A $590,000 gif, a $7.6mil set of pixel punks and Kings of Leon releasing their album right on it. Oh, brave new world of art, and what the hell is going on in it?
Now I will tell you a fairy tale about an unprecedented animal to the general public, namely about the so-called NFTs, and of course we will be especially interested in the technical side of the issue, and throughout history, of course, like a vintage gas generator, I will be surprised - where the world is heading.
So NFT or Non-Fungible Token, that is, the Irreplaceable Token is, in fact, a set of digital data on the blockchain.
And it is needed in order to secure the owner's right to own a certain unit of the so-called digital art - be it a gif, jpeg.
The analogy that is usually given to explain what "irreplaceable token" means, generally includes a comparison with the same bitcoin or currency, as a standard of something fungible, that, they say, if I give you my hundred bucks, and you give me yours, then we in the end, both will be left with a hundred bucks, it will be a different hundred bucks than we had originally, but their value will not change from this.
Perhaps this explanation does not make the day clearer, but all because the very concept of owning something in the world of digital realities is a little distorted.
In the world of physical works of art, if you buy a painting by a famous artist, no matter how many copies of it are made, we used to believe that only the original will be real, this is the meaning of the original. You can hang it in your home or rent it to galleries for a fee.
With digital art, everything is both right and wrong at the same time. The artist creates his image immediately in digital, that is, in the graphic format familiar to us.
This picture, getting on the Internet, is already becoming easily accessible to anyone - it can be easily downloaded and the very jpeg image that I downloaded by right clicking the mouse will be exactly the same as the same image from some Meaty Joe from Guadeloupe, because that mice with two buttons are also imported to Guadeloupe.
So this very NFT token, tied to the picture, gives the same ownership that some Sotheby's auction gives to the owner of the original Dali, except that instead of a painting by a famous master over his fireplace, your jpeg can also continue to hang on the Internet, me and Meaty Joe can also use it as a screensaver on your desktop, only now the whole world knows that in fact, it belongs only to you, and we only have copies.
So what, you say, I bought a concert ticket or a unique skin in the game, I already have my irreplaceable item, I can sell or exchange it. Yes, all this is true, and here the conversation begins about the potential of the idea itself.
The fact is that such tokens and, accordingly, the right to own a digital unit are placed on a public Blockchain. That is, in the theoretical future, if NFT technology realizes its potential, such tokens will be able to move throughout the ecosystem; if it's completely on your fingers, then you will not be locked inside that small ecosystem in which you purchased your digital product, for example, go to a game exchanger to sell someone a skin, and how many cases have there been when someone took a ticket from resellers and already at the entrance found out that it was a fake? It is understood that the blockchain and the token system will solve the problem of liquidity and counterfeits forever, but so far this is just in its infancy.
It all started with that very crookedly drawn Pepe frog and the so-called "colored coins", which was one of the first attempts to represent real assets using the Bitcoin blockchain.
Then came the pixelated CryptoPunks, a collection of ten thousand heads, each a unique collectible art object. And their tokens have already raced on this Ethereum of yours.
And if not everyone appreciated the cryptopunks, then what about the seals? It is with the launch of CryptoKitties in 2017 that, in fact, the countdown of the arrival of NFTs into the mainstream begins. Seals were divided into generations, the first cat that came into the mainstream was the Maine Coon, kidding! In fact, there were even several of them, and they all belonged to the so-called generation 0.
In addition to being cute and fluffy, they had hidden mechanics built into their being. The scheme was as simple as a toilet without a barrel - you buy a couple of seals, wait until they give birth, and if the offspring turned out great, you sell it to other digital breeders.
All thanks to a smart contract sewn into the cat itself and determining its genetic code, or as the creators themselves called it - "cotributes".
As a result, all this resulted in a monstrous mania in half with a pyramid, where all the new hunters for rare cats provided solid incomes to especially cunning citizens, there were cases when cats were sold for one hundred and one hundred and seventy evergreens.
