Where Are NFTs Stored? Everything You Need to Know
You might think that an NFT you buy is stored in your wallet. And although NFTs don’t always appear in your wallet after you buy them, you still have them. So where are NFTs stored in reality?
The majority of people mistakenly believe that NFTs are the true form of art.
A blockchain-based unique digital identifier is known as an NFT. The validity and ownership of a digital asset, such as a piece of music, a collectible, an item from a video game, and more, are verified using NFTs.
Simplest terms, the NFT is an address. It serves as a pointer that directs a user or application to the actual artwork.
Let’s explore the location of NFT storage in more depth.
Where are NFTs stored?
In order to create an NFT The smart contract must first be created on the blockchain . In essence, the blockchain is created when the NFT is broadcast to it and then recorded in blocks.
To be clear, the content of many NFTs, like as the real work of art or image file, isn’t actually saved on the blockchain; instead, just the contract confirming the existence of the NFT is registered on the blockchain.
The reasoning behind this is that, technically, an NFT is a digital representation of an asset, whether it be physical or digital; it merely declares that the asset exists, and the blockchain serves as a record of both this existence and all transactions that have occurred since the asset was created.
The actual work of art (metadata) is typically kept elsewhere, as on a website or in the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). Therefore, your NFT’s picture file would also be deleted if the website where your metadata is hosted ran out of power.
It’s crucial to distinguish between the smart contract and the media components of an NFT in order to respond to this topic.
The link or address pointing to the media’s location is contained in the smart contract, which is kept on the blockchain.
But what most people value is the media. It’s based on what you hear and see. It’s the song, the digital art, or the NFT profile photo.
Despite popular belief, this media is not often saved on the blockchain.
The media may occasionally be kept on a centralised computer or server. The image of an NFT, for example, might be kept on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) online storage server.
The issue with centralized storage is that in the event that the host entity vanishes.
The drawback of centralised storage is that if the host entity vanishes, the media files are permanently destroyed. Imagine all of Amazon’s lights going out in the event of bankruptcy. They would lose access to the media that is kept on their servers.
The connection in your NFT’s smart contract would be invalid in this case and point to nothing. In short, your NFT would turn into a broken web address.
The blockchain’s immutable nature is completely at odds with this expensive technological gap. NFT owners and collectors typically purchase NFTs with the expectation that they will be permanent and exist forever.
There are two types of NFT storage. On-chain storage and off-chain storage.
On-chain storage and off-chain storage:
The image and all of its related metadata are present on a blockchain when an NFT is stored on-chain.
Off-chain stored NFTs, on the other hand, are NFTs that are kept wholly or partially off the blockchain.
Users can validate every component of the NFT with on-chain storage, making it the best choice. But so few NFT projects select for this storage option. This frequently occurs because JPEG photographs require a lot of data, especially if a collection contains thousands or tens of thousands of them.
Centralized and Decentralized Hosting
In the smart contract of an NFT, most refer to that address where NFT jpeg is placed. For example, NFT contains metadata which is to pointing the off-chain address of its storage its like a pointer.
Frequently, a hash is used to store both the NFT image and the related metadata. Furthermore, these hashes identify a central or decentralised hosting provider.
Several examples are centralised hosting providers like Amazon and Google. The servers that house the 1s and 0s that make up the NFT are controlled by centralised hosting corporations. These platforms run the danger of going offline because they are managed by a single entity
Users frequently choose the decentralised option due to potential problems that could occur while using centralised storage.
The most popular method for storing NFT data is the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). The IPFS distributed peer-to-peer network’s file storage is dispersed across a large number of nodes, making it resistant to single points of failure like server issues.
Major benefit of using decentralized hosting is that it is not governed by a central authority .
In most cases, as NFT developers, you might not have direct control over where your NFTs are kept. Where your NFTs are issued typically blockchain and other platforms determine this.
There are popular alternatives to centralized server that are rapidly emerging as industry standards to help in the solution of this problem.
The InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS, is one of the most widely used techniques for storing NFT media.
It’s a decentralised method of storing the media and content that make up our NFTs’ framework.
A distributed file system uses the IPFS protocol and peer-to-peer network to store and share data.
IPFS is more focused with the content than the location of the data.
For instance, if you were curious about aardvarks, you could start by going to their Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aardvark.
Similarly, you can search out the same requirements using a mirror of Wikipedia stored on IPFS, with the following links: https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/Aardvark.html
The information about aardvarks is received using the IPFS connection based on its contents rather than its location. This indicates that your computer asks many computers, not only Wikipedia computers, to share the information with you.
IPFS uses cryptography to decentralise media storage by focusing on the content and enabling access to it from any place or machine in the world.
The IPFS URL (QmXo…) contains a string of cryptographic integers that ensures the stuff being fetched from different machines using the aardvark information is exactly what you were looking for.
The media associated with your NFTs will be as immutable thanks to decentralised file storage as the smart contracts that exist on the blockchain.
How to view NFTS after BUY it
After purchasing an NFT, the simplest way to see it in your wallet is to go to your Account Profile page on a centralised NFT exchange like OpenSea.
Once the transaction has been completed, the NFT may take a while to show up in your wallet if you have recently bought or minted it.
After clicking on a specific item, go to the “Details” area to see where your NFT’s media are kept.
Choose the “Token ID” hyperlink, then look for the image url in the metadata.
if you copy and paste the picture URL into the address bar of your web browser your media should load . Voila!
As an alternative, you can see your NFT tokens in MetaMask by navigating to the “Assets” tab and scrolling down. In rare circumstances, the token may need to be manually added via the Contract Address for it to show up.