Big vision for NFTs on Substrate

Published: 2020-05-27

While there are already tens of thousands of tokens created using blockchain, and thousands of them actively used (or traded), Non-Fungible Tokens are still in their infancy. We believe this will change, and that NFTs will become a dominant form of representing assets in the digital form, simply because if we look around us, “Fungible tokens are odds one out” (quote from Opeansea NFT Bible). Obvious use cases we see are:

  • Gaming – in game items are where we see most activity in the NFT space right now
  • Art – there are already experiments with digital art on blockchain, and it is matter of time until it sees wide adoption, but when Web 3.0 becomes reality, all digital files we see around the web will be NFTs
  • Government – identities, real estate ledgers, vehicle registrations, all of these are unique and will be presented digitally as NFTs once the infrastructure is robust and effective enough to replace the current systems.
  • Certificates – Educational or any other certificates also need unique digital representation

While Ethereum network is still favored by NFT creators, other blockchains are getting traction, too. Tron, EOS, Steem are all seeing interesting games using them. Very soon we will get a lot of good implementations that are stuck in their ecosystem. Interoperability is in its very early phases, with Cosmos releasing its NFT module with very limited capabilities.

For the above-mentioned use cases to become reality, Web3.0 is required. Powerful, interoperable, scalable and with very flexible economic models. Ethereum will not be the NFT platform on the global scale because of its rigid economic system – each transaction requires gas fees, and we cannot imagine this approach being deployed on a massive scale. While its community is very creative in building workarounds for its limitations (we have created a gas stipend solution for one of our clients, for example), it is still just a workaround, and not a solution.

These are reasons we decided to create NFT infrastructure and chain using Substrate, to be deployed on Kusama and then Polkadot. The components we’re building and/or are needed in the future are:

  • Infrastructure:
    1. NFT Module (see https://github.com/usetech-llc/nft_parachain)
    2. Smart contract module (in development)
    3. Wallet and widgets for other wallets (in development)
    4. Parachain
  • Interoperability:
    1. NFT Bridges to other chains (or NFT components of existing bridges)
    2. Unity API (and other APIs)
  • NFT SDK and Solutions:
    1. Exchange
    2. Gaming platforms
    3. Identity
    4. Certification
    5. Software Licenses

There are certainly a number of other solutions that will be built with NFTs, and we are looking forward to ideas or requests from the community on that.

Obviously, we don’t plan to do all this ourselves. We are looking for partners to execute this vision jointly and bring this grand opportunity to reality. Until then, look for NFT Chain going live in the Summer 2020.