Here’s how developers aim to store crypto inside NFTs


Developers have recently published an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) that introduces a new way to use nonfungible tokens (NFTs). With this system, all NFTs can have a smart contract account, allowing them to store other NFTs or crypto tokens. 

Cointelegraph spoke with Future Primitive’s Jayden Windle and Benny Giang, the authors of EIP-6551, to explain the use cases of ERC-6551 and its implications for the crypto space.

Jayden Windle and Benny Giang explains ERC-6551. Source: Cointelegraph 

According to Windle, while there are a lot of complicated workings behind the feature, the simple way to explain it is that they are giving NFTs their own crypto wallets. He explained:

“The real simple idea behind the ERC-6551 is that every NFT has a wallet. So, your NFT has a full wallet that your NFT owns. That means your NFT can own any asset on chain, and your NFT can do anything on chain. By giving NFTs wallets, NFTs now become users on Ethereum.”

When asked how the idea came to life, the Future Primitive developer explained that their team went down to what he described as a “rabbit hole of experimental oddities.” He shared that they were working on an NFT project where they wanted to add equipping as a mechanic. The project lets NFTs wear clothes and other accessories that are also NFTs.

“What we realized was nothing really sets the use case that we really wanted to achieve. We really wanted to have NFTs own their own items in kind of a self-sovereign way. We really wanted to be able to do that in a way that would just work with all the existing tooling,” he explained. 

Moreover, Windle also shared that they wanted other projects to be able to also take advantage of this new mechanic and build something that could apply to NFTs in general.

Potential use cases for ERC-6551

In terms of use cases, the developer also said that this can be applied to blockchain gaming and take the form of an inventory system. Furthermore, it can also be used in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) where instead of the history of a DAO member being separated by an NFT and a wallet, it can all be placed into the NFT itself. Apart from these, airdropping assets into NFTs can also potentially increase the value of NFTs as well. 

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As the new mechanic seemingly has endless possibilities, Cointelegraph asked Giang what this could potentially mean for the crypto space. The NFT veteran said that apart from asset ownership, this can also bring social identity into NFTs. This brings new functionality apart from just being able to buy, sell or trade NFTs. He explained that:

“We’re trying to introduce three new actions you can pursue with the NFT. It’s become, interact and use. You can become your NFT, you can interact with it, and you can use your NFT.”

Giang believes that this will make NFTs entirely different from jpegs. According to Giang, it can be the new internet identities. Furthermore, the Future Primitive executive explained that if artificial intelligence (AI) is employed, it can turn NFTs into fully on-chain network playable characters (NPCs) in blockchain-based games.

Apart from these, Giang highlighted that ERC-6551 is already live on the Ethereum mainnet. “It’s not a conceptual idea. It’s not like a testnet thing. It’s real,” he explained. According to the Future Primitive co-founder, they’ve also already applied it to an NFT collection called Sapienz.

NFT inception: NFTs that own NFTs inside NFTs

Cointelegraph asked the developers if there is a limit as to how far can putting NFTs inside NFTs go. According to the duo, this can “get crazy really quickly” and go on infinitely. They demonstrated a family tree of NFTs within NFTs. 

Demonstration of an NFT family tree with NFTs being used as wallets. Source: Cointelegraph 

“You can build applications around NFTs that own NFTs that own NFTs, and all this is accessible on chain. You can build on-chain applications that use that hierarchy of NFTs in order to build really cool experiences,” Windle explained. 

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