancing NFTs with Capture goes into detail how a Capture NFT acts as an information container containing containing relevant information injected with the latest standards. The asset itself will carry the information and it remains even through sharing, copying, download, transfer and illegal minting. Making digital assets traceable provides previously helpless creators with a full proof way of claiming ownership in the event of dispute.

CaptureClub: Creators-Only Marketplace

The final piece of the puzzle is addressing who is allowed to create a NFT and list digital assets (photos) on a marketplace. For Capture App, the solution is simple, only creators can list their assets in our CaptureClub marketplace. For example, digital assets created with Capture App have their ownership and context established, preserved and traced. If the the authenticity of digital assets cannot be guaranteed and the assets history is unknown, it just should not be listed in the Store.

As mentioned in Blog Post #6 CaptureClub Introduction, the ultimate goal of Capture App is to create a trustworthy network with only true photos. CaptureClub will effectively be a creator-only marketplace that gives confidence to creators that their creations will be protected and assurance to clients that their purchases are authentic and have value.

CaptureClub feature is projected to release in April 2021 so stay tune!

Let us know what you think?

What are your thoughts on the authenticity issues with NFTs? We would love to know your thoughts!

If you haven’t downloaded Capture App consider downloading on Android and iOS and letting us know what you think. We appreciate any and all feedback :) Happy Capturing!

Here at Numbers we are firm believers in open source projects and opening up innovation to everyone. If you are interested, Capture App project is open source and available for the public to view and contribute. Check it out!




Ethan Wu
Numbers Protocol

Recent M.S Graduate and Numbers Software Developer & Developer Relations/Community Manager