RMRK 2.0 launches on Kusama and reinvents NFTs
- RMRK is a specification for NFTs on Kusama.
- With novel technology, not using smart contracts, RMRK allows exciting new features for NFTs.
- Now you can emote to an object and extend its functionality at any point in time.
- Singular is RMRKs marketplace and Kanaria is a live showcase project.
What is in an NFT, anyway?
At its very core, an NFT is just a unique dataset stored on a blockchain. With the JPEGs and PFPs we cherish, this dataset stores information on where to find the artwork and who owns it.
Potentially, NFTs can store anything. Examples include a link to your utility bill and the transaction you sent to settle it or your social security number with a picture of you. As long as the information is unique, i.e. ‘non-fungible’, it qualifies as an NFT (non fungible token). Please read our research on this technology for an investor’s angle on it.
The most widely used mechanism of storing this unique dataset is by interacting with smart contracts (little programs) on Ethereum or other EVM compatible blockchains. Here, you can send a transaction telling the smart contract to change ownership or strengthen a trait, for example, if the NFT can do so.
RMRK is Blockchain graffiti
Blockchain startup RMRK has found a different route to store unique data. They deploy on Kusama, the cool experimental sister chain of Polkadot.
Kusama offers a way to add information, not directly related to a transaction itself, as a so-called ‘extrinsic’. These extrinsics have a field for remarks. RMRK simply writes little pieces of text into the blockchain that contain all the data related to the NFT.
If you’re lost now, don’t worry. What it means is that RMRK writes text into blocks. They set out a specific set of commands that define an NFT. Here’s an example from their website.
Then a transaction writes this text on Kusama’s blockchain. Now, you might see a bunch of ugly numbers, but let’s break it down. The left side is a field's definition, and the right is the field’s data. So the field “name” has the data "Early Promoters version 15".
Reading the block we discover: “There’s an NFT, and its name is ‘Early Promoters version 15’”. In the same remark, we learn there’s artwork. The artist stored its content on blockchain Google drive IPFS, at the URL "ipfs://ipfs/QmavoT…”. It is very simple. The logic of how to transfer or evolve NFTs is not stored on-chain, but only the information, as text graffiti.
RMRK puts graffiti on the blockchain.
The advantages of graffiti
After this rather technical part, you might wonder what the advantages of blockchain graffiti are. In two words: forward compatibility. Or for investors: longer lifespan of NFTs.
When an NFT gets designed on Ethereum or other EVM chains, a smart contract gets deployed. This smart contract needs to have all the functionality built into it and can never be changed! When the original designer wants to add extra features later on, he can only deploy a new smart contract and allow holders to pay for new, extended NFTs with their old ones.
This is not the case with RMRK. Artists can, figuratively, extend the blockchain graffiti can on the edges, paint it over and embellish it with more cool details. RMRK NFTs are forward compatible in this way. The author can extend their basic structure later. Don’t worry about rug pulls here. The holder has to agree to the changes or his NFT will just stay the same.
You can see this in action here on Crowdcast, as RMRK founder, Bruno Skvorc, gives a demo of what this can look like with Kanaria, RMRK’s kick-off project.
Into the metaverse with Kanaria
RMRK still has more functionality to offer. Users can emote on NFTs, by sending transactions with emojis like 😍😂👻. If developers choose to create reactions to emotes, then there’s a fun way to interact with NFTs. Singular, RMRK’s NFT marketplace, displays emotes when viewing NFTs, regardless.
NFT extensions can come as equipment for a virtual pet or character. Let’s visualise this with an example from Kanaria.
This ‘Super Founder’ Kanaria bird has cool sunglasses, an amulet and gears as jewellery. You can buy and sell all these items and let your character wear them or not. These actions happen on the blockchain by sending transactions. Singular then displays the results. This is done by clever layering of images. Kudos to Kanaria’s developers.
For investors, it is a way to grow their collection’s value, as if they were upgrading a car or renovating an apartment. For metaverse inhabitants, it allows their virtual representations much more individuality and variety on a day-to-day basis.
On Ethereum, each transaction would cost two to three-digit dollar equivalents. Thankfully, on Kusama, these transactions cost cents and are currently paid for by the developers.
Nothing in this article constitutes professional and/or financial advice. The content is provided exclusively for informational and/or educational purposes. Nothing is to be construed as an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any type of asset. Seek independent professional advice in regards to financial, tax, legal and other matters.