A major step towards guaranteed perpetual storage for NFTs
We’re excited to announce that NFT.Storage has launched the NFT Forever Project to show that the Filecoin’s new virtual machine (FVM) can guarantee verifiable storage with smart contracts. This is a milestone in the web3 space—trustless, perpetual storage for NFTs is here.
Today, NFT.Storage makes over 115 million NFT assets available over IPFS and Filecoin. IPFS uses a system of hash-based content identifiers called CIDs that are like unique fingerprints. Each CID is immutable and points to a specific piece of content, meaning that an NFT’s associated content can be easily verified, trusted, and retrieved. We also store the data in the Filecoin decentralized storage network that uses automated mechanisms to ensure the storage provider actually stores the data they commit to store.
This is where the NFT Forever Project comes in—now we can take the NFT data that’s already stored in Filecoin and auto-renew the data storage agreement via smart-contracts. This is the first time the renewal can be programmatic—with no human action needed—and cryptographically proven.
You might be asking, 'So why it this so important?' Here’s why:
The image that visually represents the NFT and its description, the metadata, is referred to as the off-chain NFT data. There’s a common misconception that the off-chain data is immutable—just like the rest of the NFT—and that it’s stored on the blockchain. But guess what, it’s not!
The off-chain NFT data is too expensive to store on-chain, so the community accepts that it’s hosted off-chain instead. But its rarely acknowledged that the off-chain NFT data is stored in the NFT creator’s preferred storage product, which is often a centralised product such as AWS that requires the NFT creator to regularly pay a storage bill. When the NFT creator stops paying the storage bill the NFT image and metadata doesn’t load.
We challenge you to consider: If NFTs represent digital ownership, is it really your NFT if content so core to the NFT—the soul of the NFT—can just poof! And disappear?!
This is why the FVM and perpetual storage are a web3 milestone. The FVM enables all developers to use smart contracts to replace the human interaction to make the storage deal agreements, to ensure the payment is made, and to renew the storage deal time and time again. This is the new best practice, and the standard the community should adopt.
Perpetual storage is important to the NFT.Storage mission of preserving all NFT data as a public good, like the Wayback Machine did for web pages. The NFT Forever Project shows the world that Filecoin’s new virtual machine (FVM) can guarantee verifiable storage with smart contracts. Initially, the NFT Forever Project will provide straightforward smart contract based Filecoin deal renewals. In the future, data monitoring and integrity features will be added until NFT.Storage offers a complete trustless, perpetual storage solution.
Learn more about the NFT Forever Project on Github here and checkout the Base Contract Toolkit that we forked to get started storing data on Filecoin with smart contracts today.
This year NFT.Storage plans to shift our organisational structure from a Filecoin-supported project to a self-sustainable data DAO. We will progressively decentralise our infrastructure so that we can better enable the DAO to build an economic model that supports the project. We’re already looking for supporters and contributors, so if this sounds like a mission that matters to you, reach out to us on twitter today.
Follow nft.storage on twitter to show your support the NFT Forever project and the future of NFTs.