Hint: The reason is IPFS
NFTs have been all the rage in cryptocurrency for at least six months now, and there are many reasons why people love NFTs.
Most crypto users and members of the Mogul community know NFTs as valuable digital collectibles you can buy and sell on marketplaces like OpenSea or Rarible. But in a broader sense, NFTs simply represent proof of ownership.
Think about it.
Mogul Access Passes are also NFTs. You can buy and sell them but Access Passes are not collectibles themselves. An Access Pass is not a piece of artwork per se (though it is beautiful!).
Here’s the thing. When people hear about NFTs and proof of ownership in the same sentence, they assume that as long as they own an NFT, they get to keep it forever. That is the fundamental value of what an NFT is supposed to provide. Proof of ownership for as long as you hold onto the NFT.
That said, have you ever asked yourself what happens if an NFT gets taken off of the server hosting it?
How will you access your NFT if it’s hosted on a centralized server like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the person or company responsible for the AWS account holding your NFT stops paying the bills?
A blockchain file transfer protocol called IPFS is the answer.
It’s what Mogul NFTs are built on, and it’s what guarantees you will own yours for as long as you want to.
Why Most NFT Projects Can’t Guarantee You Ownership in Perpetuity
Amazon is no doubt a huge company. AWS is one of the most trusted cloud-based file storage services in the world. In fact, incoming Amazon CEO Andy Jassy made his name within the company because he helped found, develop, and grow AWS into a revenue-generating machine for Amazon.
Many of the digital assets you and I take for granted when we search for them online are stored on AWS or competing cloud services owned by Google, Microsoft, etc…
However, as much as we take those cloud services for granted, the files stored on individual user accounts can disappear if individuals and businesses stop subscribing to the service.
This means that if you buy an NFT stored on a cloud somewhere, and the people paying the bills to host your NFT on that cloud stop paying, your NFT is gone for good. It doesn’t matter that you have proof of ownership, and it doesn’t matter if you paid $1 million for that NFT.
The whole reason IPFS exists is to decentralize file storage so that nobody can make your intellectual property disappear.
Traditional File Servers vs. IPFS
Let’s briefly break down the difference between a centralized server and IPFS.
How Traditional Financial Servers Work
In order to understand how IPFS works, you need to understand how users access files on the Internet today, and how IPFS functions differently from that.
Let’s say that you’re looking to download an image off of the Internet. Your computer finds that image using a combination of your IP address or the URL you type into your address bar. Using technology to search for an image in this fashion is referred to as location-based addressing.
Location-based addressing makes it easy for you to pull up an image as long as a centralized server is powered on and working properly. Using a centralized server offers two advantages. First, it means you can have an administrator take care of that server. Second, it means that you can get access to the content you want quickly.
One of the disadvantages of traditional servers is if the server goes down you can’t access the image. Another is if the company chooses to change the NFT image, then can at any time without any notice. No questions asked!
What is IPFS?
IPFS stands for InterPlanetary File System. It’s basically a fancy name for a decentralized file system that exists on the blockchain. If you’re an experienced crypto user and are aware of other big projects outside of Mogul, you might have already witnessed IPFS in action.
How IPFS Works
IPFS is a decentralized, peer-to-peer file storage and sharing protocol. Instead of relying on location-based addresses to point to digital assets, it uses content-based addresses.
IPFS assigns strings of characters called hashes to individual files stored on the protocol. Instead of specifying the location of the file you want, you specify the exact content you want using the appropriate hash.
If there are multiple copies of a given file, each will have its own hash, so that users who are supposed to have access to that file can still have their own copy, but the blockchain itself can maintain efficiency using those unique hashes.
When a crypto project needs to store immutable data, it is stored as an individual object that can be no larger than 256 kB. That doesn’t mean you can’t store larger files on IPFS protocols. It just means that multiple objects need to be attached together in order to exchange larger files.
The Advantage of Using IPFS Over Traditional Cloud Storage
The main advantage of using IPFS over cloud storage is that blockchains are immutable. The data on them can’t be manipulated, changed, or counterfeited. Once a file is uploaded and assigned a hash, it stays there, just the way a Bitcoin transaction registers permanently on a public ledger.
Mogul NFTs are stored using IPFS. This means that your Mogul NFT is yours forever (or until you’re ready to part ways with it). No need to worry about a major hack stealing a unique and valuable collectible from you. No need to worry about your Access Passes disappearing from your public profile all of a sudden either.
You’ve probably never thought of the idea of losing NFTs before because it’s not something that often gets highlighted in the marketing of projects or collectibles that sometimes sell for millions of dollars.
Now that you know it’s possible to lose an NFT because of human error or somebody not paying the bills, you understand the true value of a Mogul NFT that lives on IPFS.
Like a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Mogul NFTs are meant to be set in stone. Or in this case, set on the blockchain. No matter what Amazon, Google, or any other centralized cloud storage service has to say about it.