Where’s your NFT metadata? – by William M. Peaster

Metaversal is a Bankless newsletter for weekly level-ups on NFTs, virtual worlds, & collectibles

Dear Bankless Nation,

Some popular NFT platforms from the 2017-2018 era, like Ascribe, Digital Objects, and Editional, eventually went under. 

These projects stored their metadata on their own servers, so when they went bust, their tokens’ visuals were lost to time. 

Lost NFTs are nothing new, then. But these early losses later spurred lots of advances around decentralized storage networks as well as totally on-chain NFTs, whose metadata are forever retrievable from the blockchain. 

Not everyone pays attention to the lessons of crypto history, though. For example, consider Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX notoriety. This is what his first NFT minted on FTX looked like circa September 2021:

The first FTX NFT

No Picasso, right? Certainly not, but at least it had visuals and metadata then. Fast forward to today and in the wake of FTX’s collapse that same NFT, plus all the other NFTs minted at FTX, now have broken metadata:

Why? Because SBF and FTX relied on a centralized server system and it’s not running those servers anymore. This system was “good enough” before, but it’s nonexistent now!

As such, this episode’s the latest big reminder that decentralizing metadata — whether that be through nodes on decentralized storage networks like Arweave and IPFS or on-chain through Ethereum nodes — is part of the magic of NFTs. 

All that said, backup what NFTs you can when you can. In the meantime let’s catch you up on all the latest headlines in the space, have a great weekend everyone ✌️


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  • Blur commenced claims for its second airdrop.

  • CoinLedger introduced the NFT Tax Loss Harvestooor:

  • GigaMart, a new general NFT marketplace, launched

  • Ledger introduced the Ledger Stax, a new crypto hardware wallet that’s capable of displaying NFTs:

  • Manifold added a Token Activity dashboard, for tracking recent payments and royalties, to Manifold Studio. 

  • sansa, a new marketplace for generative art, has arrived:

  • Aave Companies, the parent entity of Aave, acquired mobile mobiel metaverse Sonar with plans to integrate web3 social infra Lens Protocol into the platform. 

  • Decentraland added support for LAND rentals to its marketplace. 

  • NFTfi borrowers can now mint, transfer, or sell their loan obligations

  • Tessera, a protocol for collective ownership of NFTs, launched.

William M. Peaster is a professional writer and creator of Metaversal—a Bankless newsletter focused on the emergence of NFTs in the cryptoeconomy. He’s also recently been contributing content to Bankless, JPG, and beyond!

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Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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