A guide to Dynamic NFTs

September 23, 2022

By Murtuza Merchant

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are unique digital assets that are continuously recorded on blockchains.

The majority of them were constant and static.

Now, though, not so much!

Dynamic NFTs: An Introduction

Living NFTs are a distinct subgenre of NFTs.

These non-fungible tokens, often referred to as dynamic NFTs, may adapt and develop thanks to characteristics that their designers put into them.

In other words, unlike other tokens like CryptoPunks or Bored Apes, which are static, dynamic NFTs are NFTs that may alter their characteristics and look based on the data they receive.

“A living NFT is all about dynamism — as opposed to a normal profile picture (PFP) project such as CryptoPunks, which remains static,” Alexander Guy, Head of Marketing & Growth at Zerion, says. “Living NFTs offer exciting ways for holders to link their behavior and actions on chain — and IRL — with the NFTs they collect.”

How are these NFTs able to alter their properties?

Simply said, the metadata of a dynamic NFT may change based on a number of variables.

All of these may be viewed as examples of this, including time, interactions with other NFTs, or — more commonly — external data, such as information obtained from sources that track actual data, like weathervanes or real-time sports scores.

All of this is made feasible by living NFTs, which use smart contracts to include these components in their metadata.

For instance, a PFP’s cap may alter according to the French weather, while a sports-star NFT persona may exhibit a different feeling in response to the results of their most recent match.

Is everything here simply a theory?

It is a simple no.

Zerion, a DeFi portfolio manager, has launched its own dynamic NFTs using “Zerion DNA,” which changes depending on data gathered via on-chain activities in Zerion’s online wallet.

Alexander Guy contends that rarity stems from holders’ real actions rather than from the possession of arbitrary attributes.

Despite the peculiarity of each of its live NFTs, Zerion is only one of several businesses that have introduced dynamic NFTs.

Not exactly a novel idea

One of the earliest NFTs to change its state was created by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, well known by his stage name Beeple. 

Before the U.S. Presidential election in late 2020, Beeple created the NFT artwork Crossroad, which underwent aesthetic changes based on the outcome.

If Donald Trump beat Joe Biden in the election, the NFT may display an animation showing a bloated Trump carcass rotting in a park.

A switch might be flipped by Beeple to accomplish this.

In addition, if Trump were to win a second term, the NFT would perpetually show footage of him charging through a hellscape like Godzilla.

Beeple’s live NFT, although definitely controversial at the time, simply hinted at the possibility of NFTs with state-changing powers.

Using programmable smart contracts, developers can set up NFTs to automatically update themselves depending on anything they are competent enough to code.

Additional intriguing dynamic NFT initiatives

A piece of generative art called Organic Growth: Crystal Reef was produced in October 2021 using 10,301 3D crystals by Danil Krivoruchko, Michael Joo, and Snark.art.

A collective work of art will ultimately be created from these crystals.

The aggregate crystals will one day become a concrete sculpture that will be taken to galleries and museums throughout the globe for everyone who is interested in seeing it.

The idea is that a certain “seed crystal” could be purchased by artists, and after a few days, it would change into a unique OG:Crystal.

Based on each wallet’s history and ID, the smart contract’s algorithms would create the crystal’s outlines; CryptoPunk holders, for example, had the opportunity to add a distinctive form to their crystal. The owner would be reflected in this gemstone.

After the initial sale, an algorithm added additional bits to the crystal on a regular basis for three months.

At that time, the crystal would “lock” into place, allowing the sculptors to include it in the sculpture.

Not all dynamic NFTs need to wait for time to pass before they alter. Some can also incorporate information from a person’s actual life!!

In 2021, Playground Studio published a set of collectible NFTs featuring LaMelo Ball, the NBA Rookie of the Year for 2021.

The NFTs would accrue points by using data from Chainlink Sports Data Feeds on his performance. Holders of the NFT would receive “Silver Moons” if LaMelo assisted in netting the ball, or “Blue Neptune” if LaMelo stole the ball from an opponent. An NFT avatar may alter under certain circumstances.

This method of handling digital collectibles gives a fresh perspective.

“In the real world, if you collect baseball cards or art, the only way to expand your collection is to buy more. Living NFTs offer the possibility to have a collection that evolves over time.” Guy says.

The NBA has done the same; in 2022, the League unveiled The Association, a grouping of active NFTs.

Each NFT represents a player from one of the 16 participating teams.

The NFT is shaped by a player’s playoff performance; dunks, blocks, three-pointers, rebounds, or assists alter the player’s appearance, while the team’s success affects the backdrop and “frame” of the NFT.

Living NFTs, which let creators create NFTs from their social media postings, were first created by Pearpop in 2022 with the help of Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian and business mogul Mark Cuban.

These NFTs, which are based on Solana, are dynamic and rise in rank when a post receives a lot of attention since they incorporate data from web2 metadata, including comments, shares, and likes.

The holders of various levels, including silver, gold, and platinum, get benefits, such as access to exclusive Discord channels.

Dynamic NFTs do radically alter the game by switching from static jpegs to tokens that alter over time based on information gathered from real-world interactions.

About the author

Murtuza Merchant is a senior journalist and an avid follower of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

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