Auditable Social Metrics for NFTs

A starting point for valuing digital items on the internet

Since launching SuperRare back in April we’ve had a lot of discussions around digital artifacts. We see non-fungible tokens as a new form of online media: digital objects that can be truly own-able and valuable. Part of this conversation has been around pricing, and how difficult this can be. One way to help curate, sort, and value digital art is through engagement metrics.

Current models often rely on social engagement as a way to help value these items. How good is this YouTube video? “I don’t know, but it has 5,000,000,000 views.” There are a number of ways to measure engagement, some of the more common being views, shares, and likes. We have been thinking hard about how this relates to non-fungible tokens and crypto goods. Just as gallery exhibitions add value and context to a piece of physical art, views and shares can add value to digital art.

How valuable is an object that has five billion views?

The Social Currency of the Internet

One of the most exciting things about pushing data to distributed ledgers is the ability for anyone to analyze the data. The social currency minted from engagement has real monetary value, however current models, such as YouTube’s, are opaque. We envision a future where the issuance model is totally transparent so individuals can draw their own conclusions. With a new model where engagement data is public and transparently issued, it will be much easier to spot inflated metrics from bots and click farms.

We’re excited to announce an early v0.0.1 of SuperRare Social Metrics, launching this week!

Our MVP of this concept logs 'likes' and 'views' in PostgreSQL. We are are soon to add cryptographic message signing on events to ensure no like or view is recorded without a user's permission.

High Level Roadmap:

  • Likes and views signed by visiting Ethereum address
  • Public API to query likes and views
  • Merkle tree storage of likes and views
  • Publish SuperRare Merkle roots each day to livenet
  • Active likes/views: Be able to filter likes and views of items to be only addresses that have X amount of transactions performed etc.
  • SR Social Metric Validators
  • Nodes to Sync with the SR node and validate the likes and views
  • SR will reward nodes that find inconsistencies in SR social metrics
Analyzing a digital object’s metrics to assess value

Taking it Further

One of our ideas is to build a side chain for SuperRare social metrics. Until the web3.0 fully manifests, centralized servers will still host websites, and traditional databases will be the practical solution to application storage. However, this does not mean these centrally hosted websites and businesses should keep all their data under lock and key. By employing many of the technologies used to make blockchains a reality, important data that mints social currency can be audited and validated.

Additionally, as the NFT ecosystem continues to take shape, this approach can be easily extended to incorporate social metrics from other front ends, creating a shared, audit-able framework to aid in valuing digital items.

What’s Next

We’re not sure what the future of art and media on the internet will be. Will we have a flourishing ecosystem of interoperable, tokenized media assets that generate revenue for the creator? Will the world’s most valuable piece of art be an ERC721 token?

We’re already seeing a glimpse of these possibilities with the success of new platforms like SuperRare. Regardless, we think a transparent, audit-able system for publishing and measuring social metrics is a crucial step in the right direction. We’re excited to roll this out and hear your thoughts and feedback!

Join Us

At SuperRare we’re building a social, creative economy on Ethereum. Creators issue unique CryptoArt assets that can be freely bid upon and traded, allowing the wisdom of the internet to surface and appropriately value the coolest original digital artwork. It’s where magic internet art meets magic internet money.