Links

What are Modular NFTs?

Modular NFTs (or NFTs 2.0) refers to a new generation of NFTs that go beyond the limitations of NFT 1.0 by being extensible, upgradable, and dynamic.
NFT 1.0 was revolutionary. It introduced the concept of a unique digital token that can be used to represent anything, such as an image, audio file, computer code, art, or any data. This token is stored on the blockchain, making it tamper-proof and easily tradable. However, NFT 1.0 has its limitations. It is static, meaning it cannot change or evolve. It is also limited in its ability to interact with other industries, such as gaming and commerce, because it lacks the framework for more complex (smart) interactions. That's where Modular NFTs comes in.
Modular NFTs, much like NFT 1.0, is a unique digital token stored on the blockchain, but with superpowers that overcome the limitations of NFT 1.0. It is made possible by several building blocks, which creators can mix to create unique new collections.

The building blocks of Modular NFTs

Nestable

Modular NFTs can own and be owned by other NFTs. This concept is simple but revolutionary. A nice way to imagine NFT nesting is to consider files and folders on your computer. Similar to how folders can contain folders which contain other folders, on and on ad infinitum, nesting (as implemented by Singular) allows the NFT chain of ownership to have no limits, such that an NFT can own other NFTs, which own other NFTs, that own other NFTs, on and on until infinity. This has applications in gaming, art, metaverse, exhibition, and much more. Learn more here.

Equippable

Modular NFTs can be changed/edited by equipping other NFTs to it. This means that NFTs can be combined or equipped with other NFTs, making them more valuable or useful. An example would be an NFT of a game character which can be equipped with different weapons or accessories to enhance its abilities. Similarly, a car NFT can have different wheels, tires, and engines, which can be equipped or unequipped by the holder. Read this guide to learn more about equippable NFTs.

Multi-asset

Modular NFTs can have more than one asset/output. One NFT can have three different outputs of the same media type (images) or different media types (image, pdf, audio). For example, a book NFT can have three outputs of differing formats: a pdf, an audiobook, and a jpeg cover. Each of these resources can be set to load only when the user is interacting with the NFT on the relevant platform. Thus, if viewing from a book reader, you see the pdf; from an audio player, you listen to the audiobook; and on a marketplace, you see the jpeg cover. Read more multi-asset NFTs here.

Soulbound

Modular NFTs can be bound to another NFT or an account. This means that the NFT cannot be traded or sent to another user. For example, in a blockchain-based voting system, a soulbound NFT could represent a voter's reputation within the community. The more active and engaged a voter is in the community, the more valuable their soulbound NFT becomes. This could be used to weigh their votes, giving more weight to those with a higher reputation score. Learn more about Soulbound NFTs here.

Use cases for Modular NFTs

Modular NFTs is a revolutionary tool for a wide range of industries, including art, gaming, business, community, governance, museums, and public goods.

Art

Modular NFTs brings significant changes to the art world by allowing for new ways of creating, interacting, and owning art. Examples of Modular NFTs use cases in the art industry include:
  1. 1.
    An artist can create a series of related works that can be combined into one larger work of art using a Modular NFT that is both equippable, nestable, and multi-asset. For example, Rubentopia's Mushroomtopia collection allowed collectors to create unique profile picture avatars by combining different NFTs.
  2. 2.
    An artist can use Modular NFT building blocks to create a digital gallery that includes a series of related works, such as a collection of paintings or photographs. Each work can be represented as a multi-asset NFT, which can include not only the image of the artwork but also additional media such as videos, audio recordings, and written descriptions.
  3. 3.
    Multiple artists could collaborate on a piece of art by creating individual NFTs that are designed to work together as a larger artwork. Visitors could then equip these NFTs in different ways to see how they fit together and create different configurations of the overall artwork.

Gaming

Modular NFTs has a wide range of use cases in the gaming industry, and its various building blocks can be used to create unique and innovative gaming experiences for players. Examples of Modular NFTs use cases in the gaming industry include:
  1. 1.
    An RPG game can use nestable NFTs to represent a player's inventory, with different NFTs representing different types of items such as weapons, armor, potions, and so on. For example, an NFT could represent a virtual pet that has its own inventory of items. The pet NFT could then be nested within another NFT that represents a house or other dwelling, creating a virtual home for the player's pet.
  2. 2.
    Multi-asset NFTs can be used to create complex in-game items that have multiple uses. For example, an NFT could contain a sword, shield, and magic potion all in one. The player could then equip the NFT to gain access to all three items in-game, rather than having to manage each item separately.
  3. 3.
    In a multiplayer game, a soulbound NFT can represent a player's account or profile, allowing them to build their reputation and track their progress across different games or platforms. A soulbound NFT can also represent a special achievement or accomplishment in a game, giving the player a sense of pride and exclusivity.

Business

Modular NFTs can be used in a variety of ways in the business world, from creating new models of ownership to streamlining supply chains. It can also be used to create new revenue streams for businesses, such as through the sale of branded collectibles. Examples of NFT 2.0 use cases in the business world include:
  1. 1.
    Real estate: Modular NFTs building blocks such as nestable, equippable, and multi-asset can be used to create complex digital representations of real estate assets. These NFTs can contain multiple assets, such as 3D models, videos, and property data, that can be used to represent different aspects of the property. NFTs can also be nestable, allowing the creation of portfolios of real estate assets that can be traded together. Finally, equippable NFTs can be used to represent fractional ownership of a property, allowing multiple users to own a piece of the same property through an NFT.
  2. 2.
    Branded NFTs: With Modular NFTs building blocks such as soulbinding, companies can create branded NFTs that are personalized to the recipient and cannot be sold or transferred to other users. This makes the NFTs more exclusive and valuable to the customer, increasing their loyalty to the brand. Additionally, multi-asset NFTs can be used to offer customers a variety of rewards, such as exclusive access to events or experiences, which can be redeemed by equipping the NFT with the appropriate asset.
  3. 3.
    Supply chain management: Modular NFTs can be used to create more efficient and transparent supply chain management systems by allowing businesses to track and verify the authenticity of products at every stage of production and distribution. For example, a company could use NFTs as a form of digital certification for their products, creating a unique NFT for each item that contains information about the product's origin, materials, and other relevant data. These NFTs can be equipped with specific attributes or conditions that must be met before they can be sold or transferred, ensuring that only verified and authenticated products enter the market. This helps to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods and builds trust between businesses and consumers.

