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What is a Dynamic NFT and what differentiates it from standard NFTs

Dynamic NFTs, which are also sometimes called “Living NFTs” use smart contracts to change their properties based on outside or external data sources. We explain below how Dynamic NFTs work.

What is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)?

According to the Wikipedia definition “A non-fungible token (NFT) is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger, that can be sold and traded.” Types of NFT data units may be associated with digital files such as photos, digital images, videos, and audio. Because each token is uniquely identifiable, NFTs differ from blockchain cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC).

“Non-Fungible” means that it is a unique item and cannot be replaced with anything else. For example Bitcoin is fungible, because you can trade one bitcoin for another bitcoin and each bitcoin will exactly equal each other in value. A one of a kind baseball card that is signed or a 1 of 1 edition is considered non-fungible. If you were to trade this 1 of 1 signed card for another different card, the value is not exactly the same as they are different items. NFTs are basically digital assets or items living on the blockchain, currently the most popular blockchain or cryptocurrency for trading NFTs has been Ethereum (ETH).

NFTs provide verified digital ownership rights of digital assets. Some of the most popular NFT use cases today are:

  • Art
  • Art Collections
  • GIFs
  • Video and sport highlights
  • Virtual avatars
  • Music
  • Digital clothing and sneaker
Dynamic NFT, dNFT, Living NFT, NFT
NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) and Dynamic NFTs (dNFTs)

What is a Dynamic NFT (Living NFT)?

Once a standard NFT is minted, the token ID and metadata are permanent, making these tokens static. Dynamic NFTs (dNFTs) can change their properties based on external data. In many instances, it’s beneficial to provide NFTs with the ability to react and respond to external conditions or data. The external data or conditions can trigger alterations to the token’s metadata, which is precisely what ”dynamic” or “Living” refers to in this case. 

One example for a dynamic NFT (dNFT) could be a an in game avatar or character as the dNFT. In the case of a football game like madden football, if a player was an NFT (they currently are not) and had several attributes built into the characters dnft like ratings for speed, agility, power, etc.. Now lets say in the real world, the player suffered a hamstring injury he is now playing through, you would want the characters metadata updated to reflect those changes and maybe the speed and agility ratings for the player would lower until the injury is fully healed.

How Does a Dynamic NFT Work? 

Living or Dynamic NFTs use smart contracts to embed the ability to change metadata within an NFT’s metadata. For instance, the hat sported by an in game avatar or character could change depending on the weather in New York, or an expression on a sports star’s face might be contingent on the result of their most recent performance.

NFTs that can change or adjust

One of the first NFTs to change its state was created by the popular digital artist Mike Winkelmann, more widely knows as Beeple.

In late 2020, ahead of the U.S. Presidential election, Beeple created the NFT artwork Crossroad, which changed its appearance based on the outcome of that contest.

Beeple, Crossroad, dNFT, Dynamic NFT, Living NFT
Beeple’s Crossroad dNFT, Dynamic NFT

If the former president, Donald Trump, had beaten Joe Biden at the ballot box, Beeple could flip a switch and have the NFT display an animation of a bloated Trump corpse rotting in a park. However if Donald Trump had secured a second term, the NFT would have permanently show a clip of Trump running through a hell-scape, similar to Godzilla. With Bidens win of the 2020 election, the crossroads NFT displays the prior scenario and more importantly showed the wider possibilities of what Dynamic or Living NFTs can do.

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