Jonty Wareing ⍼ Profile picture
Mar 17, 2021 16 tweets 6 min read Read on X
Out of curiosity I dug into how NFT's actually reference the media you're "buying" and my eyebrows are now orbiting the moon
Short version:

The NFT token you bought either points to a URL on the internet, or an IPFS hash. In most circumstances it references an IPFS gateway on the internet run by the startup you bought the NFT from.

Oh, and that URL is not the media. That URL is a JSON metadata file
Here's an example. This artwork is by Beeple and sold via Nifty:…

The NFT token is for this JSON file hosted directly on Nifty's servers:… Image
THAT file refers to the actual media you just "bought". Which in this case is hosted via a @cloudinary CDN, served by Nifty's servers again.

So if Nifty goes bust, your token is now worthless. It refers to nothing. This can't be changed.

"But you said some use IPFS!"
Let's look at the $65m Beeple, sold by Christies. Fancy.…

That NFT token refers directly to an IPFS hash ( We can take that IPFS hash and fetch the JSON metadata using a public gateway:… ImageImage
So, well done for referring to IPFS - it references the specific file rather than a URL that might break!

...however the metadata links to "…"

This is an IPFS gateway run by, the NFT-minting startup.

Who will go bust one day
You might say "Just refer to the IPFS hash in _both_ places!"

Well IPFS only serves files as long as a node in the IPFS network _intentionally_ keeps hosting it.

Which means when the startup who sold you the NFT goes bust, the files will probably vanish from IPFS too
In fact, this is already happening:
In short: Right now NFT's are built on an absolute house of cards constructed by the people selling them.

It is likely that _every_ NFT sold so far will be broken within a decade.

Will that make them worthless? Hard to say
"NFT startups are long-game blackmailers" is an entertaining concept

Eagerly awaiting the day when I can buy the bankrupt startup domains and start charging NFT owners to serve their files
"WELL ACTUALLY you just pin the file to your own IPFS node":

You absolutely can! But the metadata file generally points to a specific HTTP IPFS gateway URL - NOT the IPFS hash.

This means when the gateway operator goes bust I can buy the domain and start serving cat pictures
So @CheckMyNFT has been tracking NFTs created on Nifty, and apparently most of them are already broken 😬

I can't believe I have to say this but: Not ALL NFTs

Yes I know there are plenty of NFTs that do not suffer from these problems. I was just covering the mainstream ones that have been hitting the news.

Next time I promise to inject the words "most" and "many" in every sentence
Apparently it isn't clear and some people are very angry, so:

This thread is specifically criticising the vendors currently selling fragile NFTs, not the concept of NFTs in general. Ok?


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More from @jonty

Sep 18, 2022

The character "ꙮ" (U+A66E) is being updated in version 15.0.0.

Because it doesn't have enough eyes. It needs to have three more eyes.
I absolutely love that there's a unicode character with a single documented use, and it wasn't even correct.

Who wants ꙮ stickers. Limited edition, until my computer updates to Unicode 15
If you want to read more about the expansion of CYRILLIC LETTER MULTIOCULAR O, the full document is here:…
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Sep 14, 2022
So @DCMS have a live youtube stream showing where the lying-in-state queue ends

If you're to believe the What3Words address, you should currently join the queue somewhere near Bradford ImageImage
This is your regular reminder that What3Words is absolutely awful, because errors like this are hard to spot and easy to make
In a textbook case of "why What3Words is not fit for purpose", @russss figured out the actual address should be "keen.lifted.fired" instead of "keen.listed.fired" and someone clearly misheard over the phone

Tell me again how this What3Words is suitable for search-and-rescue Image
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Nov 24, 2021
Earlier this year someone mentioned the National Salt Reserve in parliament, and that the reserve "gradually reduce[s] each year due to environmental factors"

Firstly: Amazing, we have a National Salt Reserve!🧂
Secondly: What environmental factors?!

So obviously I asked. 🧵
It comes down to three things:

🧂 We measured it badly
🧂 We lost some when we moved it
🧂 It got wet and dissolved

This salt is stored outside in enormous heaps under tarpaulins, so rain is a problem - it's road salt, not salt for your chips.

Not interesting, right? 🧵
Well. The reserve consists of 259,021 tonnes of salt, and it costs £65 per tonne when accessed.

So far in 2021 over 5570 tonnes of salt have been washed away - £362,050.

But that's nothing compared to 2018 when over 14,428 tonnes went missing - £937,820

Read 5 tweets
Sep 16, 2021
We've been playing a game: What's the smallest amount you can spend to buy a million of something?

Current best:

🏷 £114 for a 1,000,000 clothes tags -…

Can you beat that?
Anyone replying with a jar of millions is getting blocked
Rules clarification: Manufactured products only, must be ordered by specific quantity written on the pack or in singles ("pack of 10"). Must not be ordered by volume ("ml").
Read 7 tweets

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