Ultra’s NFT Standard Is For You

Rami James
Ultra
Published in
9 min readNov 18, 2021

--

Games and other digital assets can be yours to do with as you please. Buy them. Play them. Collect them. Level them up. Sell them. This is the dream that we at Ultra have been chasing.

Ultra’s development team has been designing, developing, testing, and deploying the system that empowers our users to do just that. This achievement is the culmination of years of research and experience, and is truly revolutionary both in terms of scope and of vision.

NFTs are, at their most basic, a way to define what an asset is, who owns it, and what they can do with it. If you have something (like a game!) which you want to buy, prove is yours, and then resell on an open market, then an NFT is the perfect tech to do all that.

We are deeply excited to talk about the nitty gritty details of how our standard works, so let’s get to it.

A business focus on managing personas

When you are talking about a business-focused NFT standard, and that’s what Ultra’s really is, there has to be some discussion about the parties who will be using the technology.

Our NFT standard allows for three personas, which represent the different types of users who will be performing different types of actions on our assets.

Asset Creators — can mint NFTs from a Token Factory, have maintenance rights over Token Factories and the NFTs that they mint.

Asset Managers — can be the Asset Creator themselves or an assigned third party. Initially, the Ultra Platform will be the primary Asset Manager

Asset Owners — hold the minted NFTs in their accounts. That’s you :)

An Asset Creator creates a Token Factory, optionally passes authority to manage it to an Asset Manager, who mints a token at the request of the Asset Owner, who receives the NFT.

The intent here is to provide game developers and publishers with the tools that they need to run their business. This level of complexity is necessary to allow discrete control over digital assets that are generated and that, on the open market, have potential for high value. Granular control means that a developer or publisher has a higher level of control, and a deeper sense of security.

Working with Token Factories

We started by asking some really difficult questions:

  • As an end user, can you trust an NFT standard?
  • What do you do if you want to have a series of tokens that represent a family of associated assets that are owned by different people?
  • What do you do if you have many digital assets managed by many different entities that also require differing levels of access?
  • What do you do if you want to manage the metadata of many NFTs at once (update international translations, for example)?

Typically, NFT standards allow you to mint a single token, representing a single digital asset. How that is done is largely left in the hands of developers, who control the source and deploy the contracts to the network.

Generally, a template contract is used for legacy NFT standards so that a developer can deploy their NFT-based project. For developers this is both an added cost and extra hassle. For users this means that they must trust that a developer has not made any malicious changes to the template. This is deeply problematic when we are talking about assets that may have huge value and most users do not have the technical expertise to perform a security audit.

Legacy NFT standards today are also missing critical feature sets that businesses require to safely run their businesses. Without these features, it is difficult to securely and effectively manage an NFT-based project.

Our answer to these types of questions is the concept of a Token Factory.

Each NFT using Ultra’s NFT Standard is generated by a Token Factory, which holds in itself the parameters and permissions necessary to perform that action.

We at Ultra believe that it is our responsibility to ensure these basic tenets are upheld in our NFT Standard:

  • Security through standardization
  • Immutability of the structure of the Token Factory
  • Accessibility of the metadata
  • Fairness of commission and referral distribution

Together, this enterprise-grade functionality means that a developer can know in advance how many NFTs can be generated by a Token Factory, what their parameters will be, where the metadata for each variant is located, and who has discrete access to manage that Token Factory.

At Ultra we provide, as part of our blockchain’s infrastructure, an NFT Token Factory Dispenser. Its purpose is to allow developers to request the creation of a Token Factory with a desired set of parameters which can not be tampered with. Token factories are NFT creation entities living on Ultra’s blockchain who can mint (generate) a specific type of NFT. In essence, Ultra acts here as a trusted entity that ensures that all NFTs conform to our standard.

This would allow a company like Ubisoft to request the creation of a Token Factory that mints NFTs representing the ownership of a “gun X” for their game Far Cry. When they request the creation of this Token Factory, they can pass a set of parameters that will be immutably applied to all NFTs generated. They could set a mint limit to 100 NFTs and a 5% commission resale fee that will be recovered every time this NFT is sold on the secondary market.

Once the Token Factory is set up, Ubisoft can then sign a blockchain transaction to talk to their token factory and say for example; “hey, mint me one “gun X” NFT and send it to user Y” . Ubisoft could do this up to 100 times after which the token factory would tell Ubisoft “sorry, I can’t mint any of those anymore”.