The ERC721 standard, popularized by CryptoKitties, makes it easy to match unique identifiers, each representing a single digital asset, with the address of the owner of that identifier, and also allows the transfer of an asset through the transferFrom method. You can also break through the owner of a specific contract using the ownerOf method.
The ERC1155 standard is tailored to represent an asset class. For instance, the same ID can mean hundreds of digital units of something at once, let's say a class of identical tickets-invitations to a farmer's festival world of geese and chickens, and suppose that our wallet contains a thousand such invitations, the method is responsible for displaying the number of units in the wallet balanceOf, and the transferFrom method is responsible for moving assets from the account.
But back to how exactly the owner of a particular token is determined. For instance, we see that a certain address is the owner of cryptokitten number 123, how do we know what it looks like that determines the number of this token, at least the name or unique attributes?
This is where metadata comes into play. A metadata is something like data about data, a little add-on that describes additional attributes, very often in a human-readable form.
In the case of crypto cats, the metadata contains the name of the cat, the image of the cat, and other additional attributes.
In the case of an event ticket, the metadata could include the date of the event, the type of ticket, possibly the owner's name, location, and more.
In addition, the metadata can be imprinted into the smart contract itself or contained separately, that is, be in-blockchain or out-of-blockchain.
The advantage of containing metadata directly in the contract can be the durability of the craft, that is, the shelf life of such things is determined by the durability of the blockchain itself, rather than third-party storages where these metadata could be contained, as well as the possibility of interacting with metadata, for instance, all the same crypto cats store information about the generation there, which directly affects the rate of reproduction.
Seriously, google how these cryptocats work, I re-read the article here and realized that if I had read it to myself a year ago, I would have drawn an analogy with collecting glass containers for subsequent delivery. It's not that things were going so badly for me a year ago, it's just that the technology is changing, and the principles of the game remain the same from the time when they gave 12 kopecks for a bottle, and maybe even earlier.
Well, despite the obvious advantages of storing metadata in the blockchain itself, the vast majority of projects prefer to keep them in third-party storages. Why? Because of the obvious minus, namely the restrictions on the place. Of course, standards grow like mushrooms and multiply like them, so this trouble will be solved.
In the meantime, the ERC721 standard, for instance, has the tokenURI method, which just points to the metadata storage locations.
By the way, the process of creating a token is called minting, that is, minting. Yes, boy, mint is not only mint, but also chasing and first class and freshness and whatnot.
Open Sea, which is also the largest, takes about 60 bucks for opening an account and 40 for a minute. There is optimistic news that the summer update of the ethereum blockchain will help to significantly reduce these costs, but this, as they say, is only a dream.
And what do we end up with? In order to upset all those who come to shit in the comments with shouts: "What are you talking about, V, everything is completely different there, you don't understand the meaning of the wastelands!" and other nonsense, here's another analogy for you.
Let's imagine that you bought yourself a puzzle with a thousand pieces and decide to place the image of the puzzle on the blockchain, that is, on the distribution database, which it essentially is.
So, this block in our instance will be the street where you live. Imagine that you knocked on the door of a thousand houses and gave each tenant one piece of the puzzle. We do not own the picture that the puzzle itself was made from, and we basically have no confidence that someone else will not make exactly the same one with a slight difference in details and place it on the blockchain.
Now you are sitting at home like this and admiring the image on the puzzle box.
But then there was a knock on the door. A certain "SlipperyArtemon74" wants to buy your puzzle from you and you decide - why not? You don't have to collect all the pieces back into the box, and he doesn't have to distribute them again - you just hand over the box and all holders of the puzzle pieces are automatically notified that "SlipperyArtemon74" is now its new owner. Something like this.
Very soon, social networks will be flooded with boys and girls who yesterday offered to make funds on sweepstakes or fоrex with an offer to buy from them a course on making money on NFT, and without having to own them, everything they like.
