In 2021, the world experienced an NFT boom.
NFT (non-fungible token) technology garnered interest among many people when celebrities began to issue their works as NFTs and when the value of individual NFTs reached millions of dollars.
In March 2021, the Beeple NFT work Everydays: the First 5000 Days was sold at a Christie’s auction for a record price of $69.3 million. It is still the most expensive NFT sold to this day.
Earlier, NFTs existed, they were issued, but very few transactions took place with them.
NFT technology offers a lot of opportunities for various industries, from medicine to the arts. It is directly linked to blockchain and high tech.
NFT tech is getting more attention and adoption in our daily life, and we can say that almost every existing unique or nonfungible item, both in the physical world and the digital one, can be made into an NFT. It soon became clear that NFTs had vast potential, and a lot of teams were put together to develop projects and collections on the Everscale network. Though there were no tools or ready-to-use solutions for development, the tough job in this area began with creation of the first marketplace.
Marketplace development contest in Everscale
After the release of the first NFT collection in Everscale, the idea of launching an NFT-marketplace contest appeared in the community. At that time, contests were the main form of network development.
There were five prize places in the NFT marketplace contest. It resulted in five NFT marketplaces on Everscale in July 2021. The Grandbazar site was the winner.
All the developers took different paths, each writing their contracts. At the end of the contest, it turned out that all the contestants had different visions of creating marketplaces.
NFTs from these platforms were incompatible with each other.
After the contest was over, community members and developers of NFT platforms actively discussed how to work with NFTs in Everscale in the future. In the end, the community came to the understanding that there should be a separate smart contract for each NFT.
In August, the RSquad team, in collaboration with EverSurf, released a standard for NFTs — TrueNFT. This was an extended and reworked aggregation of the ideas proposed in the contest.
The main idea behind TrueNFT was to store NFTs exclusively on the blockchain.
TrueNFT also featured a contract index system that offered a quick on-chain NFT search without the need to store tables of NFT owners and collections.
According to the new standard, an NFT collection was managed by a single smart contract containing all the basic information about the collection. Additionally, each NFT in the collection had a separate contract that stored information about that particular NFT, and smart contracts indexes were used for NFT searches.
The NFT Alliance and the development of TIP-4
Everscale’s marketplace developers used the TrueNFT standard for their products, and in the process of doing so, they saw the need to expand it. NFT Alliance took the main initiative to create the TIP-4 NFT standard.
NFT Alliance is a community of people and companies who share the same passion — to create an environment for NFT and GameFi adoption, as well as growth of the whole Everscale ecosystem.
What is the TIP-4 NFT standard?
Any standard is a set of interfaces that can be used to work with that object. Because of this, every developer can build project architecture using the interfaces of a standard and implement them in their code, taking into account the needs of their product.
In the case of TrueNFT, the interfaces were missing methods to increase interaction between contracts. Also, the standard didn’t describe how off-chain information was stored due to information loading slowly on the Everscale blockchain and the high cost of storage for information taking up megabytes.
Therefore, the developers of NFT marketplaces added their own methods to their solutions and, in parallel, created a chat for sharing knowledge.
As a result of active communication between developers and community members, they concluded that a new standard that would solve the remaining problems was needed. The discussion among the community stakeholders went on for about five months.
At last, the final NFT standard appeared — TIP-4, similar to TIP-3, which describes the standard for fungible tokens. The standard is already in the repository and available for use. All that’s left is to wait for the official release of the new standard’s implementation.
What do community members strive for in implementing the standard? Aleksandr Alekseev, a lead developer with IT Gold who participated in the standard’s development, said:
This standard is needed so that all market participants can interact with any NFTs on the network. The SDK will allow to easily modify NFTs for any needs while maintaining the core functionality and leaving NFTs safe for users.