NFT Authentication: What It Is and How it Works


In the last few years, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become a more common part of our world. They have been sold for millions apiece, are being used by creatives to monetize their work, and are actively changing the way by which we transfer ownership of assets. 

Beyond the million-dollar investments and attention-grabbing headlines, there is an underlying issue within the NFT space that enthusiasts are actively trying to overcome; authentication. You see, while NFTs are all unique in theory, the issue of inauthentic NFTs has been growing within the industry, 

People have found that they have paid for fake NFTs and creators have reported their works being minted and sold as NFTs without their approval. This is why NFT authentication using next generation protocols like PRüF are so important to the growth of tokenization.

What are NFTs?

NFTs, which stand for non-fungible tokens, are units of data, often representing digital or physical assets, recorded on blockchains so that they can be sold by one person to another. It is worth noting that NFTs are unique and cannot be reproduced –  i.e you cannot make a copy of an NFT, and no two NFTs are completely alike. 

This has made them highly sought after for selling digital assets and even physical ones. However, the influx of fraudulent  NFTs  has created the need for NFT authentication. 

What is NFT Authentication? 

NFT authentication is the process through which an NFTs validity, transaction history, and connection to the underlying asset are confirmed. When anyone buys an NFT, they might want to be sure that it is actually an NFT, actually connected to the asset they are trying to buy such as an artwork, and might also want to know who has had it in the past to be sure it wasn’t stolen. 

Because NFTs are so valuable these days, being sold for millions of dollars in some cases, more people are looking towards authentication. The same way diamond merchants and buyers have ways to confirm the quality and authenticity of a stone, there are several ways to confirm NFT authenticity. 

How to Confirm NFT Authenticity 

One of the easiest ways to confirm NFT’s authenticity is to look up its contract origin. Each NFT will have a smart contract in which its metadata is stored, as well as its token ID.   To do this, you will have to independently verify that the smart contract in question is actually under the control of the content creator or artist. This can be very difficult to do. 

One way to do this is to look into the asset that is reportedly being sold as an NFT and confirm that this is true. If someone offers to sell you the NFT of artwork, for example, you would want to look into the artist behind the work and visit their official website or social media handles. 

Most times, there will be some sort of announcement of an NFT sale, as well as the platform it is being sold on. If there is no such information available, the NFT might not be genuine.  All of this can be very difficult and time-consuming, and still does little to guarantee that the NFT is genuine to future buyers.

A better t way to confirm an NFT’s authenticity is to use a protocol that includes authentication in its DNA. PRüF, for example, lets users add their existing NFTs through this system. Regardless of what blockchain the NFT was created on, NFTs minted using the PRüF protocol can be easily traced to their creator, and as such their authenticity and authorized status can be confirmed.

Using these sorts of modern protocols saves users time and effort in confirming that their NFTs are valid, enabling easy and trustless exchange and verification. 

Modern protocols such as PRüF enable real, lasting value for NFT assets, and can be the way forward for an industry currently struggling with fraud and bad actors.

The Age of Authentication 

NFTs are not going anywhere anytime soon and this means that scammers peddling fake NFTs will also be around. Luckily, with more awareness around the tools and methods for the authentication of NFTs, buyers are less likely to be scammed. 

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