CORRUPTIBLE NFTs: A WHITE PAPER ON “CREASE”
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are a digital version of something everyone understands in analog. If an artist paints you a picture, and gives it to you – no one else can have that painting. It is yours. It is one of a kind. Someone could copy it, a magnificent forger could make a nearly exact replica, even going so far as to use the exact same paint, the same material for canvas from the same maker of the canvas, employ the exact same style, but the original painting would be the original. One might even say even if you copied them painting atom for atom, the original would still be different than the atomic duplicate. It would be unique in time (it came first), and more esoterically, it would simply be different, even if the atomic configuration were the same in the forgery, it still would not be the original painting. Now let’s say that your friend was Picasso and he gave you that painting, you are very enticed to prove it is an original. YOu may have a picture of you and Picasso and the painting. There could be paperwork, Picasso could have told someone else in a letter he gave it to you, etc. There are various ways to prove that a painting belongs to a person and the painting is not a forgery. (Paintings that are thought to be forgeries can lose value instantly REF).
In the digital world, how would you prove ownership of a digital piece of artwork and more importantly what on earth would make a digital piece of artwork unique?
Well, a digital piece of work could be an mp3, an mp4, a gif, a jpeg, a png, etc. The artist could be a singer, or actor, or athlete. And of course, we all know how easy it is to get an exact copy of an image or a song. We can all listen the exact same song on our phones, we can all instantly send the exact same image to everyone we know. So what makes a digital artwork unique? Enter NFTs.
Using blockchain technology one can make a unique digital piece of work. Let’s stick with art. An artist could make a digital gif or jpeg of an Owl Reading a Book. They could then make it totally unique with the blockchain, that is, a unique hash attached to that piece and that piece along. A hash, in simple terms, means taking any input (a song, an image, etc.) and condensing it down to a single line of code. These hashes only go one way, and no image would give you the exact same hash (they are collision resistant, that is, you won’t have a picture of a dog and a picture of a cat create the same hash, two hashes are highly unlikely to collide – it’s astronomically unlikely). So if the artist were to give his or her digital painting of an Owl Reading a Book a hash, that hash would be totally unique. Now, when that hash is in the blockcahin, the blockcahin would also ahve a time stamp, so you would have a totally unique piece that was the first to exist – this is immutable, the chain is a time append only chain. That digital painting of an Owl Reading a Book, is now the first and only original. Even though anyone could simply screenshot of an image of it, they would not have an original. Even if it was an exact copy digitally, just as that painting by Picasso could be atomically duplicated, the original is the original – it is so in time and in “spirit.” The artist or creator has made, and has “signed” it with the hash, so to speak. In that sense, t is the first and only. (Note: there could also be “prints” or a series of 10 or 100 or whatever of a digital artwork, but the same principles apply. If an artist issued 100 images of his work, one of them would be the first image, that is, 1 of 100, and the second image would be 2 of 100 and so on. But there would only be 100 official digital prints issued by the artist. More on this later). Again, even though you could screenshot the digital painting of an Owl Reading a Book, the image would be unique because of the code. The Non-fungible in Non-fungible Token means that your image cannot be exchanged for another, it is unique.
THE NFT MARKET
The NFT market has exploded recently – with pieces selling in the tens of millions of dollars. Artists, athletes, musicians, actors, and even CEOs (REF) have been in the game. NFTs are easy to make and publish. There is a small fee that is needed to post an NFT on marketplaces (paid in cryptocurrency, naturally), and major galleries and labels along with emerging artists and musicians are creating them.
WHAT IS CORRUPTIBLE NFTs and “CREASE”?
So you can take a digital piece and make it unique, that is what NFTs do. The same way you could own a Picasso, you can now own a jpeg by Bepple (REF) – it’s yours and it’s unique even if others have a copy of it or a screenshot of it. You have the original created by the artist, and you have the first one created by the artist – it is time stamped.
But what is one thing that NFTs are missing. NFTs cannot be corrupted, cannot be damaged, cannot lose value because a drainage pipe leaked on it (REF). But what if they could? What if you had to “care” of your NFT the way that someone who owns artwork or a sports card or anything collectible has to care for their items.
