A popular criticism of NFTs is that they are just static JPEG files. Technically, they are not, of course. They are pieces of code on a blockchain, which means they can be programmed to have various qualities. The NFTs that go on sale on marketplaces such as OpenSea are already programmed with instructions on the royalties to be provided to the owner, for instance.
But what if they could be programmed to do much more?
That’s a trend we have seen in recent quarters. Pearpop introduced dynamic NFTs earlier this year that gain value as a social media post goes viral. The NFTs on Axie Infinity change their properties as a user makes inroads in the game.
A new startup, called Revise, is attempting to productize this ability.
It offers developers the ability to make their own NFTs interact with data feeds of their choice, which could be a web3 platform such as Chainlink or a Web 2.0 outlet like Weather.com.
The goal, as the startup explains it, is to make the NFTs change their properties based on events. For instance, a soccer NFT could hypothetically interact with data from FIFA and change its property or media content based on the real-world performance on the field.
“What programmable NFT allows you to do is also leverage the user’s interaction or skill to make the properties rarer,” said Raunaq Vaisoha, co-founder and chief executive of Revise, in an interview with TechCrunch.
By programming NFTs based on users’ interactions, developers can incentivize them to participate more in their projects, said Vaisoha, who co-founded Revise with Anil Dukkipatty.
Revise is also adding a layer of governance for the storage through its data structure to help developers handle disputes in a trustable manner.
“Currently, an issue with dynamic NFTs is that your data has to be off-chain. Imagine you’re playing a game and you have to wait for the block time for your gaming character to update. Most people end up storing the NFT on an AWS S3 or a different web2 layer,” he said. “That’s what our data structure is built to solve.”
Revise is initially launching with the Polygon blockchain, but plans to expand to other blockchains in the future. Its SDK is live in private beta on NPM, and the startup has amassed some customers already, including Ludo Labs.
The startup said on Friday it has raised $3.5 million in its seed round. Alpha Wave Global and 8i co-led the round. Bharat Founders Fund and a number of entrepreneurs, including Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal, DeFi Pulse founder Scott Lewis, AngelList India head Utsav Somani, The Graph's Pranav Maheshwari, and Treebo founder Rahul Chaudhary also participated in the round.
"The entire NFT space has seen a massive narrative shift as people have discovered that NFTs can be more than just digital collectables or static assets. We see this shift happen in Gaming most prominently, but the abstract concept is broadly applicable to any real-world asset that can be tokenized. Further, as more complex utilities are built on NFTs, the aspect of traceability and transparency in governance will become front and centre,” said Tushar Behl of Alpha Wave Global, in a statement.
“We loved Revise and the founders for their deep product insight and a forward-looking vision of the space. What the team at Revise is building can become the most fundamental layer for NFT provenance and programming, much like Chainlink did for Defi!”