In most talks about NFT architectures, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and scalability are the primary concerns. Moreover, these arguments are critical to the feasibility of NFT. However, as NFT’s utility grows, it will necessitate more in-depth discussions and assessments of information architecture.
Unlocking NFT Utility
New-fangled technologies (NFTs) are poised to break out of the realm of digital baseball cards and play-to-win games and join the mainstream of business applications. 50 percent of publicly traded corporations are expected to have a presence in some kind of NFT by 2024, according to Gartner. It is predicted that NFTs will become a potent marketing tool to underpin digital ecosystem benefits and boost corporate valuations.
“Leverage hyper-tokenization to build business models exponentially” is how Gartner describes NFTs. A mouthful, but it highlights to the significance of thinking about how tokens can be traded more efficiently and how they may be connected to other things that regular people care about in the real world. When referring to Gartner’s “tokenization strategy,” they are talking about an enterprise’s “capture their customers’ digital requirements and protect future income streams.”
Gartner predicts that a company’s market worth will rise to the top ten by 2026 if it adopts a new approach to NFT gamification. In order to do this, developers must see the necessity of NFT metadata management tools and architectures as a priori rather than a postscript.
When working on NFT apps, it’s as if the entire concept of metadata is turned on its head. We’ll come to the point where this is useful in a moment. However, this glosses over how NFTs’ utility might be broadened to wider popular use as a result of this.
Reversing the Orientation of the Mind
The primary “data” in the NFT universe is the token that is linked to multiple blockchain addresses. In the Ethereum universe, this ownership can be transferred using standards such as EIP-721. EIP-1155, for example, describes how to more efficiently bundle and trade collections of NFTs. Even though it leaves the actual payment processes to the different exchanges, work like EIP-2981 allows royalty data to be shared among NFT exchanges.
An NFT’s metadata includes both the actual content of the contract and the description of the content. This goes against the grain of how most people view metadata. The music is the primary focus of an MP3, whereas additional data such as the artist, band, album, and BPM are appendices. In some DRM systems, the metadata additionally contains information about the copyright holder.
Cryptographically uniform resource identification (URI) is used to point to metadata in an NFT. For example, this URI could point to a site maintained by the NFT developer or a third-party, an IPFS address, or another data place that the NFT app can access. Metadata is nearly always stored somewhere other than the NFT itself. However, there are a few ASCII artworks that are small enough to be stored on a blockchain without any further encoding steps.
The Importance of Applied Technology
What is the difference between data and metadata?
Looking at things from a new perspective can be extremely beneficial in many aspects of life. NFT marketplace implementations can be made more efficient by treating the “data” as the “ownership” and “tradability” of NFTs. Technical scalability will be achieved by analysing the tradeoffs between various approaches to minting and trading NFTs.
In terms of NFT market share, Ethereum still holds sway. While some of the so-called “Ethereum killers” like Cardano and Tron promise superior performance, the variations in consensus procedures and the scale of the community need to be considered. New Level-2 networks utilise zero-knowledge proofs to roll up numerous transactions, which are being deployed into the blockchain’s primary nets.
Others are experimenting with the use of sidechains to transfer contracts between blockchains. This is excellent in theory, but then complicated nuances sometimes surface in how these operate in practise. The recent $600 million breach of the Poly Network is a reminder that sidechains can introduce security flaws undiscovered by even the best teams. The rivalry between these multiple approaches will assist NFTs to become more practical and easier to adopt for a much wider audience
Reframing the Main Event
Developers will also need to consider NFT information as the main event in some circumstances to increase the usability of NFTs to enable new use cases. The first use of metadata-like things dates to the Library of Alexandria in Egypt circa 280 B.C. Scroll tags identified the title, author, and content of scrolls, making it easier to file and find specific scrolls. These were ultimately codified into card catalogues and the Dewey Decimal System for classifying books by category.
In the 1960s, scholars initially began using the term metadata for defining different ways for cross-referencing data about other data stored in computer systems. This early study led to standards for tagging photos, documents and eventually all forms of enterprise data. Nowadays, metadata management (MDM) tools and systems play a critical role in helping organisations make sense of the tsunami of data originating from corporate applications, the Internet of Things, and third-party sources.
In 2004, The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) standardised these notions into three primary categories:
Descriptive metadata describes a resource for discovery and identification, such as the title, author and contents. Structural information defines how numerous pieces can be placed together, such as how multiple tracks might be grouped into a song. Administrative information helps manage the resource, such as when it was generated, who owns it and how it may be accessed.
The NISO study suggested that “metadata is crucial to guaranteeing that resources will survive and continue to be accessible into the future.” It is a bit ancient, but some of the key ideas are still applicable, particularly as developers deliberate about methods to enhance the usability of NFT applications.