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The $65 Million NFT sold by Beeple recently has been found to not necessarily point to the artwork itself, but something more like a website hosting the file – which if that company goes out of business, the NFT can *poof* into thin air.

Been reading some of the happenings related to NFTs and what not and came across this Twitter thread [here](https://twitter.com/jonty/status/1372168426039414786).

Basically,

>Out of curiosity I dug into how NFT’s actually reference the media you’re “buying” and my eyebrows are now orbiting the moon
Short version:

>The NFT token you bought either points to a URL on the internet, or an IPFS hash. In most circumstances it references an IPFS gateway on the internet run by the startup you bought the NFT from.

>Oh, and that URL is not the media. That URL is a JSON metadata file
Here’s an example. This artwork is by Beeple and sold via Nifty: https://niftygateway.com/itemdetail/primary/0x12f28e2106ce8fd8464885b80ea865e98b465149/1

>The NFT token is for this JSON file hosted directly on Nifty’s servers: api.niftygateway.com/beeple/100010001

This isn’t *all* NFTs, but *many* are falling into this/these categories.

Continuing:

>THAT file refers to the actual media you just “bought”. Which in this case is hosted via a @cloudinary CDN, served by Nifty’s servers again.

>So if Nifty goes bust, your token is now worthless. It refers to nothing. This can’t be changed.

>”But you said some use IPFS!”
>Let’s look at the $65m Beeple, sold by Christies. Fancy. https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/beeple-first-5000-days/beeple-b-1981-1/112924

>That NFT token refers directly to an IPFS hash (ipfs.io). We can take that IPFS hash and fetch the JSON metadata using a public gateway: https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmPAg1mjxcEQPPtqsLoEcauVedaeMH81WXDPvPx3VC5zUz

>So, well done for referring to IPFS – it references the specific file rather than a URL that might break! …however the metadata links to https://ipfsgateway.makersplace.com/ipfs/QmXkxpwAHCtDXbbZHUwqtFucG1RMS6T87vi1CdvadfL7qA . This is an IPFS gateway run by makersplace.com, the NFT-minting startup.

>Who will go bust one day.

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Obviously Makersplace may not go out of business anytime soon, but – obviously – if you’re buying a piece of art for $65 Million (or any amount for that matter) — you don’t want to rely on a company’s existence in order to view your purchase.

Many NFTs are already unable to be viewed due to these problems. The thread continues on and can be read in easier [reading format](https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1372168426039414786.html) for anyone interested.

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Edit: Clarification: the NFT was created by Beeple and sold by Christie’s.



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  1. This is the case for all NFTs. It’s not practical to store images and video on the blockchain because of file size. What you’re getting is the ownership right to a file that is uploaded to a server. I agree that if the company managing the server goes out of business your NFT will go offline, but you can always find another hosting company

  2. This isn’t *all* NFT’s, but it’s like 95% of them. Art, photos, music, etc. Most of them are just very expensive links to a file hosted somewhere else.

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