Metadata Standards & Limitations
Blockchain’s uniform adoption of metadata standards serves to amplify interoperability across the digital landscape. The implicit consensus revolves around the strategic formulation of NFT-related metadata standards, with a primary objective of accommodating industry titans such as OpenSea, whose towering influence has effectively established a prevailing norm. Consider the scenario if each blockchain were to uphold its distinctive set of standards; such a situation would inadvertently erect formidable barriers and severely hinder the prospect of harmonious inter-blockchain communication.
Let’s start by understanding what metadata means. Metadata provides extra information about other data and is kept off the main blockchain to make things work smoothly and quickly. When it comes to NFTs, metadata describes the important details about an NFT that the creator wants to share. This could include things like the NFT’s name, description, transaction history, and any other information stored in the smart contract. This information helps us learn about the NFT’s features, like its level, qualities, and how rare each quality is.
In NFTs, metadata is linked to a special code (URI) that the token can look up. This code leads to places outside the main blockchain where the information is stored. So, the NFT’s metadata holds a lot of information about the item without needing to put big files directly onto the blockchain.
Blockchains follow the same rules for metadata, making them able to work together easily. People generally agree that these metadata rules for NFTs were set up to fit the big players in the field, like OpenSea, because they’re so big. Imagine if each blockchain had its own rules – it would be harder for them to talk to each other.
For example, almost everyone in the NFT world uses the same system as OpenSea. This is because they control most of the NFT market. Also, thanks to this system and rules, digital assets can be shown nicely in the app. Each digital asset has a special code (token ID) that makes it unique and gives it extra details. These rules help share information about digital assets across different blockchains, whether it’s Ethereum, Solana, or XRPL.
Even though all blockchains follow the same metadata rules, there are different ways to store this information. Putting big files right onto the blockchain would be slow, expensive, and not good for the network. So, all this information is stored somewhere else. One way many people use is called the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). Why “Interplanetary”? Imagine if a coworker asked you for a blog about conquering Martians. You’d be able to get it from them, just like getting something from them on Earth. IPFS can be used to share parts of the internet on other planets, like an interplanetary information system.
IPFS is like a way for computers to talk directly to each other. It’s useful because you can’t change what’s saved in IPFS, which is good because it’s based on a special code (hash). This makes it better for storing things than some other ways.