What is an NFT?

Learn the basics about NFTs and how they work

What is an NFT?

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger. NFTs can be used to represent easily-reproducible items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files as unique items, and use blockchain technology to establish a verified and public proof of ownership.

What is a blockchain?

The most famous blockchain is that of Bitcoin, which had the critical innovation of allowing a Trustless group to verify transactions without the need of a central authority. Blockchains are a specialised form of distributed database, commonly used to store information such as a transaction ledger. Most Cryto-related blockchains are designed to be highly secure, decentralised and immutable, which essentially means that the information in the blockchain is distributed across many actors who must all reach a consensus for a new block to be formed. Once the information is added to the blockchain, it can never be edited or deleted.

What is metadata on an NFT?

Metadata is data that provides information about other data; in the case of an NFT, it describes that NFT's essential properties, including its name, description, and anything else its creator feels is important. In many cases, an NFT's metadata also contains links to the images and other "primary" digital assets that give an NFT its value.

How are NFTs stored on the blockchain?

The process of initially storing the NFT onto the blockchain is known as Minting. Minting an NFT requires a fully operational Cardano Node (a server connected to the blockchain) and various other technical requirements. NMKR Studio allows anyone to use our specially designed infrastructure, to Mint NFTs using an intuitive user interface.

One of the many unique differences between Cardano and all other blockchains is the ability to create, interact and destroy custom tokens in a native way. This means besides sending and receiving the official currency ADA, you can also interact with custom assets (NFTs) without the need for smart contracts.

In addition, all information regarding the NFT is stored in the Native Token Minting Transaction Metadata. With this, Cardano wallets like Nami, Daedalus and Yoroi can pull the metadata from the native assets to display the NFT in the intended form.

Where are the images stored

The most common way to store the files for NFTs is to upload and pin them to IPFS. These files are then linked in the metadata to the specific NFT via unique IPFS hashes. If you want to learn more about this topic, please read "What is IPFS?".

Besides the off-chain storing of files with IPFS, you can actually also have fully immutable on-chain NFTs with Base64 images. These images are most commonly used to embed image data in other formats such as HTML, CSS, or JSON. The browser does not need to make an additional web request to fetch the file when image data is included within an HTML document because the image is already embedded in the HTML document.

Non-Fungible Tokens and Fungible Tokens in NMKR Studio

NMKR Studio allows you to create NFTS as well as FTs, to learn more about that, please read the Token documentation of NMKR Studio.