NFTs allow artists, among other things, to make their digital artwork or digital trading cards “unique” in the digital world. Not replicable, so to speak. For example, the same way one could own a Picasso, one can now own an NFT of a jpeg by the digital artist Beeple. That particular Beeple jpeg is now unique even if others have a copy of that jpeg or a screenshot of the jpeg. In analogy, on my wall, I have a very convincing print of an Ansel Adams photograph, but do I really own an original Ansel Adams – of course not.
Once you purchase an NFT one has the original created by the artist, and one also has the first one created by the artist on the blockchain – it is time stamped. (NFTs create essentially ironclad proof of ownership and origin.)
But what is one thing that NFTs are missing? NFTs cannot be corrupted, cannot be damaged, cannot lose value because a drainage pipe leaked on it, or one’s grandkids knocked it off the wall. The dog cannot chew on the NFT. But what if NFTs could be damaged? What if one had to “care” for their NFT the way that someone who owns artwork or a sports card or a sports car or anything collectible, has to care for their items?
For instance, if one owned a Michael Jordan rookie card, one would have to put in a very good plastic case, keep it out of sunlight to avoid UV damage, avoid moisture, have it is a fireproof safe, have it insured, one would have to make sure people don’t touch it and expose it to the oils which are in human hands, one would have to make sure certain it didn’t get water damaged, and also make sure it did not get bent or creased. If any of that were to happen, one’s Michael Jordan rookie card would lose an immense amount of value immediately and irredeemably. If one didn’t take care of their collectible, it would most likely depreciate – rapidly.
With that said, I propose the idea of corruptible NFTs, NFTs that can be corrupted if they are not cared for (cNFTs). The system we will use is called “Crease.” Crease is a system that brings the “corruptibility” factor into NFTs, one’s digital artwork or digital sports card or digital song can become corrupted if one does not care for it. It thus requires owners to care for their NFTs as they would physically tangible items. Negligent ownership would potentially hurt the value of the NFT. The following will explain more in detail.
AN EXAMPLE OF PROOF OF CARE (PoC) and YOUR cNFT
One way (by no means not the only way) an owner of a cNFT (Corruptible NFT) would have to “care” for their cNFT would be that each week they would have to send the piece to a new wallet. Thus, in the system I am proposing, Crease, would track the piece and keep a percentage of the “condition” of the NFT on a public ledger or database. Thus, each week, or month, or whatever the cNFT contract stipulated to show Proof of Care, the condition of the cNFT would be updated. I call the “work” that must be done Difficulty of Care, or DoC. DoC could be from severe to casual, the owner would have to send their NFT to a new wallet on a daily or weekly or yearly basis. If it was yearly, then the DoC would be low; if it were daily the DoC would be high. This “proof of care” would have to be done manually by the owner, or it could be hired out. The PoC should probably never be able to be automated (unless linked to something like mining), it should require real human time and physical effort or some sort of cost. Should an owner “miss” a transfer, the NFT would be downgraded from “mint.”
Let’s have a more concrete example: I have an NFT gif from the show Seinfeld. It’s a clip of Kramer saying “These pretzels are making me thirsty!” It was created by Jerry Seinfeld. I purchased it and now I own that gif, it is 1 of 1. It is on the blockchain – it hashed and time stamped, it is mine, it is in my crypto wallet.*
Now, PoC and DoC can be set in one of a few ways: A creator of the NFT can set it if he/she wishes to. A creator, in this case Jerry Seinfeld, could say, “If you buy this NFT, then I expect you to prove your care for it once a month.” That PoC terms and the DoC could be set by the creator. Before you, me, or anyone buys the piece we would agree to the terms. So if the DoC is set to once a month, then once a month, the NFT of “These pretzels are making me thirsty” gif has to be transferred from one wallet to another. Crease would track whether or not these transfers were taking place and keep track of the “condition” of the NFT. If the NFT never missed a transfer, the mint would be 100% (or perhaps a 1 to 10 scale). But if the owner of the “These pretzels are making me thirsty” gif missed a PoC transfer, the NFT might be downgraded to 99% mint condition, and there is also piece deterioration.
Another option for PoC and DoC is if the purchaser of the NFT wishes to convert it to a cNFT. The artist makes no comment on whether or not PoC is added (though they could block a piece from being able to be degraded if they desired). If a purchaser buys the NFT of “These pretzels are making me thirsty” then he/she could elect to make it a cNFT and thus enable PoC. He/she could also set the DoC level.
