As Non-Fungible Tokens increase in popularity, you’ll want to understand how NFTs work and if NFTs can be copied or duplicated in any form. It’s a great question, and it’s not a simple answer.
In short, an NFT can be copied and pasted at any moment, if it’s a photo or digital file. However, that doesn’t capture the smart contract associated with the NFT.
These determine how the digital asset is classified, who the owner is, and how anyone can use the NFT.
Let’s dive in:
Can NFTs Be Copied or Replicated?
Non-Fungible tokens cannot get replicated or copied due to their minting process that converts, verifies, and registers ownership of the crypto asset using a smart contract on the blockchain. However, it is still possible to right-click and save NFTs with photos, videos, or other digital files.
Each digital file becomes unique with a different nonce, address, and contract codes in the metadata, making it easy to identify when it’s not the original token and copied. The smart contract has the most value because they cannot replicate it.
Since anyone can look up a transaction on the blockchain using the address, which is a string of 42 randomized characters, others can be held accountable for an original or copied token.
In other words, NFTs are verifiable, and it creates trust among all parties involved because thousands of computers confirm it.
What Happens if Someone Copies NFT?
It’s not illegal to ‘right click and saves’ NFT’s, and there are no actions against individuals to prevent it from happening.
However, some secondary marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rariable have teams monitoring to ensure it doesn’t happen on their platform.
More specifically, these teams are looking for when users on those marketplaces create fake new accounts and try to sell screenshot copied nfts as their own.
Every digital asset or non-fungible token has a smart contract and is registered on the blockchain, making it difficult to prove it’s real if it’s a copy.
For example, Gary Vee wrote in his NFT’s smart contracts access permissions to a yearly convention, VeeCon, for up to three years.
Why ‘Right Click and Saving’ NFTs is a Problem
Individuals spend thousands of dollars for ownership of a particular NFT. Some feel others shouldn’t be allowed to use that NFT. Like for their profile picture since they technically don’t own it.
Some consider it ‘stealing property’ and would reach out on social media with extreme frustration. Others laugh at the fact that there’s an argument around who can ‘use a photo’ on the internet.
A great quote from author Jay Baer of Hug, Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers says, “Social media is a petri dish for first world problems.”. Showing how adoption of this new technology started the transition of ‘internet of assets’.
For more on how NFTs are building a new internet, watch this 9-minute TED talk where Kavyon Tehranian explains what smart contracts can do for the future.
Why NFT Verification Matters in the ‘Internet of Assets’
Historically, the internet made copying files easy and replaceable when necessary. However, NFTs are the complete opposite. NFTs are non-replaceable.
The future internet categorizes every digital file as ‘digital assets, including photos, audio, video, and more. Each is unique as a ‘Non-Fungible Token’ and considered like ‘property’ by verifying the blockchain on a public ledger.
However, it doesn’t stop individuals from taking the ‘right click and save’ action on the latest nfts like bored apes.
How Non-Fungible Tokens Solves Duplication for Anything
All NFTs are verifiable and can trace back to their origins.
You hear about stories where fraud occurs when a collectible isn’t actual. It’s difficult for the buyer, seller and manufacturer.
However, since fraud exists in any marketplace, copied nfts can become a scam nft collectors need to be aware of and avoid.
Non-Fungible Tokens using smart contracts remain a solution for preventing or fighting against fraud when ownership, status, or access is at risk.
For example, Logan Paul lost 3.5 million dollars on a Pokémon card purchase where a human falsely verified the physical items.
Read more details from NY Post: Logan Paul lost millions in fake Pokémon card scam (nypost.com)
Verifiability introduces a sense of ownership, status, and access.
NFTs, give people a sense of ownership of physical and digital assets. Examples could be land or artwork; however, not limited to those items.
NFTs, give bragging rights to individuals.
NFTs, give people real-life perks or exclusive access. In smart contracts, you can make specific terms if you’d give buyers a limited license. For example, it can include copy and display only for personal or non-commercial use.
Social Media Companies Preventing Use of Copied NFTs
Social media networks are reworking their features to prevent the ‘copy and paste’ of nfts. Some are offering new features to help verify the authenticity of an NFT for a Profile Picture and create a double-layer of protection. People will first need to purchase an NFT using their digital wallet and then purchase a verification to connect their wallet and update their profile picture using their signature for approval.
Twitter launched a new feature changing the shape of profile pictures for NFT collections and allowing them to connect to their digital wallets to properly switch their new profile picture to their non-fungible token artwork.
It helps reduce fake NFT profile pictures from showing up and gives individuals an opportunity to showcase their NFTs in a verifiable way.
Also, Reddit is looking into producing a similar feature and started testing similar to Twitter.
We could expect this to be a broader trend across all social media platforms.
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