Because Ubisoft used Ultra’s NFT infrastructure to set up their Token Factory, users don’t need to worry about Ubisoft changing their mind on the quantity of NFTs allowed to be minted or increasing their resale commission fees. What the user saw when they purchased their NFT is guaranteed to be immutable because Ubisoft can not add any back-doors on the NFT standard: The NFT standard is truly standard on Ultra’s blockchain.

With Ultra’s NFT Standard, there is only decentralized fairness and business certainty.

Paying for resources

A constant challenge for both users and developers of blockchain technology is the volatility of the token price. For utility tokens like Ethereum, this is deeply problematic as it is impossible to predict what the cost of deployment will be. For businesses this is a show stopper, as they have no way to accurately assess the costs and therefore the margins of a project and its digital assets.

Yikes

We have streamlined our blockchain’s resource model, allowing businesses to comfortably deploy their digital assets in an environment where pricing is always predictable.

To achieve this, we de-correlated the price of storage on Ultra’s blockchain, which is required to store NFTs on Ultra’s blockchain, from Ultra’s native UOS token. In other words, while Ultra’s RAM is purchased in UOS, its cost per Kilobyte is priced in dollars and not in UOS!

This means that if you are minting one NFT today it costs $0.001 USD, and tomorrow it will still cost $0.001 USD, regardless of UOS’s price fluctuation. You pay in UOS, but your real world fiat value stays the same.

De-correlating a business’ operational costs from Ultra’s native UOS token value allows businesses to reliably calculate the viability of their business models.

Beyond storage needs, Ultra has put a large emphasis on ensuring that all users of its network have access to free transactions. Any limitations to completing a transaction is a roadblock to success.

This price predictability enables big brands to deploy their digital assets with confidence, enabling an explosion of mainstream users who can take advantage of all of the pros of blockchain technology without being exposed to its usually associated financial uncertainties.

Where permanent data is stored

A difficult problem that open networks deal with is where to store images, videos, audio, and other metadata associated with an NFT. This data tends to be large, and network resources tend to be limited. This means that costs are very high to store it on-chain.

The typical solution is to keep the critical authentication on-chain in the form of a hash, with the metadata being stored off-chain. This off-chain location can be a content delivery network (CDN), or a decentralized version like IPFS. The former is cheaper, but the latter is more permanent. Of course, with an NFT you want permanence, but a developer has to balance that against the costs for their business.

Ultra’s Token Factories, and the way that metadata is structured for them, have the unique ability to point to a cascading list of metadata sources. In essence this means that a user’s metadata will always be accessible since there can be built-in redundancy.

A stepping stone towards the success of the Metaverse

The concept of the Metaverse has many facets, but at its core it is about interoperability, equality, and enabling community.

At Ultra, we are big fans of this concept because it dovetails so perfectly with the foundational technologies that we have spent the last few years building out. NFTs are, at their most basic level, about providing network-wide access to functionality to anyone who wants to use it.

An epic weapon effortlessly migrates from one publisher’s game to another

The enabling principles that are hard-coded into NFTs means that developers have access to new opportunities for inter-game play that have never been possible before. Legacy games have always been necessarily siloed, with each developer deploying to their own infrastructure, with limited or no access granted to external entities.

Open networks like Ultra change this paradigm dramatically.

For the first time ever, it is possible for a user to log in with one, universal account that houses all of their digital assets. If a developer deems it fun and interesting, they can allow users to use NFTs from other games, even if these digital assets are not from the same developer.

Of course, all of these concepts map seamlessly on to non-gaming applications and that is where the real power of all of this really takes off. Developers are free to deploy Token Factories and NFTs that represent any type of digital asset that fits their business and economic models.

We think that this is what the Metaverse is really about: freedom of choice, innovation, and experimentation that allows developers and players to be part of a larger set of experiences.

About Ultra

Ultra is the first entertainment platform providing all key games industry services under a single roof, accessible through a single login.

Built around our PC games distribution store, Ultra Games, our platform will provide access to countless centralized and decentralized services: Discover, buy, play and sell your games and in-game items, watch live-streaming feeds, interact with your favorite influencers, participate in contests, compete in tournaments, and much more.

Ultra has been built to provide endless value for players, a fair playing ground for developers, and a whole new world of opportunities for the games industry.

For more information, visit ultra.io and onultra.io and follow along on Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, and Discord.

--

--