NIP Proposal: Contract Studio

  1. Author’s Information

Hi there! I am a performer, and NFT collector, creator and enthusiast. I am establishing an independent creative practice that will be focused on art NFTs and their potential to develop communities as well as provide opportunities for budding artists (like myself!) In this capacity, I go by “wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.” and I like the nickname “wdot.” To people who know me personally, my name is Charlie.

I can be e-mailed at
Telegram is @wrightswrongs
My personal Twitter is @wrightswrongs . I do have a Twitter for my art organization although it is brand new and empty. @dubbleyudot is that handle.
My Discord situation is similar. “wwwwwwwwwwwww.” (That’s 13 w’s. Include the period.) is what I am currently most active on, but I will soon be increasing activity via “wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwdot” (That’s 18 w’s.) in case you want to connect with me on my dedicated artist account.

  1. Simple Summary

Providing NFT creators with greater provenance over their intellectual property via a comprehensive contract studio.

  1. Abstract

An NFT contract studio is not exactly a new idea but it is an idea that can be vastly improved upon. Existing models of this are clunky and confusing, deterring away people with good creative capabilities, but little computer knowledge. Most traditional types of creators need both an increased sense of control and identity to allow themselves to delve into the NFT realm. This can be done with creator contract tools and profiles that offer maximum versatility at the same time as maximum ease. It seems intuitive to establish this functionality in connection with a blockchain dedicated to NFTs rather than the third party applications that currently exist which do not seem well integrated with the chains they mint on nor with predominant internet culture. This NIP is about bridging the gap between advanced NFT contract functionality and the lively world of the internet that everyone takes part in.

  1. Motivation

The NFT ecosystem is full of potential right now because it merges the financial world with the world of art. This is nothing trivial – it is part of our society’s evolution into a fuller understanding of economics, specifically how value is determined by how we exist, which is mirrored in the types of media/art we consume/identify with.

This is also nothing new; fine art pieces have acted as investment vehicles since at least the 1960s, and arguably longer. The difference now is that accessibility is becoming available to the wider public. Of course it is! Creating art is one of the things fundamental to being human – its triumph is in its allegiance to all and none. And in a world where everyone is an influencer, a world where drop-shipping is becoming one of the quickest new ways to earn a living, and where average housing and tuition costs are far outpacing average wages, of course people are going to look to make maximal gain from minimal effort – or at least from effort that is pleasing! When viewing this shift as one of unavoidability instead of as one of coincidence, we see that this accessibility to artistic profitability is a demand, not a luxury. That is to say, the proposed creator studio would help the NFT ecosystem by “opening the floodgates,” so to speak and relieving the pressure caused by the “technical barrier to entry.”

I always theorized that the most natural use for NFTs was to prove ownership of digitally native artifacts because in these cases, the data is the content in its truest form. Weather this is accurate or not, there are more uses for NFTs today than I ever would have imagined just three years ago. There are all types of creators who want to monetize on their passions. Think of digital photographers or graphic designers who totally already belong on blockchains but may feel burdened by the new technology. Now there is the discussion of video or music on blockchain but these creators are also not necessarily experts in web3. These creators don’t know it yet, but what Mint Blockchain can offer them in terms of a contract studio is exactly the kind of opportunity they are hoping for.

A simple, streamlined place for digital creators (or any creators) to organize smart contract content collections for display and for sale on personal sites/socials or on secondary marketplaces would attract a host of massively talented creators from all sorts of fields. These will be the types of creators who believe in themselves and the value of what they offer. These will be the types of people that those already existing in the NFT space will enjoy collaborating with and gleaning new perspectives from. Crypto natives can build even larger empires with the help of these new comrades. A quintessential, popularized contract studio will also usher in a noticeable change in how prospective creators continue to view web3. It will bring them confidence and security in this tech and a new wave of inspiration, ultimately bring higher trading volume and more innovation to the blockchain which is a positive for any industry.

