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· 8 min read
C. Emmanuel Ngubo, PhD

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) have become the most widely anticipated way to define uniquely identifiable tokens in the blockchain space. The advantage of uniquely identifiable tokens is how they represent value. These tokens can accurately represent the value of a digital or real-world asset because cryptographic materials support their verifiability with immutable proof of ownership.

For example, since January 2021, NFTs have sold for millions of dollars, with some notable sales being Stay Free by Edward Snowden for \$5.4 million and Everydays-The First 5000 days by Beeple for $69 million.

The first half of 2021 has seen cumulative sales of $2.5 billion. And we can only imagine the royalties earned over the resale of these NFTs.

Like all other tokens on Blockchain, NFTs are immutable, cryptographically protected from theft, forgery or duplication, and trackable. Yet they differ from other tokens in their ability to be individually distinguishable and, hence, not duplicable or divisible into smaller units.Where you may have one bitcoin or one-tenth of one bitcoin, you can only have one NFT, not one-tenth. NFTs are essentially cryptographically unique and identifiable, and therefore be used to secure and prove the authenticity of any unique real-world asset.

How the blockchain on which NFTs are minted affects the price

Initially, NFTs were limited to Ethereum with the ERC721, 998 & 1155 standards, now NFTs are offered by various platforms such as Darwinia, Flow, EOSIO, Tezos (FA2). However, given the multitude of Blockchain platforms and the issues surrounding finality, the Blockchain platform on which the NFTs are minted affect the value of the NFT in the long term.

From the perspective of user acceptance, the longevity of the blockchain must be assured if benefits like royalty and ownership history are going to be cryptographically verifiable years from now. These two benefits can increase or decrease the public perception & value of an NFT.

For that reason, many believe Ethereum is likely the best blockchain network on which to mint new NFTs.

Aventus Network is a customisable layer-2 blockchain network that lets you interact with Ethereum at scale to mint NFTs and process transactions at 100x the speed, 1% of the cost, and with a negligible environmental footprint.

As a self-sufficient blockchain, Aventus is able to reach heights currently not possible on Ethereum. Being built on Substrate capitalises on the innovation and support of one of the largest and most active communities of developers thereby ensuring the functionality, resilience and longevity of the Aventus Network.

To support NFTs, we have designed a new pallet we call the NFT-Manager. This pallet, NFT-Manager, is designed to support the actions and properties of any and all standards of NFTs. The NFT-Manager breaks the mould of contract-limiting NFTs. In other words, NFTs on the Aventus Network are not limited to a specific contract or contract scope. They enjoy the same liberties as the utility token as Aventus now supports NFT natively i.e. built into the Blockchain infrastructure. Sending NFT from one account to another is now like sending AVT tokens. The NFTs are not limited to a specific contract, hence can be used in more exciting ways.

NFT Minting cost

Every transaction on a Blockchain must be paid for using the native cryptocurrency of the platform. This payment is often referred to as transaction fees. As most blockchains grow in popularity, the transaction fees associated with transactions rise as well, making it costly to carry out transactions on the blockchain.

For example, the Ethereum transaction fee has risen from $0.10 to $69.22 between June 2020 and May 2021, while transaction fees on the Aventus Blockchain have remained the same at $0.01. The steady and predictable transaction fee cost of the Aventus blockchain gives creators the confidence to mint NFTs without worrying about additional costs, while still enjoying all the benefits. The graph below shows how the minting rate of an NFT can be impacted by the transaction fees. The lower the minting rate, the lower the number of transactions(buying, selling, bidding) possible for the NFT.

NFT Graph

Royalties

While the ERC721 standard remains the most recognised NFT standard, it does not support Royalties. Users who own NFTs have to depend on 3rd party integrations and platforms to handle royalties. Hence, royalties for the NFTs are not enforced by the Blockchain. The NFT-Manager pallet on the Aventus Blockchain is designed to support Royalties and it’s directly built into the Blockchain. This ensures that creators who should receive royalties have a provable claim via an immutable ledger, on their royalties.

Structure of an NFT

Aventus currently supports both single and batch NFTs on the network. Where single NFts imply a single and independent NFT, batch NFTs represent a collection of unique NFTs that tell more of a story than a single NFT can.

