DFINITY’s NFT Studio Introduces 3D to IC Blockchain, Adds Dimension to NFTs

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If the non-fungible token (NFT) industry could be aligned with a Chinese zodiac sign, without a doubt, the prediction for 2021 would be the “Year of the NFT.” As the world closes another exciting year in the crypto markets, this new class of digital assets remains as hot as ever. Countless NFTs are being minted daily, with many in the traditional and digital art worlds venturing into the industry, and looking to make their mark in this increasingly important space.

The NFT market valuation is currently projected at upwards of $10.2 billion USD — a mind-bending number given that just one year ago, hardly anyone cared or even knew of the existence of NFTs.

As the industry marches forward, the number of available NFTs in the marketplace is soaring — making it increasingly difficult to distinguish unique characteristics from one NFT to the next.

Until now.

The DFINITY Foundation recently announced the launch of one of their grant recipients, NFT Studio, onto DFINITY’s Internet Computer Protocol. NFT Studio has a unique offering for NFTs, which allows for creators to design, shape, and deploy interactive and conventional 3D NFTs on-chain. The best part? Thanks to the design of the DFINITY IC Blockchain, these NFTs can be transferred, purchased, and sold without incurring any transaction fees.

Together, DFINITY and NFT Studio Revolutionize the NFT Space

The Poland-based project is allowing users to develop 3D renderings that make it possible to create and mint 3D NFTs onto the Internet Computer Blockchain. Through the use of the 3D Voxel Tool and the Pixel Tool, users can create 3D NFTs and deploy them instantly.

For those who are unfamiliar, voxels are units of graphic information that define a point in three-dimensional space, while pixels define a point in two-dimensional spaces with x and y coordinates. Voxels are incredibly powerful because they help to visualize and measure the volume of anything three-dimensional — making their representation as a 3D digital object extremely lifelike. In short, they can simulate the real-life look and feel of complex objects in an extremely elegant way.

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With the Voxel Tool, users can begin creating 3D objects immediately on the blockchain.

3D NFTs may seem like something that is easily implemented in other blockchains, but so far, this has not been possible. One monumental constraint has been the file sizes that are required of 3D NFTs.

Ethereum has far and away been the most popular blockchain for NFTs to date. With the blockchain owning more than 97% of the sales related to the space, they are indisputably the current leaders in the industry. However, despite its successes, transacting on Ethereum continues to be extremely expensive, making it costly — and even cost-prohibitive — for many individuals who wish to participate in the NFT economy.

Average gas fees can often run in the hundreds of U.S. dollars, potentially leading to trades where the cost of the transaction is higher than the value of the transaction itself. Further, smart contract data fees on Ethereum are completely out of reach for the average person — with one GB of smart contract data costing more than $240 million USD to store per year. Solana, another blockchain that is growing as a viable alternative to Ethereum, fares much better — but still has costs that are far out of reach for the average consumer. At a cost of $840,000 USD per year (per GB), the cost of storing files on-chain is also prohibitively expensive.

Knowing this, NFT metadata is typically stored off-chain — either through a central website cache or through the popular decentralized storage service InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).

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Today, many users do not seem to care about the actual storage of the data, but eventually, storage hosting will become a significant concern. NFT data stored in centralized systems or even within distributed systems which are not well supported risk being lost forever. The NFTs, many of which have links pointing to these systems, would soon have nothing to direct to.

Luckily, the launch of DFINITY’s NFT Studio solves this.

One GB of smart contract data on DFINITY’s Internet Computer Blockchain costs only $5 USD per year. When deploying NFTs on the DFINITY IC Blockchain, there are no prohibitive costs of storing data associated with that NFT along with the file itself. Therefore, the risks and astronomical costs that come with launching NFTs on Ethereum and Solana, and pointing its NFT files off-chain, ceases to exist.

Looking Ahead

2021 may have been the year of the NFT — but by no means is the NFT story over. Without a doubt, the industry is just at its beginning. As individuals around the world continue to learn about and increase their existing knowledge of NFTs, the space is certain to continue to grow at a rapid pace. NFTs will expand beyond digital art and video games, and find their way into entertainment, sports, health care, and more.

Those who recognize this evolving landscape and identify the platforms and tools that are best positioned to take advantage of this paradigm shift will be most prepared as the world charges forward toward another technological revolution. At least in the NFT space, DFINITY and its NFT Studio are well prepared to help all individuals succeed in this exciting new era.

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