  1. Rationale

There are many artists whose work would make an appealing NFT. And to some degree, these artists are indeed interested in diving into this world. Recall that in the early days of NFTs, there was a lot of excitement about what creator fees meant to artists. But there was also a lot of confusion about how those would be enforced across marketplaces. As I, myself learned more about NFTs, I was surprised to discover that the NFTs I made through my Opensea account all permanently listed Opensea as the contract creator on Etherscan. That seemed to raise red flags for me about my claim to ownership, as well as my future agency over my creations. That led me to seek out platforms that would allow me to create my own contracts. That way I could have more control over how my collections were assembled and sold; potentially I could even integrate them into my own marketplace.

I don’t want to talk smack about any particular company, but I soon found the platform that currently seems to be the only viable tool for this functionality. I commend them for providing a launching point but it was so confusing! I’m sure that people who are more apt with software can use the service easily. But it was not suitable for most people in the world who currently identify as “artists.” I found the UX to be really lacking. I was directed to mint on a test network because things minted to main net are immutable, but it seemed that my Sepolia collection was just as immutable, and I had to keep restarting the entire test-minting process each time I wanted to change minor details.

A proper studio would retain the positive of allowing creators to own their collection contracts, but it would have greatly improved UX, with infrastructure allowing for easy collection edits. Blockchain may be permanent but that doesn’t mean that our means for pre-arranging the token data or contract functions of a collection need to be so rigid. On top of that, the variety of functions that this service supported seemed sparse – only the most basic of implementations. If NFT’s are going to be taken seriously as art, then they need to be, in themselves, an art form, meaning that there ought to be a real sense of authorship and attention to detail behind them. This will happen when creator tools allow for optimal control.

This should be achievable not just for tech people. There are beautiful examples of art made by fluent coding language. I believe that will continue to thrive and I am supportive of it. But Mint Blockchain, in its aim to become the preeminent blockchain for NFT usage, will want to attract artists of all sorts to its platform. In fact, anybody who is in the NFT market should want this because simplicity means greater integration of NFT culture with the public, and greater market saturation across the board.

There are some other concerns related to the creator studio. Referring back to the platform I mentioned earlier, I was also annoyed by how it related my contract to the greater NFT market. I was supposed to be able to have control by owning this contract. But did “I?” Sure I could transfer it and list it. But it was difficult for me to actually connect this content to my online persona. It might be useful to engineer a domain name system that can be used to compile a user’s contract and token portfolio spanning across whichever wallets held the domain. This could be offered in an approachable interface too, with ways to integrate the data into users existing web2 presence. This would increase the sense of security in the platform. Now if I switch wallets, I just have to retain my domain to retain all my creations and the ways they were organized. The only remaining concern is some sort of hack. Perhaps a means of recovery could be offered but this would need to be carefully considered because it might conflict with preserving decentralization or anonymity. Either way, giving creators a greater feeling of control over their artwork makes mass adoption of NFT artistry far more likely. This interface would ideally also make it easy for artists to individually market themselves with an array of commands for listing work across various secondary sales outlets.

Primary sales should also be a facet of the creator studio with options for mint pages and auction protocols. In fact, the other idea I thought was worth mentioning here was giving domain holders a customizable marketplace. Rarible already offers a version of this but I think that putting that out of the scope of a secondary sales site, and into the scope of an NFT driven blockchain network is the choice that will attract the most independent and budding artists, hobbyists and hopefuls – the sizable demographic that is called for now to propel NFT capabilities to their next phase.

  1. Specification (non-mandatory)

Thank you for making this open to the greater community, because I feel passionately about this but I do not come from a background in software development! Like I said above, I’m aiming at stopping that from limiting people who still want to get involved in this space.

  1. Open-source commitment

I commit to open-sourcing this NIP and grant permission for developers within the Mint blockchain ecosystem to build protocols and applications based on this NIP.