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Positioned as the biggest collaborative NFT art project, dCanvas opened up for the public for the second time by allocating 256 public release NFTs in its community pixel board on May 6th, 2021.
Before this allocation, dCanvas had made 1024 NFTs available that got sold within five days. To understand why these public releases are so popular, we need to delve deeper into what dCanvas is, the purpose it serves, and how it is unique from other NFT projects.
At its core, dCanvas is about a 1024X1024 community art pixel board, divided into blocks of 4X4. Each block is an NFT. Once you own a block, you win exclusive rights over the block’s colors and governance in the creation and sale of art pieces commissioned based on the picture of the overall canvas. In the end, as an owner of a block, you can earn your share of the potential royalties with your co-block owners.
Before its official launch, dCanvas offered a limited number of NFTs in the first two bouts, as mentioned earlier. These blocks were up for a fixed price, located at a premium central location of the board. These public releases have been successful. Outpacing the average growth rate of the NFT industry, these sales have garnered $500,000 already. But why would an investor like to own them?
Owning dCanvas: The Motivations
dCanvas is a novelty even in the emerging tech space of non-fungible tokens or NFTs. The dCanvas project is collaborative, decentralized art at an unprecedented scale. It has never happened in the history of crypto art before.
The future artworks that will appear on the canvas boards in the days to come and will be commissioned and sold on art marketplaces will remain under these NFT owners in terms of its governance. The NFT owners will form a DAO or decentralized autonomous organization and distribute royalties or profits generated from the art sales to the NFT owners, proportional to their contribution.
The owner of a block, apart from having the right to set its colors, has the right to transfer or re-auction the NFT. The primary block owner enjoys tremendous power over another who desperately needs that specific block to complete their vision. It puts the primary block owner in a position of massive advantage to negotiate on the re-auction.
The question that arises here is, what if someone, who can not participate in creating art, is keen to own a part of this project. It is when one of the foremost unique aspects of the dCanvas project takes the front seat.
dCanvas: Employing Proxies
Users who are keen to own tokens but are not able or do not have the scope of participating in the art creation proactively have the option of delegating their ownership. They can designate another Ethereum address as an artist proxy. Although this designated artist gets access to set colors of blocks owned by the NFT owner across all boards, the ownership rights remain with the token owner. With these rights, the token owner can choose to transfer or re-auction the NFT. The owner also retains the right to revoke or change the proxy.
Delegation often creates scope for security vulnerabilities. The benefit of the operational process involved in the functioning of dCanvas is that it goes with the minimal use of custom smart contract code. Moreover, the NFTs follow the ERC721 standard, while the auctions happen through OpenSea, one of the largest NFT marketplaces globally. Both these are known for maintaining high-security standards.
Also, the dCanvas process is free from the security vulnerabilities stemming from the failure of the server. And, that’s where another unique feature of dCanvas comes into the scene: on-chain storage of metadata.
dCanvas: On-Chain Storage
As we all know by now, NFTs are non-fungible tokens that thrive on their scarcity, authenticity, and provenance. Yet, an NFT, at its core, is nothing but a unique line of numbers and letters within a smart contract. To put it more simply, it is an id.
The quintessential question to pose here is, how do we connect this code to the image/video/data that the artist is creating? The answer is metadata stored in a centralized server. The issue with this type of system is that if the server fails, the data will disappear.
Now, imagine that the data is stored on the blockchain, which is immutable. It immediately reduces the risk of losing the data or it getting altered in any way. Thus, dCanvas leverages on-chain storage of data to achieve this security.
In dCanvas, the ownership of a block implies that you get to set the color of each of the 16 pixels, using a 32-color palette that is available to everyone. This palette is set as metadata in the Solidity smart contract.
Also, the ownership of a dCanvas token qualifies you to access two different boards: Transience and Permanence. On the Transience board, you can submit color changes without having to pay for any gas for transactions. When the NFT is in an auction, till the time it is sold, any participant with a valid Ethereum address enjoys the full privilege to change block pixel color as if that address owned the NFT.
But, on the other end of the spectrum, there is a board for those who wish to store color changes on-chain. This is the Permanence board where the colors that you have chosen for your pixel are stored on-chain, on the Ethereum mainnet to be specific. It is a permanent, decentralized arrangement. To set colors following this route, one needs to interact with the smart contract by sending a transaction. It does require gas.
Both these boards complement each other by allowing users to choose between permanence and gas-cost free transactions. Either you can opt for storing colors immutably on Ethereum in exchange for a gas fee or utilize a state-channel to interact with others and change colors of blocks they own, gas-free.