There are several properties that aid in the identification of an NFT such as the nft_id, origin, and unique_external_ref. The first two variables provide information about the NFT while the third provides a reference to the external location of the related NFT. The owner property of the NFT provides the provenance history of the NFT, ensuring that the ownership history of the NFT can be tracked. This provenance empowers the Blockchain to pay out Royalties.

fn mint_single_nft(
origin,
nft_id: NftId,
unique_external_ref: Vec<u8>,
owner: T::AccountId,
royalties: Vec<Royalty>,
minter_t1_address: H160)

The above function signature describes the functionality of minting batch NFT on the Aventus blockchain. There is just one addition to the function signature for the batch NFT which is the batch_id which identifies the batch of NFTs.

fn mint_batch_nft(
origin,
nft_id: NftId,
batch_id: NftBatchId,
unique_external_ref: Vec<u8>,
owner: T::AccountId,
royalties: Vec<Royalty>,
minter_t1_address: H160,
total_supply: u64) -->

The above function signature describes the functionality of minting batch NFT on the Aventus blockchain. There is just one addition to the function signature for the batch NFT which is the batch_id which identifies the batch of NFTs.

While the two code snippets above are function signatures, the below is a snippet taken directly from the Aventus NFT-Manager pallet. The comments signified by the preceding “///” are there to provide you with a clearer insight into the workings of the line of code beginning with “pub” beneath it.

decl_storage! {
trait Store for Module<T: Trait> as NftManager {
/// A mapping between NFT Id and data
pub Nfts get(fn nfts): map hasher(blake2_128_concat) NftId => Nft<T::AccountId>;

/// A mapping between NFT info Id and info data
pub NftInfos get(fn nft_infos): map hasher(blake2_128_concat) NftInfoId => NftInfo;

/// A mapping between the external batch id and its nft Ids
pub NftBatches get(fn nft_batches): map hasher(blake2_128_concat) NftBatchId => Vec<NftId>;

/// A mapping between the external batch id and its corresponding NtfInfoId
pub BatchInfoId get(fn batch_info_id): map hasher(blake2_128_concat) NftBatchId => NftInfoId;

/// A mapping between an AccountId and a flag to hold a list of approved minters
pub ApprovedMinters get(fn approved_minters) : map hasher(blake2_128_concat) T::AccountId => bool;

/// A mapping between an ExternalRef and a flag to show that an NFT has used it
pub UsedExternalReferences get(fn is_external_ref_used) : map hasher(blake2_128_concat) Vec<u8> => bool;

/// The Id that will be used when creating the new NftInfo record
pub NextInfoId get(fn next_info_id): NftInfoId
}

}

Regardless of the type of NFT you are looking to mint, whether single NFTs or batch NFTs, the NFT-Manager on the Aventus network is designed to mint and trade them efficiently and securely.

Migrating NFTs

NFTs can be moved to and from the Aventus blockchain and remain secure. Earlier we spoke about how Aventus NFTs break the mould by not being limited to the scope of a contract but have full interaction with the blockchain. We have taken this a step further. Inter-blockchain communication is the next phase of Blockchain development and the Aventus blockchain, as a leader in this space, is already positioned to support creators and owners in this way. NFTs minted on Ethereum or Aventus don’t have to be locked in, rather they can be moved between blockchains, multiple times for any reason.

At Aventus, we have two processes called “lifting” and “lowering”. Lifting allows creators to lift NFTs minted on Ethereum to the Aventus blockchain. Creators can take advantage of the lifting process to open up their NFT bidding sale to customers who don’t want to pay high transaction fees. And in bidding where every second counts, the speed of Aventus could make all the difference in securing that last-second bid. NFT owners looking to trade NFTs faster and with negligible transaction fees can now sell trade NFTs minted on Ethereum by lifting them to the Aventus blockchain.

NFTs minted on the Aventus blockchain can also be brought to Ethereum via our lowering process. Creators can, through this process, own NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain for a fraction of the cost required to mint the NFT on Ethereum. Aventus NFTs are compatible with Ethereum NFTs making the process pain-free for creators.