Like any outlandish thing, NFTs will be surrounded by legends about instant enrichment of the owners, ignoring the stories of thousands of people who gave considerable percentages to the platforms in order to expose their work to vegetate among hundreds of thousands of faceless gifs or jeeps.
History has proven many times that before a technology becomes something really useful, it goes through a full cycle, from misunderstanding, to inflating a financial bubble, to disappointment when it bursts and in the end, when only the essence remains, a person thinks what's wrong with it. actually do.
If nothing good can come up with, or if general technological or social progress does not yet allow revealing its full potential, it is simply shelved until the next Elon Musk gets it out of there and tries to make a new hyperloop.
The article writes a lot about ownership, but carefully avoids the topic of recognition.
Who recognizes these NFTs? Can I go to court with them and demand something? If not, it's no different than selling lunar patches or naming a star by its name in somebody's private catalog that no one but the owner will ever recognize.
In a word, with the exception of the blockchain, the idea is far from new, as well as the fact that somebody can make money on it ..
Frankly, the way you phrased the phrase and the way it is phrased in some articles on the net, I think, is misleading. I have found no evidence that that is not an IPwe initiative where IBM is a contractor helping to build this platform on top of the IBM Blockchain and IBM Cloud. I did not find any mention that IBM is going to translate their patents into NFTs.
I also could not understand who the IPwe are. Of course, they write about themselves that they are number one, that only eggs are cooler than them, and then only those that are hard-boiled. However, in Google, all mentions of them are links to their website and social media accounts. I don't see anyone writing about them, there was a wiki article...
But found that. And as it is easy to understand, this puzzled me even more. Private company, 5 lamas, 4 employees? What? I must be missing something again. Yes, it happened that supergiant grew up from their garage startup. But here we have a start-up trying to get into a technology that doesn't have legal recognition and is currently too small to provide that recognition. And who do not understand how they plan to grow if their product does not have legal recognition.
It seems to me that the future belongs to nfts, which can be used in a physical sense. For example, you can sell concert tickets using nft. After use, the blockchain can burn the nft ticket. Or, for example, a certificate of membership. That's why cryptopunks have become so successful.
I understand, but I'm trying to figure out what exactly I'm being sold. The blockchain has penetrated, but the number of popular applications is still very limited. A patent is a mechanism for the legal protection of an invention. That is, the functions of registration, expiration mechanism, cancellation are required. This is something offhand.
Cancellation is necessary because patents are sometimes challenged and invalidated. Upon acceptance, the patent is checked for compliance with the patenting criteria. The fact that such a patent has not been issued before. And no, it is impossible to automate this procedure, i.e. the description is made in a general form and it is impossible to machine test two patents for full or partial identity. (Although there is a hope that IBM Watson will be able to do it. But this is not accurate.)
Next. The patent system is not worldwide. A patent valid in one country may be invalid in another. Thus, the idea of a worldwide public database looks attractive at first glance, but in practice it does not make sense.
We bring everything together. For the patent system to function, an organization is needed that will act within the laws of the country or countries for which it intends to serve patents, subject to the decisions of the courts of these countries, etc. All this creates a problem for any private blockchain — it is meaningless.
Maybe a different service is offered, not the registration of patents, but the purchase of licenses, where the NFT will register someone's right to use someone else's patent. It makes a little more sense, but... the digital idyll stumbles over the imperfection of the real world again. There are at least restrictions on the export of technologies. That is, without the permission of the government of the country in which the patent was issued, you may not have the right to sell it to anyone.
And this again destroys the very idea of blockchain, the main advantage of which is the ability to exist outside the control of a particular person. What's the use of blockchain if every operation will be required to be approved by some organization?
Vector-vector, but I have not yet seen a single blockchain solution, except for money, that would come out into the real world and at the same time it could not be replaced with a non-blockchain solution without loss of functionality and qualities.