What Is an Omnichain NFT?
Is it a real thing, or just another empty buzzword? Let’s unpack this further.
We acknowledge that this word has seen a lot of hype, in large part due to its affiliation with certain high profile projects. This article positions our use of omnichain within the context of Holograph.
We think our friend Andy articulates it quite well.
If you replace the word “dapp” with “NFT”, you get a strong high-level definition: An omnichain NFT is “an NFT that exists as one instance across many blockchains.”
But what do we mean by instance?
Within the context of programming, an instance refers to “a single copy of the software,” or a “specific realization of any object.”
So what makes an NFT unique?
Excluding an NFT’s content and owner (as these are not always guaranteed to be constant), this boils down to two distinct properties: an NFT’s (i) contract address and (ii) token ID. An NFT cannot be non-fungible without these properties.
Taking this a step further, a deeper definition of an omnichain NFT is “an NFT whose contract address and token ID persists across many blockchains.”
Over time, we believe monochain NFTs will become obsolete.
Now that we’ve defined what we mean by omnichain NFT, let’s talk about why such a thing does not yet exist and where Holograph fits into the equation.
We’ll begin by chronicling the anatomy of a typical bridge transaction. When an NFT is bridged from one chain to another, it’s typically locked on the origin chain and a new NFT is minted on the destination chain. This process creates a “wrapped” or “synthetic” version of the NFT, more akin to a photocopy than the original artwork. If the wrapped NFT is bridged again (using a different bridge), yet another synthetic version is created, further diluting the original NFT, resulting in what’s essentially a “fungible NFT.” This process violates an NFTs non-fungible properties and complicates the record of ownership.
In other words, bridging an NFT is currently like right-click saving the NFT on one chain and re-minting a counterfeit on another.
But don’t fret, our devs did something!
We’ve invented a solution that enables an NFT to move across many chains while maintaining complete data integrity. We call this “Holographic” bridging.
An alpha version of our solution has been built and we’re in the process of testing functionality. Security and user experience are top priorities for our team, so it’s very important for us to get these things right. We’ll share a more technical specification of our solution soon.
Thanks for reading and make sure to keep in touch!