For instance, if you owned a Michael Jordan rookie card, you have to put in a plastic case, keep it out of sunlight, avoid moisture, don’t allow people to touch it and expose it the oils on one’s hands, and make sure it didn’t get water damaged, or bent or creased. If any of that were to happen, well your Michael Jordan rookie card would lose an immense amount of value.
I propose the idea of corruptible NFTs, NFTs that can be corrupted if they are not cared for. The system we will use is called “Crease.” Crease is a system that brings the “corruptibility” factor into NFTs, your digital artwork or sports card or song can become corrupted if you do not care for it. It thus requires owners to care for their NFTs as they would physical tangible items or they become degraded. Negligent ownership would potentially hurt the value of the NFT. The following will explain more in detail.
PROOF OF CARE (PoC) and YOUR NFT (AN EXAMPLE)
One way an owner of an NFT would have to “care” for their NFT would be each week having to send the piece to a new wallet. Crease would track the piece and keep a percentage of the “condition” of the NFT on a public database. Thus, each week, or month, or whatever the creator of the NFT would like (Difficulty of Care, DoC, could be from severe to casual), the owner would have to send their NFT to a new wallet. This would have to be done manually by the owner, or hired out. The PoC should never be able to be automated. (Perhaps even going so far as to video the process and upload the video). Should an owner “miss” a transfer, the NFT would be downgraded from “mint.”
Let’s have an example: I have an NFT from the show Seinfeld. It’s a clip of Kramer saying “These pretzels are making me thirsty!” It’s a gif. It was created by Jerry Seinfeld. I buy it and now I own that gif, it is 1 of 1. It is on the blockchain – it hashed and time stamped, it is mine. In terms of owning that gif, Jerry Seinfeld creates a Difficulty of Care at once per week: that is, once per week the “These pretzels are making me thirsty” gif has to be transferred from one wallet to another. Crease would track whether or not these transfers were taking place and keep track of the “condition” of the NFT. If the NFT never missed a transfer, the mint would be 100% (or perhaps a 1 to 10 scale). But if the owner of the “These pretzels are making me thirsty” gif missed a PoC transfer, the NFT might be downgraded to 99% mint condition.
COMPETITION AMONG NFT “PRINTS”
A creator that issued prints would thus give “later” edition prints a chance to be worth more than print, say, 1 of 20. If print 1 of 20 is not maintained via PoCs, then perhaps, print 5 of 20, which was maintained, could surpass it in value.
CREASE WOULD INCREASE VALUE
The value of a NFT could increase substantially if the NFT was maintained over time. Imagine, an image/song/card that has been doing a weekly or daily PoC for 10 years, the amount of human energy and effort that went into that NFT would add value to the NFT. It is the same as finding an old car from the 1920s that is in mint condition, that has been maintained, and so forth≥ It is makes an item even rarer.
The monitoring of the NFT would be on chain, the PoC transfers for the NFT would take place on chain, but it is possible the data presentation of each NFT could be shown offchain. The crease software would simply track NFTs and whether or not the NFTs have been honoring their smart contract PoCs. Crease would also create the contracts by which NFT creators could create their PoCs. And again, it would also maintain mints of each piece. Crease could be incorporated and integrated into Rarible, Nifty Gateway, and others.
Crease coins would also be a way to show PoC. Crease would reward miners using Proof of Work to verify the Crease PoC transfers. It could also be that a NFT creator chooses that each PoC transfer would require an owner to pay a small fee in Crease to maintain their piece. Other PoC could involve owners engaged in computational problems to show their maintenance.
As a young kid, I collected sports cards and comic books, we were always worried about the cards and comic books getting creases, that is damaged. Thus, I thought a good name would be Crease, after all, that is what using Crease attempts to avoid. NFTs are part of the new world, as things analog become digital. One aspect of the analog world that needs to enter the NFT space is the possibility of corruptibility. Crease offers a solution for that. Soon, Crease will be running on a testnet, and more technical details will be available regarding coins and other protocols. It will be built on Ethereum.