Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) have attained widespread adoption throughout the web3 community. Major media outlets and high-profile public figures have also jumped into the NFT world by launching their own projects and collections.
Such non-replaceable tokens with unique identities are gaining exceptional momentum. Moreover, they are continually improving and expanding their limits; dynamic NFTs are a testimony of their radical evolution within the crypto realm.
Such tokens integrate the verifiable and on-of-a-kind qualities of static NFTs and the dynamic data inputs. We will start off this guide by learning about dynamic NFT, its working, and potential use cases. Afterwards, we will dig deeper into the dynamic NFTs by comparing them with familiar static NFTs.
What are Dynamic NFTs (dNFTs)?
Dynamic NFT or dNFT is a blockchain token that can change its inherent properties based on external conditions. The changes are recorded in the metadata of the NFT. Take an example of tokenized real estate, if dynamic NFT represents a house, it will change the dNFT's metadata based on the situation, such as past sales and maintenance history. The varying conditions could also be a passage of time or information from sources monitoring real-world data, such as weathervanes or real-time sports scores.
These tokens are getting considerable hype, both in the natural and digital worlds, as they can take NFT to the next level by expanding its design space. Metadata changes are initiated through encoded instructions in dNFT smart contracts, which regulate the data change.
A smart contract is triggered by oracle, which gives access to on-chain and off-chain data sources, such as IoT data and web API. Moreover, dNFTs are not just limited metadata changes, they can also be minted when certain conditions are met, such as when you discover a hidden location in an augmented reality application.
Applications of Dynamic NFTs:
Dynamic NFTs have unlocked many innovative applications. A few examples of dynamic NFT use cases are discussed below:
Dynamic NFTs have extensive use in gaming apps, such as -
In-Game Characters: When a new in-game character appears on screen, its various traits are recorded in the dynamic NFT’s metadata. If this character evolves and upgrades, the metadata updates the changes to validate its growth.
Fantasy Sports: Another possible application is the transfer of NFT among players based on performance. For instance, if the owner loses a battle, then the NFT is automatically transferred to the victor.
Play to Earn Games: P2E games have gained a lot of traction over the past few years. There is a need to create unique in-game objects using this dynamic feature of NFTs, such as in-game currencies, power-ups, and in-game virtual goods. Moreover, the add-on-trait feature can upgrade the NFT armor or weapon. For instance, the NFT sword could be made more powerful when it is frequently used in a battle.
Sports can make use of dynamic NFT elements using sports collectibles. Candy Digital launched digital collectibles in the form of Major League Baseball (MLB) dynamic NFTs. When players' stats upgrade throughout the season, the dynamic NFTs are utilized on their respective NFT collectibles.
With static NFTs, it is impossible to change the stats of a player as the metadata would be permanent when the token was created. For instance, we have a dynamic NFT representing a football player. The dNFT's metadata contains information such as speed, strength, agility, assists, goal scores, etc.
If the player falls short in performance, the scorecard will get swindled. This means dynamic NFT can fetch off-chain data and upgrade the metadata accordingly. On the contrary, it would not be possible with static NFTs.
Moreover, sports collectibles can trigger other possibilities using dynamic NFTs. The owner of dNFT can predict the possible outcomes, such as the player’s scores at the end of the season. The one with the closest guesses will see an evolved avatar.
Another possible dynamic NFT application is a digital version of artwork. Dynamic art evolves or changes its traits in response to varying circumstances. Besides ever-changing art displays, you can experiment with new ways of displaying digital art.
For instance, you can consider a dynamic collection of an NFT artwork that changes colors or hues, having specific time-bound features depending on the location, season, temperature, lunar position, or time of year.
Another example could be to associate the artwork with the creator’s life. For instance, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych can be experimented with by creating a calendar in which special dates are associated with Marilyn Monroe’s life. Specific hues or features commemorating these special events should be displayed on those days.
Likewise, images and music can be changed according to the users’ wallet history or other factors. It means the owner becomes the co-creator of a dynamic art piece.
NFT fundraising can be more attractive using such tokens' dynamic nature. For instance, an ecosystem services company Regenerative Resources Co, which collects funds to conserve mangroves, is making use of dynamic NFTs.
An NFT for a short film was released, containing a single frame in the initial stage. Later on, more frames were added each time the film was resold. The process goes on till the film is completed.
Government can issue passports theoretically by using dynamic NFT elements that update the travel information of a person. No paperwork or stamp would be required as a person's travel history is stored in the blockchain. Moreover, the possibility of fraud is minimized as blockchain makes the information verifiable and immutable.
How Does a Dynamic NFT Work?
Dynamic NFTs enable both on-chain and off-chain data computations using smart contracts. When you request an NFT, on-chain and off-chain data sources are evaluated by smart contracts to determine the best choice for users. The response is generated, which is presented to the users.
Here is a stepwise mechanism of Dynamic NFTs:
- A request to smart contracts is initiated for an NFT
- Smart contract receives the request to process it.
- The contract makes a call for on-chain data to process the results.
- The oracle is used to make a call for off-chain data, and results are processed.
- Both on-chain data and off-chain data are evaluated.
- The smart contract then offers suggestions to the users.
It means smart contracts provide instructions to expand, update, and change the dynamic NFTs with the passage of time. Smart contract first gauges if the token is liable to change or not. If yes, then it alters the metadata of the NFT based on off-chain and on-chain data.
Static NFTs vs Dynamic NFTs: What's the Difference?
Static NFTs are more popular within the blockchain world than dynamic NFTs. Static tokens have immutable and permanent traits that make this token valuable. As mentioned earlier, dynamic NFT takes data from both on-chain and off-chain events to change its metadata after minting. At the same time, a static NFT cannot adapt to external conditions.
Along the same line, use cases that require regular updates and modification of data are best suited for dynamic NFTs, while applications that deal with fixed data should opt for static NFTs.
In short, these tokens lack adaptability in comparison to dynamic NFTs. That said, dynamic NFTs are liable to vulnerabilities because of the variable data structure of the token. Static data inputs, on the other hand, ensure increased security because the metadata is stored in the form of a single file.
Non-fungible tokens have become a focal point in the world of technology, particularly in the Web3 community. Amidst all the hype of possibilities and innovations, dynamic NFT has got a sheer volume of attention because of its ability to change its inherent properties based on external data.
Dynamic NFT is still a new concept, but it is poised to upgrade the world of NFT by offering an extensive range of use cases and improved capacity of web3 spheres. With the success of such living tokens, dynamic NFTs might dive into more innovations and create new incredible use cases.