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What is NFT Metadata? — Meaning and Purpose Explained | by Sam Daodu | Aug, 2023

Nowadays, most discussions about NFTs base on improving how NFTs are minted and exchanged. Although these discussions are critical for advancing NFTs’ feasibility, the analysis of NFT metadata is pertinent in expanding the utility of NFTs.

NFT metadata is a core part of blockchain technology, as it tracks and identifies digital asset ownership. It enables everyone to maintain ownership of their assets. This article decimates all you need to know about NFT Metadata and its importance in blockchain technology.

Well, everyone knows cryptocurrencies are simply digital money but there’s more with NFTs. NFTs represent digital assets rather than money. You can turn your pictures, pieces of art, or even music into a digital asset — you can turn them into NFTs.

What makes NFTs more fascinating is that they are unique and cannot be altered. Say you want to be like Leonardo da Vinci and you create your very own Monalisa painting, although it will be significantly different from the original da Vinci painting, it’s still yours. And once you turn your painting into an NFT, no one in the entire world can claim ownership of your art unless you sell it. Aren’t NFTs cool?

NFTs are still a relatively new technology and they continue to gain good traction in the online community, particularly among music artists who can now sell their music as digital collectibles. NFTs can be bought, sold, or traded on exchanges using blockchain technology.

If you buy an NFT, the asset is stored on the blockchain with a unique identifier. There’s a smart contract code that would specify the conditions for reselling or transferring ownership of the NFT. And since NFTs are stored on a decentralized network, it’s impossible for third parties to tamper with or alter it.

The metadata of an NFT entails the digital asset’s properties and characteristics. This can include the asset’s creation date and time, the creator’s name and contact information, a description of the asset, and keywords that can be used to find the asset.

NFT owners can track and manage their assets by storing metadata in a blockchain ledger. The metadata enables an NFT creator to create something one-of-a-kind and impossible to replicate. As a result, NFTs with extensive metadata are in high demand among collectors and investors.

Basically, metadata is used to manage digital assets and is classified into three types: structural, administrative, and descriptive.

Structural Metadata defines the hierarchical structures and allows for navigation and ordered sequencing of digital objects in their presentation. A series of e-magazines, for example, would contain metadata defining each magazine’s internal structure (the order of articles and pages within an issue) and external structure (the order of issues in the series).

Administrative Metadata includes data related to creating and managing a digital asset. Administrative data are further classified by the National Information Standards Organization into three subtypes: technical, preservation, and rights metadata. Administrative metadata includes information about the file type, hashes, intellectual property, and permissions.

Descriptive Metadata is exactly what the name implies. Descriptive metadata can include the title, physical attributes, keywords, and other information about a digital asset. As long as you know how to describe what you’re looking for, you can use this to find and identify a specific digital asset. When you use a search filter on a website, the search engine uses the descriptive metadata of the store items to find your specific results.

When an NFT project is made available for minting, and you purchase it, a random number generator will assign a set of characteristics to your NFT. This data is saved in the metadata. A token’s metadata is immutably recorded on the blockchain. Such a record contains information like; the token’s meaning, current owner, and transactional history.

Viewing an NFT’s metadata, confirming its ownership, and tracing its transaction history are all possible with an NFT tracking and verification service that uses a marketplace database to verify that the token ID and contract address are linked to the legitimate owner of the content.

If you choose a service that adheres to the NFT coding standard, one of the many NFT verification tools available will search for you. Etherscan, an Ethereum blockchain explorer, is a well-known tool for locating and validating NFTs. The platform allows users to verify information such as; transaction histories, wallet addresses, metadata, smart contracts, and other on-chain information. Similarly, using a blockchain explorer like BscScan, you can access all of the NFT metadata you need on the BNB Chain network.

However, retrieving the metadata of a non-fungible token from the smart contracts that regulate it requires you first to gain access to the NFT’s smart contract. Also, the metadata should be accessible for verification under the “Details” section of the contract.

Once you have the token ID, you can search the blockchain and marketplace archives for the token owner’s address. However, unless they have been made public, you cannot access other NFT credentials other than the blockchain address of the account’s owner.

NFTs have been commended as a means of assisting artists in protecting their work from piracy and unauthorized changes.

But what if the NFT itself is altered or lost? One option is to “freeze” the metadata associated with an NFT, which effectively locks it in place. This prevents anyone from making changes to the NFT without the artist’s permission. Furthermore, freezing the metadata ensures that the NFT is never lost or stolen.

As a result, freezing your NFT metadata is a great way to safeguard your work against unauthorized changes or loss.

Finally, NFT metadata is a method of storing data about your NFTs on the blockchain. This information may include the date and time of creation, the name of the artist or creator, and even a description of the NFT. You can ensure that this information is never lost or tampered with by storing it on the blockchain.

NFT data can also be used to create one-of-a-kind experiences for your fans or customers, such as exclusive ownership or behind-the-scenes videos.

Now that you understand what NFT metadata entails, its importance, and how you can access the metadata of any NFT. You should carefully fill out the metadata of your NFT, so it is accessible to the right audience. Lastly, do not forget to freeze your metadata to safeguard your work against piracy and unauthorized changes.

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