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Atomic NFTs Offer a Permanent Alternative to Ethereum and IPFS

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As we wrote about recently, many NFTs are being stored in a way that’s brittle at best, and broken at worst. If an NFT’s contract points to a centralized server or even IPFS, buying that NFT may land you owning a 404 instead – it’s usually only a matter of time.

Arweave solves the issue of NFT storage, metadata permanence and even smart contracts. But until recently, it hasn’t been ever so simple to get started. As we’re starting to see better integration with Arweave from major NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and the technology to bridge Arweave-minted NFTs to other chains, the future is looking bright for artists in need of a truly and decentralized method of minting NFTs, without a steep learning curve.

Koii Network, the creators of the new attention economy, has just released a set of standards for atomic NFTs. This standard, and the surrounding technology like Finnie, will enable creators to mint their NFTs at a fraction of the cost and ensure they stick around forever. Let’s take a deeper look at what an atomic NFT is and how it works.

NFTs vs. Atomic NFTs

NFTs are traditionally created by writing a custom smart contract and linking the resulting token to an asset URL. Whether it’s for a one-off NFT or an algorithmically-generated collection, writing a smart contract is as much work as it sounds (or more). Plus, linking off to a URL for the NFT asset is fraught with centralization and reliability issues. The NFT OG and one of the world’s most valuable, CryptoPunks, experienced downtime recently and 404’d the centralized resource which all punk NFTs point to.

For a more dependable, cheaper, and less time-consuming method, look to atomic NFTs.

Atomic NFTs are a single Arweave transaction comprising a:

  • Asset file
  • Metadata file
  • Smart contract

This keeps everything immutably and permanently forever, so collectors don’t have to worry about owning a broken link in 5 years time, and artists don’t have to worry about keeping on paying for their centralized storage solutions.

A look at the atomic NFT standard

A Koii atomic NFT object is stored in the state of a SmartWeave contract. Each NFT has an owner, title, artist name, description, and other pieces of metadata that enable the surrounding code to carry out its functions:

{
  "owner": "ay1uavTv9SVRKVIrUhH8178ON_zjAsZo2tcm5wiC4bI",
  "title": "Missing piece",
  "name": "Kirthivasan",
  "description": "nothing makes a room emptier than wanting someone in it.\nspread love",
  "ticker": "KOINFT",
  "balances": {
    "ay1uavTv9SVRKVIrUhH8178ON_zjAsZo2tcm5wiC4bI": 1
   },
   "contentType": "image/jpeg",
   "createdAt": "1626023631"
}

Koii offers three SmartWeave contract templates, each designed for different purposes:

The new docs site, atomicnft.com, shares the txids of each contract here so it can be inspected and used.

Koii has prepared an example function to facilitate the transfer of NFTs to a new owner. This makes it possible to develop a marketplace application which hooks into this functionality to buy and sell atomic NFTs.

Building on NFTs as static works, Koii also enables dynamic NFTs. An example is the narcissus flower NFT which blooms when given attention (earning KOII).

Since SmartWeave contracts are just as programmable as traditional Ethereum smart contracts, any level of sophistication is possible to get creative with the way art evolves as it’s interacted with.

Minting atomic NFTs with Koii and Arweave

Koii provides a few ways to cheaply and permanently mint atomic NFTs.

The first is via koi.rocks, an attention leaderboard that allows NFTs to earn KOII each time they are viewed.

Another way is with the Finnie wallet – a Koii browser extension similar to ArConnect or MetaMask. Finnie stores all uploads in a gallery, and will soon offer the ability to bridge NFTs to other chains.

The third way is the most technical but also offers the most control – using Koii’s pre-made SmartWeave Contracts.

The contracts and examples of how to use them are available here on the atomicnft.com docs site, and one of the best things about this method is that the bridging functionality is already offered; NFTs using the Koii ERC-1155 contract can be listed on popular marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible.

Trading atomic NFTs

Aside from NFTs minted using Koii’s custom ERC-1155 contract, buying and selling atomic NFTs is not yet fully supported – but features that will enable it are extremely close to release.

Finnie will enable NFTs uploaded through the browser extension to bridge to Ethereum, Polkadot, Tezos, Binance and Avalanche. There’s currently a buy button on koi.rocks which will use Verto’s newly launched NFT marketplace, but the integration is not yet complete.

Verto is also working closely with Koii to allow any atomic NFT to be listed, which will hugely open up the possibilities for creators to monetize their work.

There is also an open vote to petition OpenSea to support Arweave and Koii NFTs directly on the platform, which you can support here.

Koii is currently running a contest to win atomic NFTs by interacting with them on Twitter – see an example here and follow @KoiiNetwork for the latest.

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