After their dazzling adoption by the mainstream user, NFTs are decidedly taking an important part in our everyday lives. Consumers are beginning to understand their reach beyond PFPs and the utility they can provide in the blockchain ecosystem. That said, this rise in popularity has equally contributed to highlighting some of their shortcomings.
The NFT ecosystem is still in its infancy and these beginning stages have left a lot of room for growth from a technical standpoint. A major development in the NFT niche is the interNFT standard put forward by the AssetMantle team. This new standard aims to solve some lingering issues with NFTs regarding their interoperability and transferability over different blockchains.
This article will delve into the details of the current state of the NFT ecosystem and explore some of its shortcomings. Then, we analyze the concept of interoperability and how its standardization can contribute to mass adoption of the medium and increase its use cases exponentially.
The Current State of the NFT Ecosystem
With consumer attention shifting away from physical goods toward digital ones, NFTs have experienced an unprecedented boom in the past couple of years. Moreover, with the growing hype around the metaverse, these digital representations of value are becoming increasingly prevalent as the building blocks for a genuine virtual economy.
That said, while NFTs are incredibly versatile assets in representing anything of value on the blockchain, they are also limited in some ways in their current form. For instance, many of the popular NFT marketplaces are siloed and operate within a closed ecosystem.
A major portion of the NFT niche resides on the Ethereum network, isolating these assets from other blockchains. Moreover, Ethereum is notorious for its high gas fees due to the congestion of its network, making NFT transactions simultaneously costly and environmentally unfriendly. Unfortunately, bridging to a layer-2 solution comes as a half measure. While it reduces the gas fees and carbon footprint, it compromises security.
What’s more, owning NFTs across different blockchains requires multiple wallets, making this a tedious endeavor for \the end user. NFTs can not be freely transferred from one chain to another, which reduces their useability considerably.
To address this isolation AssetMantle is working on a new interNFT standard, one that natively provides interoperability protocols for these assets.
Importance of NFT Interoperability
As mentioned, one issue with NFTs today is that they are isolated within their blockchains. This means that users will never be able to transfer their assets onto different networks, hindering their ability to freely transfer value and participate in a genuine open economy. As such, they are still lacking in their purpose of becoming the building blocks for an upcoming Web3 revolution.
As NFTs become the basis of the upcoming metaverse economy, this feature will be more than essential. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to live in a genuine, open, virtual world, but would remain confined to a small section of this ecosystem. Interoperable NFTs will allow us to choose where we find our home in the metaverse.
In addition, if we see widespread adoption of NFTs for real estate transactions and other similar real world applications there will be a real need to be as interoperable as possible. Buyers & vendors alike will not want to be constrained by the chain they are operating on whilst conducting a multimillion Dollar real estate transaction with a digital proof of ownership component.
What’s more, interoperability will allow projects to focus on modularity and provide specific solutions for a wide range of industries. Having interoperable NFTs will allow plugging these assets onto different chains, regardless of their base layer.
The InterNFT Standard as a Solution
AssetMantle aims to release a new standard for NFTs, one that veers away from the bias toward the smart contract definition of an NFT. Currently, NFTs are majorly defined within a smart contract and their metadata is contained at the application level.
The new interNFT standard instead embeds the metadata at the protocol level. This allows the NFTs to be used across blockchains and metaverses within the Cosmos ecosystem without the need for PoS bridges.
AssetMantle’s interNFT standard aims to:
- Define an inter-chain NFT interface to abide by so that it can be classified as an InterNFTs.
- Define a wallet interface that will hold ownership of such NFTs, and provide transfer of ownership across all interoperable chains.
Since the protocol’s definition of an NFT might be different from the restrictive definition of an NFT within a smart contract, this allows for a simpler interface and more relevant methods of native implementation.
The standard takes advantage of the interoperability within the Cosmos ecosystem and allows all IBC projects to:
- Define their own implementation of interNFT structures with custom mint, mutation, and burn transaction logic maintained at their app chain.
- Have a common wallet implementation for all interNFT implementations. This chain-agnostic wallet can hold ownership information of multiple kinds of interNFTs from multiple chains in a single wallet for an account.
- Natively send the ownership of interNFTs across different chains through inter-chain communication protocols. More importantly, this will be made possible without a requirement for permissioned bridges or token transformation/pegging/minting.
All in all, the interNFT standard provides interoperability, transferability, and cross-chain ownership which considerably increases NFTs’ versatility.
AssetMantle sets itself as the game-changer regarding our understanding of NFTs, their interoperability, and use case possibilities. The interNFT standard will not only allow for a smoother and streamlined user experience but also provide a foundation for a true interoperable NFT economy. By implementing NFT logic at the protocol level, the interNFT standard achieves true interoperability of NFTs across all IBC-enabled chains.
While the native chains retain execution logic, ownership can be seamlessly transferred to a chain-agnostic wallet that can hold all types of NFTs from different Cosmos chains. Paired with the linear scalability of Cosmos, the interNFT standard sets the foundation for mass adoption of NFTs in every relevant industry, way beyond digital artworks and PFPs.