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Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Alephium have several unique characteristics compared to NFTs on other blockchains:

  • True ownership based on the UTXO model: Like other types of tokens on Alephium, NFTs are securely managed by UTXOs, which are directly owned by addresses. Since UTXOs are protected by users' private keys, even if there are bugs in the NFT contract, users' assets remain safe.

  • First-class support for NFTs: Tokens are native assets on Alephium. As a result, users’ NFTs can be easily discovered and displayed by wallets, explorers, and dApps without relying on third-party services.

  • Higher security thanks to Alephium’s VM and contract language: Alephium's virtual machine (VM) and contract language eliminate the need for a separate approval transaction during NFT trading, reducing associated risks. This simplifies the process of writing secure NFT contracts for developers with the help of tools such as the Asset Permission System.

  • Sub-contract system: In Alephium, there is no mapping data structure. Collections are created with a parent contract (the collection) and sub-contracts (the items). Each sub-contract represents an NFT in this collection, and all metadata is tied to it. This is a native feature of the Alephium Blockchain that allows Alephium’s NFTs to be unique (one token per sub-contract) or semi-fungible, as the same minting contract can create more than one token.

  • Efficient transaction batching: Multiple NFTs and users can be involved in a single transaction.

  • Cheaper transaction fees and higher throughput: NFT transactions will benefit from Alephium's sharding algorithm.

  • NFT scarcity: The supply of NFTs on Alephium is finite, as each NFT necessitates the deployment of its own individual sub-contract, which in turn requires a deposit of ALPH - currently set at 1 ALPH. This unique structure inherently imposes a limit on the production of NFTs on the platform, reinforcing the scarcity of NFTs on Alephium.

Non-fungible Token Standard

Both NFT collections and individual NFTs have metadata associated with them, such as collectionUri, totalSupply and tokenUri, etc. The INFTCollection and INFT interfaces standardize the methods to fetch these metadata.

// Standard interface for NFT collection
@std(id = #0002)
Interface INFTCollection {
pub fn getCollectionUri() -> ByteVec
pub fn totalSupply() -> U256
pub fn nftByIndex(index: U256) -> INFT
pub fn validateNFT(nftId: ByteVec, nftIndex: U256) -> () // Validates that the NFT is part of the collection, otherwise throws exception.

// Standard interface for NFT
@std(id = #0003)
Interface INFT {
pub fn getTokenUri() -> ByteVec
pub fn getCollectionIndex() -> (ByteVec, U256) // Returns collection id and index of the NFT in the collection.

They are also annotated with the @std annotations to facilitate dApps and wallets to infer their contract/token types.

// Guess NFT token type
const nftTokenType = await web3.getCurrentNodeProvider().guessStdTokenType(nft.contractId)

// Check if a contract is a NFT collection
const isNFTCollection = await web3.getCurrentNodeProvider().guessFollowsNFTCollectionStd(nftCollection.contractId)
console.log("Is NFT collection", isNFTCollection)

For contracts that implement INFTCollection and INFT, SDK offers a canonical way to fetch their respective metadata:

// NFT Collection Metadata
const collectionMetadata = await web3.getCurrentNodeProvider().fetchNFTCollectionMetaData(nftCollection.contractId)
console.log("NFT Collection URI, totalSupply", collectionMetadata.collectionUri, collectionMetadata.totalSupply)

// NFT Metadata
const nftMetadata = await web3.getCurrentNodeProvider().fetchNFTMetadata(nft.contractId)
console.log("NFT Token URI, collection address", nftMetadata.tokenUri, nftMetadata.collectionAddress)

For NFT collection, one of the metadata is collectionUri, which is an URI that points to an JSON document with the following schema:

interface NFTCollectionUriMetaData {
name: string // Name of the NFT collection
description: string // General description of the NFT collection
image: string // A URI to the image that represents the NFT collection

For individual NFT, one of the metadata is tokenUri, which is an URI that points to an JSON document with the following schema:

interface NFTTokenUriMetaData {
name: string // Name of the NFT
description?: string // General description of the NFT
image: string // A URI to the image that represents the NFT
attributes?: [ // Attributes of the NFT
trait_type: string
value: string | number | boolean

AlephiumNFT Marketplace

AlephiumNFT marketplace is a proof-of-concept NFT marketplace to show case the capabilities of NFTs on Alephium. Here you can create NFT collections, discovery, mint and trade NFTs. You can also launch Opensea Drop style public sale campaigns for your NFT collections. These campaigns are called Flows on AlephiumNFT marketplace.

