A Quick Guide To Storing NFT Data On IPFS
Posted By : Priyansha Singh | 16-Jan-2023
How To Store NFT Data On IPFS
In the past few years, the NFT market has proliferated at an exponential pace, fuelling massive waves of adoption and implementation across a wide range of industries including real estate, entertainment, eCommerce, and more. Emanating from a wild idea, it became one of the most sought-after trends, thanks to the neoteric blockchain technology that took its application, credibility, usability, security, and proof of ownership to the next level.
With NFTs, users can create and exchange digital goods with varying values, and blockchain solutions, in general, enable the managing, minting, and storing of immutable NFT metadata across several nodes. However, storing a big volume of data on blockchain typically becomes extremely challenging because of the high costs associated with data replication across hundreds of nodes in the existing network.
In the wake of this requirement to secure and store off-chain NFT data, Interplanetary File System or IPFS was born and launched.
In this blog, we will throw some light on how to set up IPFS data storage for NFTs, best practices, and the benefits of storing NFT metadata on the IPFS network. So, let’s get started.
What is IPFS?
IPFS is a hypermedia, open-source protocol that enables (peer-to-peer) P2P decentralized data storage through:
- Censorship resistance
- Easy retrieval
- Simplified sharing
IPFS plays a vital role in moving data around the network and finding what you seek for utilizing its content addresses with its file versioning advanced data structures and features. Here are the three cardinal steps that are built upon each other, constituting an entire IPFS ecosystem:
- Content addressing via a unique identification
- Content linking and storage through DAGs
- Content retrieval via Distributed Hash tables (DHT)
Understanding The Types Of IPFS Links
- CID (Content Identifier)
CIDs are unique, self-descriptive identifiers for any type of content irrespective of its storage location. They can be stored and transferred over the network in a compact binary format, however, they are represented as strings of any random characters when displayed to users.
Once you have added the data to IPFS and also have a CID, you can create your token’s metadata and then ‘mint’ it on the blockchain. In order to link your content from the inside of your NFT’s metadata or a smart contract, you can convert it to IPFS URI.
- URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)
The IPFS URI is used to denote a specific piece of content inside a context. In essence, the context is determined by the URI scheme which is essentially appended to the URI as a prefix (followed by ://). In these cases, the URI scheme for IPFS is just ipfs.
It is recommended to use an IPFS URI to link from the smart contract to the external data stored via IPFS including any NFT metadata that contextualizes or describes the token.
- HTTP Gateway URL
HTTP gateways offer interoperability for legacy user agents that are unable to natively resolve IPFS URIs. These links are leveraged in the presentation layer of applications without being stored in NFT metadata or on a blockchain. Moreover, gateway links are great for interoperability, however, they should not be the canonical or primary link to your IPFS data.
Why Should You Use IPFS For NFT Storage?
There are a plethora of blockchain projects and NFT utilities that can actually furnish additional value to users by utilizing a centralized storage solution for NFT metadata files or NFT-representing files. In addition to this, projects involved in Web3 development entail a proper level of decentralization and decentralized storage solutions are the only way to go.
When it comes to such services, IPFS is undoubtedly the best option and this is where Filecoin neatly complements IPFS. Apart from this, it is filled with the following advantages:
- Resilience: IPFS provides a highly robust and resilient system by making it easy and simple for creating networks in order to mirror data. Additionally, because of the content addressing, it altogether makes the IPFS content to be automatically versioned.
- Decentralization: Censorship of data and problems with single points of failure are the core issues of Web2 and centralized storage solutions in general. Therefore, the decentralized nature of IPFS alleviates these problems by providing an open and flat web.
- Low price & efficiency: The P2P system of IPFS retrieves content from a wide array of nodes simultaneously, making it highly efficient. This also enables a considerable amount of bandwidth savings since the boost in efficiency results in a cost-effective system.
- Availability: By facilitating the construction of resilient networks, IPFS ultimately makes for a more efficient & persistent availability. For instance, it results in enhanced connectivity for developing areas or those slow WiFi connections.
The Significance of Persistence and Availability
When you store data on IPFS, users can fetch it from any IPFS node with a copy which can reduce the load on any single server and make data transfers more efficient. As pieces of data are fetched by each user, they keep a local copy around to aid other users who could potentially request it later.
However, it is critical to know that these copies are temporary and will eventually get deleted unless the user further decides to ‘pin’ the data. Pinning a CID signifies IPFS that the data is crucial and should not be eliminated when the node is near its specified disk space limit.
Furthermore, if you are building a platform using IPFS for storage, pinning your data to IPFS nodes that are highly available and robust means that they can seamlessly operate without any downtime and with optimum performance. As an alternative, you can also delegate the infrastructure responsibility to an available remote pinning service such as Ethereum and Pinata that offers high storage capacity for your IPFS data without any vendor-lockin. Since IPFS-based content is addressed by CID rather than location, you can subsequently switch between seamlessly migrating to your private infrastructure or pinning services as your platform grows.
Looking For NFT Development Services For Your Business?
At Oodles Technologies, we offer a suite of NFT development services to businesses across a myriad of industries. Right from NFT creation, asset tokenization, and NFT fractionalization to NFT transfer, NFT marketplace development, and NFT launch and maintenance, we provide comprehensive assistance throughout the development phase. As an established NFT development company, we have multi-year experience and expertise in next-generation blockchain and tech stacks such as Ethereum, Hyperledger, Polkadot, Solana, Cosmos, IPFS, and more. With a seasoned team of in-house blockchain developers, we help you select the right technology for your project, ensuring that your application is extremely robust, secure, and reliable. If you are looking for NFT token development solutions, feel free to drop us a line. Our experts will get back to you within 24 hours.