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Despite not yet having functional smart contracts on the first tier, intrepid Cardano developers have recently hacked methods to save bootleg intangible tokens. These experiments with hosting unique data on the blockchain are reminiscent of the pre-ERC-721 standard era for Ethereum – and what’s more, they’ve proven to be hugely popular with token drops that routinely sell out so far.

In a post on Reddit today, ADA Technology Management (ATM), a strike pool operator for Cardano, revealed what they claimed were two NFT images they had chained. In the thread, the company said they plan to offer NFT coins as a service to delegators.

However, the so-called NFTs have a number of caveats. Because Cardano does not yet support smart contracts or have an NFT token standard, to create an NFT, users store a native token one-to-one native token.

“Tokens on Cardano are native and are on the same level as ADA. Instead of smart contracts, so-called “coin policies” control the flow of a particular token group. NFTs are basically 1 tokens on Cardano, ” explains Alessandro, the self-proclaimed ‘brain’ behind SpaceBudz, a Cardano-native collectibles project and the author of a Cardano enhancement proposal to include a Cardano NFT metadata. to establish. standard-

Developers can then embed a link in the token metadata to an Arweave and / or InterPlanetary File System address where an image is stored. a example NFT shows that the “metadata” portion of a coin transaction contains a link to an IPFS address to which the associated SpaceBud. The end result is a completely unique token that is permanently committed and transferable on the Cardano blockchain – an NFT by many, if not all, definitions.

Thriving community

Despite the extra hoops that developers have to jump through to create them, the NFTs have proven to be hugely popular with users.

According to Alessandro, SpaceBudz has sold out all 10,000 NFTs in just three days at a price of 50 ADA each, and there is already an eager secondary market where especially rare SpaceBudz have sold for as much as $ 40,000.

Even before SpaceBudz, CardanoKidz was already working on Cardano-native NFTs in August 2020. Multiple rounds of pre-sales sold out “within hours of launch,” said Zac, a member of the CardanoKidz marketing team. A Satoshi-inspired Kid sold for 32,000 ADA even before the tokens were struck, and the NFTs themselves went live in late March.

Zac credits tools such as a community developed token and coin policy tracker to make developers’ lives easier. The official Cardano developers, IOHK, also seem to be embracing the new industry as Chief Engineer Polina Vinogravoda provided a short tutorial on to beat NFTs on the chain on Tuesday.

A host of other projects round out the new ecosystem, including CryptoPunk-inspired CardanoBits and the coin platform CNFT. While still rudimentary, the NFTs on Cardano are also cheaper than those on Ethereum: striking a native token costs around 2 ADA or $ 2.50.

While the developers working in this emerging community have managed to do it so far, they are ultimately excited about smart contracts to make their lives easier.

“We can’t wait for smart contracts to come in for more functionality, but we had just enough tools and experience to get NFTs running on Cardano,” said Zac. “It’s been an incredible journey so far.”