Create your own NFT collections should be pretty straightforward. Follow this Twitter thread for more details. If you want to create a Flow on AlephiumNFT marketplace, @alephium/cli has a nft subcommand that can help with that.

Create Flows

Let's say you want to launch a public sale for your NFT collection that has 5 individual NFTs. Before you create a Flow for it, you should have 5 images ready first. If not, @alephium/cli offers a command for you to generate images using OpenAI's DALL.E models:

export OPENAI_API_KEY=xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
npx @alephium/cli@latest nft generate-images-with-openai --number 5 -d /tmp/imagine "imagine all the people, living life in peace"

This will create 5 images with the prompt imagine all the people, living life in peace and store them under the /tmp/imagine directory. Please skip this step if you have designed the images for your collection already.

Assuming that the images are ready under the /tmp/imagine directory. Next step is to create a metadata file in YAML format for your collection. Here is an example of an YAML file called imagine.yaml:

> ls /tmp/imagine
0.jpg 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg

> cat imagine.yaml
0.jpg: # File name of the image
attributes: # Attributes of the NFT, optional
- color: blue # Value of the attributes can be `number`, `boolean` or `string`
- is_outdoor: true
description: Imagine is too naive # Description of the NFT, optional
name: Imagine in Asia # Name of the NFT, optional
- color: blue
- is_outdoor: false
3.jpg: # Name is auto-generated as #${index} if not specified, e.g. #04

When you are happy about the images and metadata of your collection, run the following command to upload the images and metadata to IPFS:

> export IPFS_INFURA_PROJECT_ID=xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
> export IPFS_INFURA_PROJECT_SECRET=xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
> npx @alephium/cli@latest nft upload-images-and-metadata-to-ipfs -m imagine.yaml -d /tmp/imagine -i imagine

The NFTBaseUri points to an IPFS directory where 5 documents are named and stored based on their sequence in the imagine.yaml file:

IPFS Imagine Directory

Each of the document points to the metadata of an NFT and can be referenced by their indexes. E.g. points to the metadata of the 3rd NFT:

> curl | jq
"name": "Imagine in Asia",
"image": "",
"attributes": [
"trait_type": "color",
"value": "blue"
"trait_type": "is_outdoor",
"value": false

You can validate if a NFTBaseUri is valid using the following command:

> npx @alephium/cli@latest nft validate-enumerable-nft-base-uri --nftBaseUri --maxSupply 5
Token Metadataz:
name: '#0',

After NFTBaseUri is created, we are ready to launch the Flow on AlephiumNFT Marketplace:

Create FLow Page

As illustrated above, you can put in the collection image, the max batch mint size, the mint price, the name and description of the collection, and most importantly the NFT base URI that we created in the last step. After you click the Create NFT Collection button and sign the transaction, you will successfully create your first Flow, share the link and start to launch the public sale of your NFT collection!

FLow Page

Wallet Support

Both Desktop Wallet and Extension Wallet have native support for non-fungible tokens.

Following is an example of displaying and transfering a NFT in the Imagine Collection in the extension wallet:

Show collection    Transfer NFT

Token List

It is not too difficult to fake other NFT collections and scam users. Token list allows well known NFT collections in the Alephium ecosystem to be whitelisted, so that dApps and wallets can warn users for unverified NFT collections. Here is how extension wallet displays a NFT collection before and after it is added into the token list.

Unverified    Verified

Currently, a pull request is needed to add the NFT collection to token list.