2021 was the year NFTs came of age, and even more NFTs have been minted since. But what’s next?
While we’ve seen that punks, apes, and game-based NFTs are an actual store of value on the blockchain, the supply and demand dynamics leave some unanswered questions.
NFT demand grew roughly 2000% from 2020 to 2021. There are more NFTs, quality projects, buyers, and creators than ever. But is the future of NFTs just more of the same? Or is there still an NFT evolution on the horizon?
Have we unlocked the true potential of NFTs? Or is there more?
We can’t predict the future, but we can say that NFTs are already evolving. Secret NFTs are a great example as they do something completely new: bringing customizable privacy to NFTs. What can we do with these private NFTs? Everything we haven’t seen yet!
Keep reading for a full rundown of the possibilities of Secret’s private NFTs.
Traditional NFTs are limited
You don’t share your entire financial history with your cashier or hand out copies of your house key to strangers on the street. Being selective about what we share with whom makes sense. But this is exactly how public-by-default chains work.
Our technology should allow us to share data selectively. Until now, choosing what we share hasn’t been an option with NFTs. Previously, every NFT existed on public-by-default blockchains where ownership is completely transparent, and all the NFT’s data is on display for everyone to see.
If you’re a collector of books, movies, or art, would you want your entire collection to be viewable by anyone with an internet connection? Even if you’d like to display your collection, wouldn’t it be nice to decide who can view it? Secret NFTs make this a reality in a very public digital world.
How Secret NFTs change the narrative
The big story around NFTs is one of digital ownership. NFTs enable us to own our digital goods, but public-by-default NFTs bring issues.
We’ve all heard the question, “why would someone pay for a jpeg when anyone can just right-click and save an NFT? If anyone can see a piece of art by looking it up online, what’s the extra benefit of owning it? Why would I pay thousands of dollars for that?”
While NFT believers might dismiss those statements, their critique is legitimate. And these concerns aren’t just voiced by consumers. Many creators feel that public-by-default NFTs can’t adequately represent the value and scarcity of their intellectual property.
Instead of dismissing these creator concerns, it’s time for NFTs to respond and innovate. That’s exactly what private NFTs bring to the table!
The Secret NFT experience
Let’s explore what it’s like to buy, own, and sell Secret NFTs.
Imagine browsing Stashh, an NFT marketplace on Secret Network, and finding a new piece of content by your favorite artist. If you’re using traditional NFTs, you—and anyone worldwide—can see the NFT and all its associated data.
But on Stashh, you can’t see all of the data contained in an NFT unless you explicitly decide to share these details. Depending on the type of content, creators can form this data into a digital watermark, a preview, or some kind of trailer for the NFT’s metadata. Some even add extras to the metadata of their Secret NFT. To fully experience the extra features a private NFT provides, you need to own it.
Here’s where their privacy features come to the forefront. You get to choose what NFT details you want to share. When you buy a Secret NFT, you can decide to:
- Make your ownership public or private
- Keep your NFT’s metadata public or private
Note: both of these settings default to private
Now there’s just one decision: who should be able to view your NFT and its data? That’s where Secret’s viewing keys come in. Viewing keys act as temporary windows into your wallet. You set parameters on what can be seen, decide who to send the key to, and can revoke the key’s access at any time. You have complete control over the visibility of your NFT.
To share these details, generate a viewing key for yourself, enabling you to view the encrypted data content for your NFT. This forges a special connection between you and the creator as you’re the first and perhaps only person (besides the artist) to see this piece of content. As the owner of a private NFT, you can also choose never to share it publicly.
On the other hand: if you want to show this piece of art to an interested friend, but not everyone, provide a viewing key that whitelists your friend’s wallet address, allowing only your friend to see your NFT. The choice is again totally up to you—as it should be!
Opportunities beyond art
Customizable privacy is a win for creators, consumers, and the growth and adoption of NFTs. But there are even more possibilities for NFTs outside the creative lane.
Secret’s private NFTs can help us solve more complex problems than transparent NFTs. Their nuanced, layered approach to privacy and access control makes things exciting and adds value. Here are just a few Secret NFT use cases:
Real estate and property ownership
Many goods require a history of ownership to validate their authenticity or establish trust between the buyer and seller. Historical memorabilia is an example that comes to mind, and this principle extends to NFTs. Contracts and verification can get quite messy here. Though transparent smart contracts certainly contribute to trustless transactions, they add nothing regarding privacy. However, with Secret NFTs, ownership can be public while storing your NFT data privately, creating many opportunities to innovate in the real estate space.
Identity authentication solutions
Web3 needs a privacy layer for user identity data and identity authentication. After all, you wouldn’t want all of your personal details viewable by anyone. Secret NFTs can add incredible value here. What if you could mint Secret NFTs to use during a KYC process? You can confirm your identity by providing temporary viewing access to that data (e.g., your SSN, a selfie holding your passport, etc.). Then, after viewing, the NFT is burned.
Blockchain-based subscription services
Currently, any on-chain subscription service faces a significant limitation. Since they don’t have the option to have all their customers’ private data viewable on a public chain, they need to store member data off-chain in a centralized database. But what if the subscription was a Secret NFT? A private viewing key tied to the smart contract verifies the user, eliminating the need for a centralized database and enabling the business and its services to run entirely on-chain.
Internet of Things
IoT, the fourth revolution of computing, will increasingly integrate our physical and digital lives. The metaverse is developing as a place where you’ll play and socialize digitally. But the IoT and spatial web is where we’ll experience the seamless synthesis of tech into our daily lives.
Baedrick, the founder of Stashh, shares one example of what this might look like:
“Imagine a fleet of autonomous driving vehicles. A user pulls up their app, enters their desired destination, and requests a ride. This transaction mints a Secret NFT with their facial recognition details and their destination information stored as private metadata.”
When the empty car arrives, the customer uses the app to scan a QR code sticker on the vehicle. Now the NFT is uploaded to the car’s computer. It unlocks the door after receiving the NFT, verifies you with facial recognition, and knows where you need to go. After finishing the ride, it burns the NFT, so it never publicly appears on a blockchain.
This is just the beginning
With imagination and innovation, we’ll see Secret’s private NFTs improve user experience, security, trust, and privacy in many spheres that traditional NFTs haven’t even touched.
Interoperability across major blockchains makes Secret NFTs even more promising. For example, Secret NFT projects can launch on OpenSea (an Ethereum-based NFT marketplace), where they exist and function as “traditional” NFTs. After buying, you can bridge your NFT to Secret Network and unlock the benefits of Secret NFTs.
Keep up with the future of Secret NFTs
NFTs are evolving, developing, and achieving their true potential in front of our eyes. Secret NFTs’ programmable privacy marks a big change, a critical evolution in what’s possible.
From a retail side, Secret NFTs can remove the psychological obstacles to adoption. And for builders, they open up potential applications that weren’t possible even a year ago.
If you want to stay up to date on the future of NFTs made possible by Secret Network, follow Stashh. Stashh is the first full-stack platform for NFTs with native privacy, allowing creators, collectors, and consumers to truly benefit from the Web3 digital economy.
This exciting future is already here, yet continually developing. What comes next is up to us. But one thing is clear: Secret NFTs have fundamentally altered the horizons of what is possible.