TYPES OF PROOF OF CARE
Sending the NFT to a new wallet at a certain frequency is just one type of proof of care. There are many other ways to create PoC, and those options will be available. An example of this might be (and this is more passive and doesn’t require human effort), is that a certain amount of coins (potentially Crease coins) will be paid out each year, or month, day. This would be, in effect, saying, “I believe in this NFT so much, I will pay to maintain it with my own coins.” For example, if someone buys a cNFT and says, “Each week I will pay 0.001 crease coins to keep it in pristine condition.” If they miss a payment, the piece deteriorates (more on this below). One could also have a store of value associated with the NFT. The NFT could have a balance of 1,000 Crease coins pegged to it, and the owner says, in effect, “To prove how much I value this piece, I will not sell any of these coins for 10 years.” If they did sell a portion of say 100 coins, the NFT would deteriorate 10%. One other way that we plan on making available, is to create a game in which one has to login via an app and “take care” of the NFT in a game. Your NFT will load into your Crease app and you must make sure that you “check on it” each day. (Have a “pet” NFT to care for.) More on what “check on it” means to come. If you did not “check” on your piece in the game, the NFT would deteriorate. There could also very easily be VR versions of PoC. Another PoC, would be a captcha. You could log in each day, solve the captcha to keep your NFT mint. (This sort of thing could also be a way to “mine” coins, the more you perform PoC, the more Crease coins you could earn.)
COMPETITION AMONG NFT “PRINTS”
A creator that issued prints would thus give “later” edition prints a chance to be worth more than the original print. If prints 1 through 4 of the first 20 prints are not maintained via PoCs, then perhaps, print 5 of 20, which was maintained, could surpass it in value.
ACTUAL DAMAGE TO THE cNFT
So this is very interesting. If an owner does not maintain his/her PoC, the actual NFT will be damaged. The damage will be random destruction of pixels in all images. (Damage to music and video will come later). So if one does not maintain your PoC, CREASE essentially burns the original NFT – it is gone forever (sent to a wallet that has no access). A new NFT of the original is created, this time with damage to the NFT. Thus, if an NFT under PoC is not maintained, eventually the entire image could be lost. (Also, funny memes could be inserted into a damaged gif as a frame.) The artist still receives his royalty on any sale of the now damaged NFT.
CREASE COULD INCREASE THE VALUE OF ARTWORK
The value of a NFT could increase substantially if the NFT was maintained over time. Imagine, an image/song/card that has been doing a weekly or daily PoC for 10 years, the amount of human energy and effort or game playing or money, etc. that went into that NFT would add value to the NFT. It is the same as finding an old car from the 1920s that is in mint condition, that has been maintained, and so forth. It makes an item even rarer. It could be especially useful for emerging artists. Human energy that goes into an unknown artist could increase the perceived value of the piece and the artist.
The monitoring of the cNFT would be on chain, the PoC transfers to new wallets for the cNFT would take place on chain, but it is possible the data presentation of each cNFT could be shown off-chain (that is, the mint condition number.) The mint condition number would be calculated by the amount of random damage done to the piece by missed PoCs. The Crease software would simply track NFTs and whether or not the NFTs have been honoring their smart contract PoCs. Crease could be incorporated and integrated into Rarible, Nifty Gateway, Opensea, and other platforms. To begin, Crease will be its own NFT marketplace.
As stated, Crease coins would also be a way to show PoC. Crease would reward miners using Proof of Work to verify the Crease PoC transfers. As stated, it could also be that a NFT creator chooses that each PoC transfer would require an owner to pay a small fee in Crease to maintain their piece. Other PoC could involve owners engaged in computational problems to show their maintenance.
Details on this coming soon.
As a young kid, I collected sports cards and comic books. I was always worried about the cards and comic books getting creases, that is, damaged. Thus, I thought a good name would be Crease – one wants to avoid damage to one’s NFTs. NFTs are part of the new world, as things physical become digital more and more rapidly. One aspect of the physical world that needs to enter the NFT space is the possibility of corruptibility. Crease offers a solution for that. Soon, Crease will be running on a testnet, and more technical details will be available regarding coins and other protocols.
*The actual file usually isn’t on the blockchain, just a link to the IPFS.