Community, Governance:

Modular NFTs can be used in community building and management. They help to create more transparent and secure systems of governance. It can also allow for new models of community engagement and participation. Examples of Modular NFTs use cases in community and governance include:
  1. 1.
    Limited access to resources: In a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), members may be able to earn rewards or other benefits based on their participation in the organization's activities. By creating a soulbound NFT that represents those rewards or benefits, the organization can ensure that they are only accessible to the member who earned them. This can help prevent "gaming" of the system or other types of fraud.
  2. 2.
    Voting rights: An organization could create a soulbound NFT for each member who is entitled to vote in its decision-making processes. By binding the NFT to that member's account, the organization can ensure that only that member is able to cast their vote.
  3. 3.
    Reputation: Soulbound NFTs can be used to establish reputation on a blockchain. This is because the owner of a soulbound NFT can use it to prove their identity or status within a community. The more active and engaged a voter is in the community, the more reputation their soulbound NFT generates. This could be used to weigh their votes, giving more weight to those with a higher reputation score. This is very beneficial to the blockchain governance process which has been accused of being too reliant on token-weight (number of tokens an account owns).

Museum

Modular NFTs are revolutionizing the museum industry by creating new ways to preserve, display, and monetize historical collections. Some interesting examples include:
  1. 1.
    Crowdsourced preservation: Museums and other historical organizations can create collections of NFTs that represent different objects or artifacts in their collections. These NFTs can be sold to interested collectors and enthusiasts, with the proceeds going towards the restoration, preservation, and curation of the represented items.
  2. 2.
    Modular NFTs can be used to create interactive exhibits where visitors can learn more about the history and context of the art or artifacts on display. Multi-asset NFTs could be used to create digital exhibits that include various types of media, such as images, videos, and audio recordings.

Public Goods, Charity

The Modular NFT framework provides exciting new ways to raise funding for public goods and charities.
In 2021, RMTerra, an environmental project, partnered with RMRK to launch the Moonglade collection. These were a collection of advanced NFTs that were used to raise money for the planting of trees in Portugal. The NFTs were originally sold as seedlings (i.e. the image of the NFT was a seedling) that eventually ‘grew’ into a tree (i.e. a new image of a tree was sent as a new asset to the seedling NFT). As such, collectors of these NFTs were not only collecting art but also helping to heal the earth through reforestation. Thanks to our Modular NFT multi-asset feature, when a sapling grew into a tree, a new picture of a tree was sent to the collector and they could choose to display the original seedling NFT or the tree NFT. Similarly, if the seedling died, a tree soul NFT was sent to the collector instead.
This same idea can be used for almost any charity or public goods effort. For example, an animal shelter could tokenize the animals in their care (turn them into NFTs) and put them up for adoption by putting them on sale. Buyers of these NFTs can then be kept updated on the wellbeing of their furry friend through new images of the pet sent to their original NFT.

What makes Modular NFTs possible?

NFTs are possible thanks to the creation of standards which specify how these unique digital tokens should be created and stored on the blockchain.
For example, on Ethereum, the ERC-721 standard defines the basic structure of a non-fungible token, which is that it is a unique digital asset that cannot be exchanged on a one-to-one basis like traditional currencies.
ERC- 1155 is another NFT-related standard that allows for the creation of both fungible and non-fungible tokens within the same smart contract. It's like a vending machine that dispenses both candy bars (fungible) and limited edition toys (non-fungible) from the same slot.
As such, the key to Modular NFTs is the ability to create custom token standards that go beyond the limitations of NFT 1.0. These custom standards enable the creation of NFTs with new properties, such as the ability to "nest" within other NFTs, or to be "equipped" with other NFTs to change or enhance their properties.
But what makes it possible to create these custom standards? It all comes down to imagination and the open nature of blockchain technology. Anyone can create a custom token standard, provided they have the technical know-how and resources to do so.

The creators of Modular NFTs

First thing to note is that, since Modular NFT are based on a set of standards, and standards can be created by anyone, then not all Modular NFT systems are the same. Modular NFT systems are the same when they use the same standards. Why is it important to make this distinction? Because NFTs created from the same set of standards are likely to be more interoperable (another way to say they can connect or interact) with each other in accordance with the rules of the standards that created them.
On Singular, our Modular NFT standards are powered by the standards created by the RMRK team. These standards are:
  • ERC-5773 - enables a single NFT to have multiple outputs, solving the age-old problem of cross-game skins among other things.
  • ERC-7401 - enables an NFT to contain other NFTs (also known as Nesting).
  • ERC-6220 - enables the creation of composable NFTs using equippable parts. This means that multiple NFTs can be combined into a single NFT.
  • ERC-6454 - enables the creation of non-transferable (soulbound) NFTs.
While it is not correct to christen any team as the creators of Modular NFTs (because the concept of Modular NFTs belongs to the whole industry and not one team), it is important to identify which team created the standards which power our Modular NFT stack. This is so that creators and developers are more aware of the details of our implementation.
Last modified 4mo ago