Indorse is delighted to announce the public alpha software release for the ‘Nifty Scanner’, an analysis tool for digital assets. Nifty Scanner is a browser extension and is now available on —
Nifty Scanner ‘scans’ Non-fungible Tokens (‘NFTs’), and provides detailed essential background information on how and where the assets (the media and the metadata) associated with an NFT are stored. This data, whilst publicly available on the blockchain is not always published with the NFT in an apparent manner. Currently, Nifty Scanner is compatible with the OpenSea marketplace and will shortly be compatible with other popular marketplaces as well.
When you ‘buy’ an NFT, you’re just buying the ownership of a token. The underlying assets — the media (image, video, GIF) and the metadata (properties) are usually stored elsewhere. In an ideal world, these would be stored on a blockchain, but this is not always possible because blockchain has some practical limitations regarding the size of data that can be stored. Hence, many projects choose to keep the media and metadata stored “off-chain”. The second best option is to store the underlying assets on a decentralised storage system such as IPFS. Unfortunately, our research has shown that, in a majority of cases, NFT assets are stored on centralised servers, such as AWS and Google Cloud. These results imply that the owner of a project, whoever that is, could potentially change or alter the content of the NFT at will. Should the media be changed or tampered with, it would render an NFT, which could have been acquired at a significant cost, effectively worthless.
The problem is not just with the underlying assets; some projects are currently entirely bypassing the verification process of their Smart Contracts on Etherscan. This can have potentially damaging consequences since, without Smart Contract verification, the buyer cannot be sure of what he or she is actually ‘buying’ and could easily end up acquiring a counterfeit NFT.
Nifty Scanner identifies where the NFT assets are actually stored and displays the information in a section called the ’On-Chain spectrum’ for an NFT. It also computes a ‘decentralisation score’ for the NFT, based on expert analysis. The details of the NFT are gathered through the marketplace API and the Smart Contract data is checked directly on the Ethereum blockchain.
How it works: If you go to the OpenSea marketplace and then open any NFT details page (it should be of the format https://opensea.io/assets/<smart_contract_address>/<token_id>), you will see the Nifty Scanner icon displayed on the left of your browser/screen. If you click on this icon, a panel will pop up on your screen where you will see the “On-chain spectrum” for that specific NFT, including details as to where the asset is stored.
Indorse’s team of experts has analysed the top 30 NFT projects globally. Where necessary, they have come up with some recommendations as to how their security and privacy can be improved. Whilst we can reasonably assume that most NFT projects would have started with the best of intentions, it is essential to bear in mind that the privacy and security of any given NFT will only be as effective as the elements of decentralised blockchain technology incorporated into its original design and build. It is pretty clear that many projects do not currently aspire to the levels of decentralised ethicality needed to provide the privacy and security that blockchain technology was designed to provide.
The immediate next steps will be to make Nifty Scanner compatible with a number of popular NFT platforms and marketplaces. We are also working on plans to integrate the IND token and the IND-powered validator ecosystem in this extension — though we would stress that this work is currently at the nascent ‘modelling’ stage.
By utilising our dedicated validator community, we are also aiming to be able to provide an ‘Indorsed’ stamp or verification mark for various types of NFTs, with IND tokens potentially to be used as the medium of payment for the service. Another option under consideration is to use IND as part of a solution to host the NFT media and assets on IPFS, thus providing a 100% uptime guarantee through Nifty Scanner.
It is important to note that Nifty Scanner is currently at the alpha testing phase; with its current release to partners and the Indorse community. This is an essential first step, which, once complete, will enable us to move seamlessly towards the beta testing phase and then begin work on broader marketing and commercialisation.
The Nifty Scanner Alpha browser extension interacts with NFT Platforms and marketplaces through officially sanctioned APIs and will only obtain and display data and information that is otherwise publicly available on the blockchain.
The ongoing use of Nifty Scanner relies on its ongoing compatibility and connectivity with third-party NFT Platforms and Marketplaces. Indorse does not accept responsibility for any downtime or connectivity issues that may impact the availability or usage of Nifty Scanner.