How to add unlockable content to your NFT collection

After a spectacular run in 2021, almost everyone knows, at least superficially, what non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are. Although not many people are aware that NFTs are constantly getting new exciting functionality and use cases.

This article will highlight the role of an exciting feature: unlockable content in NFTs. We’ll break down the benefits and use cases for you and show you how to add unlockables to your NFT collection.

What is an NFT?

Traditionally, NFTs are described as unique cryptographic digital assets on a blockchain that can be bought and sold online. They can be almost anything, including digital photos, songs, videos, in-game items, real estate, or even personal genomes.

Most notably, NFTs provide benefits to artists, such as decentralization, verification and management of ownership, ease of transferability and trading, rarity and scarcity. Most importantly, NFTs construct an entirely new creator economy, allowing creators to earn royalties from secondary sales without the mediation of any third party by setting up smart contracts.

Despite the apparent benefits of NFTs for artists and society itself, many people are still convinced that they are just a temporary fad. NFT skeptics repeat over and over again that such clumsy digital NFT art on a blockchain actually has very little to do with real art.

Certainly, the majority of NFTs exist as various static items on blockchains available for buying and selling on online marketplaces. And since there is no intermediary, they can be anything, including low quality content as well.

However, the community must not forget that the NFT phenomenon does not only encompass digital art and trendy overpriced collectibles, because the underlying technology enables creators to do much more than stand-alone JPEGs or GIFs.

NFTs enable dozens of use cases. For example, by their nature, NFTs represent unique tokens that can be “owned” by users, meaning that any NFT can also act as a form of proof, a certificate or a key. The range of new innovative ways to use this form of “access control” to provide value to people is limited only by the imagination of creators. This is exactly where the unlockable content concept comes into play.

NFTs have a huge amount of ingenuity that artists can use to diversify their functionality. Unlockable content is one such element that can add real value to NFT beyond the digital token and bring creativity to it, thus enhancing the trading experience. Basically, unlockable content is a key to exclusive things and services that can only be accessed by the NFT holder. It becomes visible to the buyer of an NFT after the purchase.

Although unlockable content can be somewhat exclusive, more often unlockable links are presented to higher resolution files of NFTs or opportunities to purchase its physical copy with shipping details or the artist’s contacts. In addition, unlockable content is a useful tool for adding value to an NFT collection and a great way to create traction on the secondary market.

For artists, unlockable content is an opportunity to respect and honor the collectors of their NFTs by offering them something original that has value in the real world. In that way, unlockables create the effect of expanded rarity and demand for NFTs.

There are a wide range of ways to use unlockable content in NFTs, and the examples are practically endless. It can be almost anything from higher resolution versions of digital photos and additional video content to access to private communities or certificates.

For example, musicians can use NFTs with unlockable content to send a physical copy of their records or distribute tickets to give fans access to their shows. Also, artists can add special behind-the-scenes content for the lucky collectors who buy their NFT pieces.

While unlockable content can open up a lot of moving new ideas, the NFT marketplaces that support it can be counted on one hand. This is mainly because NFT marketplaces face two main challenges.

First and foremost, there is a storage problem. NFT platforms do not offer on-chain storage because that would potentially lead to huge costs. Typically, therefore, NFTs are stored in distributed file systems, such as IPFS, Arweave or even centralized.

So, if unlockable content isn’t actually stored on chain, it becomes very platform specific. This limits the ideas of creating custom unlockable content and the possibilities of adding it to NFT collections. However, there are a few NFT platforms that have already implemented unlockable content for NFTs on their platform – OpenSea, Solsea, Rarible and Mintable.

Generally, for artists, the ability to add unlockable content is available on NFT Marketplaces when you set up NFTs. In other words, artists can attach unlockables while creating or editing them. So, how to add unlockable content to your NFT collection?

There is no big difference between adding unlockable content on OpenSea, Solsea or another platform that supports this. The scheme is roughly the same. Unlockables are limited to plain text content. NFT platforms provide a large text area to add content artists prefer, such as a history of the work, a thank you note or a certificate of authenticity.

Settings for unlockable content extensions limited to the text format means that NFT creators cannot upload any files they want in the form of an image or video. Alternatively, they can simply add links to the necessary files located in other storage solutions they like, which they have to organize themselves. Therefore, the responsibility belongs to the authors to ensure that the unlockable content remains available for a long time.

Follow these steps to add unlockable content to your NFT_en

Related: How to Create an NFT: A Guide to Creating a Non-Funkable Token

2021 was a pivotal year for NFTs, a year to lay the foundations and put them into use. Now, in 2022, it is time to think about diversifying use cases and strengthening the position of NFT as a digital phenomenon. And unlockable content features are becoming one of the important steps in this direction.

Expanding the functionality of NFTs, unlockable content for NFTs is the limitless field for artists’ creativity – only increasing it. Its importance is hard to overestimate. Furthermore, unlockable tools add NFTs. With hidden unlockable content that only NFT owners can see, for fans and followers, buying NFTs becomes an interactive experience with the element of surprise on a new layer of engagement. In that sense, unlockables have the potential to flourish in the crypto industry and benefit artists and their communities.