The collection of different types of web data is expanding into new spaces. From public social media channels to ESG to new financial destinations and more, a new web data trend is constantly emerging. What we’re seeing now is a strong push to enable NFT-focused companies to build independent blockchain ecosystems and create platforms for reviewing, ranking, and trending. This is in addition to verifying token creator identities and collecting APIs to help creators scale their dApps and go to market in days instead of months.
It goes without saying that web data collection can help build these systems… but what if I told you that it can also help you build your own NFT? It does, and here’s how.
What are NFTs? Let’s go back to the beginning
NFT stands for non-fungible token. The “non-fungible” part is there to remind people that it is unique and cannot be replaced or reproduced. It is basically a unique digital token that exists on a specific blockchain that allows the registration and verification of ownership of a given digitized item. Meanwhile, bitcoins are fungible, meaning you can trade them for each other. However, a digital meme, artwork, emoji, etc., are unique, in that you cannot exchange one for a similar one. These unique characteristics are what gave rise to many of today’s successful NFTs.
At a very high level, most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain, but other blockchains may implement their own versions of NFTs. It’s a distinction worth making when looking at certain NFT creations such as “Nyan Cat” or “Bored Ape”. These NFTs have had a serious cultural impact, to the point of classifying them as a collection of works of art, only in digital form.
And people go to great lengths to pay for these NFTs too. One person has already paid more than US$390,000 for a 50-second video by artist Grimes, while another has paid just under US$6.6 million for a digital collage put together by the artist digital Beeple, which was auctioned off at Christie’s. In fact, one of the first works of GIF art to be registered as an NFT was around ten years ago when artist Chris Torres first sold ‘Nyan Cat’ for the eye-popping $600. US$000. So clearly, NFTs are seen as an investment in the present and the future.
The role of data technology in the NFT space
A primary use focuses on enabling the flow of NFTs. Although the vast majority of NFTs are based on Ethereum, there are still a wide variety of blockchains that different NFTs are registered on, making it extremely difficult for those trading them to operate across the board. By mining leading crypto websites for industry trends and digital exchange rates, businesses can create a blockchain-agnostic NFT ecosystem.
You can also provide NFT reviews, ratings and trends. This company has developed an NFT platform where they review top NFT projects, trends, and artists, along with consumer-generated leaderboards. They use Web Unlocking data technology to collect publicly available information (e.g. likes, tweets, followers, etc.) regarding new NFT projects from various industry websites, social media and marketplaces such as Discord, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, OpenSea, Binance and others.
There is also the option to verify NFTs. For example, at Bright Data, we work with a company that uses their website as a launchpad and marketplace for NFT collections, where artists, athletes, and celebrities can create their NFT collections using native web tools that allow users to sell them to fans and followers on their marketplace. They use data collectors to prevent potential identity theft – by collecting information that helps them identify intellectual property violations. Additionally, they verify the identities of NFT creators by asking them to log in to one of their social accounts: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Collecting public web data also allows NFT creators to get to market in days rather than months, and here’s how: . This type of tool is fast, robust, and easily scalable on top of “Web3” infrastructure, allowing NFT creators to go to market in days instead of months. They and others leverage smart web data tools that can collect the NFT APIs needed for their solution’s unique capabilities.
Putting it into practice – what does the future hold?
We recently partnered with innovator YouTuber Yannic Kilcher in his quest to create an artificial intelligence (AI) tool capable of generating infinite NFTs, specifically “Bored Apes”. Apart from being a huge fan of this NFT digital art, the process behind it and the way web data collection makes it work smartly is truly amazing. The technique that allows this is called a “generative adversarial network” or GAN for short. It’s the same methodology that powers websites like This Person Doesn’t Exist and This Chair Doesn’t Exist.
Now, without going into ‘geeky’ detail on how this works, just know that data plays a huge role in allowing the AI to create random ‘Bored Apes’ NFTs. By retrieving data already publicly available on the Bored Yacht Club website via “OpenSea”, Yannic was able to collect a multitude of monkeys with their own attributes and properties. These data sets and points allow his AI creation to generate an infinite number of NFTs, without which it would not have been possible.
It is obvious that the NFT movement, along with other blockchain-based DeFi markets, will continue to attract attention and are here to stay. Companies that provide solutions for traders and producers of cryptocurrencies, as well as non-fungible tokens, will inevitably take advantage of web data technology to push this forward – why? It’s about moving forward and improving access to industry trends and improving insights into NFT creators, APIs, and marketplaces.
Where Lenchner is CEO of Bright Data