Using ArDrive with OpenSea

The NFT craze has been heating up in the crypto world and OpenSea is at the center of it.

But with all the attention around NFTs one of the biggest questions often remains unasked: Where is the NFT that I am buying or selling actually stored?

Most NFT marketplaces are concerned with the problems of marketing NFTs and transferring ownership once an NFT has sold. These are worthy concerns. You would never buy an NFT if there wasn’t the proper transfer of ownership in place. Ethereum has solved this problem by creating a ledger layer so ownership transfers are etched permanently into the blockchain. This allows us to know who actually owns a digital asset.

But data on Ethereum is only intended to be stored for one year.  Why is there not the same concern about the permanence of data of the actual asset that you are buying and where it lives? Who would buy something that could simply disappear into thin air next year?

Why does OpenSea need ArDrive?

Most NFTs are stored on a centralized service like AWS, Cloudflare, or Google Drive. 

Imagine the process of making and selling an NFT. The artist makes the NFT, uploads it to a server, mints it to a marketplace like OpenSea and then sells it. 

However, who pays to keep the NFT data on the server after it is sold? OpenSea does not store it - their job is to help you market it and transfer ownership of it by leveraging the Ethereum (or Polygon) network. 

So who keeps the image or data of the NFT alive? The creator? The buyer? Do we trust Google or Amazon to simply keep it going? 

OpenSea states that you can store your asset permanently on IPFS. However, CheckMyNFT, a service that evaluates the security and reliability of NFT data, rates IPFS as medium. It's great that IPFS is decentralized, but it still relies on contracts and someone to be continually paying to keep it alive - hardly permanent. 

How much less would the NFT be worth if you didn’t have a permanent record of ownership? Shouldn’t the same thinking apply if you don’t have a place where the NFT image or file can be permanently and reliably stored?

Any buyer or seller should demand both a permanent transfer of ownership with an asset that has been permanently stored with no risk of being deleted. This is where ArDrive comes in. 

ArDrive is the easiest and leading way to get your files, images, and NFTs onto the Arweave network - the only solution for permanent data storage. ArDrive provides the permanent storage that completes the OpenSea experience.

Cryptostellas are saved on Arweave through ArDrive

ArDrive and OpenSea: A perfect pair

ArDrive and OpenSea are a perfect pair. One lets you (transparently) store your data or image permanently while the other allows you to (transparently) sell and transfer ownership permanently of the NFT. 

With ArDrive you can permanently store your creation on Arweave, the only blockchain that offers permanent data storage. It is simple and cost effective (most NFTs would be less than a cent) to upload your NFT onto ArDrive.

While OpenSea is a great place to reach a large audience for NFT sales, and once sold it has a reputable process to permanently transfer ownership of the asset. 

With ArDrive and OpenSea together you can now have a permanently stored NFT asset with a trustworthy transfer of ownership. This is what will make the NFT world durable and sustainable. 

Let’s walk through the process of how you would use ArDrive and OpenSea together.  

How to get your NFT data from ArDrive?

Here is the full article on how to upload your NFT data onto ArDrive.

However, for this discussion let’s highlight the most crucial part: the verification of the data or image on Arweave through ArDrive and how to highlight this as part of your account on OpenSea. 

Let’s look at how you can get proof of permanent data storage after you upload your file to ArDrive. It is easy to get the information you need to verify that your image will remain forever on the Arweave network.

  • Double click onto the NFT file you just uploaded to ArDrive and a number of icons appear above the file. Details about your files will appear on the right of your screen.
  • If you hit the share file button a window will pop up with a link. This is ArDrive's permalink for your file on the permaweb. Copy this link and put it in your web browser and you will be able to download the NFT.  You can also get an Arweave URL by clicking the preview icon.  It links to the same location as ArDrive's permalink.
  • At the right of the screen you will see fields for the Metadata Tx ID and Data Tx ID. These IDs can be automatically copied by hovering over the double window pane icon and clicking it. 
  • The abbreviation “Tx” is just shorthand for “transaction.” The Metadata Tx ID keeps your file's name, modified date and other details about your NFT. The Data TX ID is for your factual artwork file. Both are permanent records that establish your NFT's ownership.

Now that we have our file or NFT uploaded onto Arweave through ArDrive, it is time to take that information and put it onto OpenSea so buyers and sellers know that their data will last.

Share your permanent data storage on Open Sea

When you go back to OpenSea (now with your image forever on Arweave) you can turn your creation into an NFT. Let’s use the example of of our Laserilla NFT-shirts and how we put them on OpenSea. 

  • If you have already minted the NFT click on the NFT and then hit the Edit button that will take you to the details page.
  • If you are creating the NFT for the first time you can go hit the Create button and it will take you to the details page as well.
  • Once on the details page, the important thing is the description box, which is the fourth category down from the top.
  • As you describe the item that you are selling you will want indicate the item is saved on the permaweb and provide a way for people to verify this on ViewBlock.
  • You may wish to include:
    • ArDrive permalink (copied from the ArDrive share button)
    • Arweave view (arweave.net URL that can be obtained by saving the link from the preview button in ArDrive)
    • Data Tx ID

Example

Here's how we mentioned data permanence in our description of NFT-shirt #9 on OpenSea:

NFT-shirt-9

Art is backed up on the permaweb using ArDrive.

ArDrive download: https://app.ardrive.io/#/file/95b2228e-fafe-4b09-aba7-a968b1954f28/view

Arweave view: https://x3um2x4yqf2ikubv6zc6dsfywuyq6gkohcw5atzftgfaryyll3aa.arweave.net/vujNX5iBdIVQNfZF4ci4tTEPGU44rdBPJZmKCOMLXsA

Data Tx ID (searchable on ViewBlock): vujNX5iBdIVQNfZF4ci4tTEPGU44rdBPJZmKCOMLXsA

To make the ArDrive and Arweave URLs clickable links on OpenSea, you'll need to use markdown syntax. So the actual description we added looks like this:

NFT-shirt-9

Art is backed up on the permaweb using ArDrive.

ArDrive download: [https://app.ardrive.io/#/file/95b2228e-fafe-4b09-aba7-a968b1954f28/view](https://app.ardrive.io/#/file/95b2228e-fafe-4b09-aba7-a968b1954f28/view)

Arweave view: [https://x3um2x4yqf2ikubv6zc6dsfywuyq6gkohcw5atzftgfaryyll3aa.arweave.net/vujNX5iBdIVQNfZF4ci4tTEPGU44rdBPJZmKCOMLXsA](https://x3um2x4yqf2ikubv6zc6dsfywuyq6gkohcw5atzftgfaryyll3aa.arweave.net/vujNX5iBdIVQNfZF4ci4tTEPGU44rdBPJZmKCOMLXsA)

Data Tx ID (searchable on ViewBlock): vujNX5iBdIVQNfZF4ci4tTEPGU44rdBPJZmKCOMLXsA

Now your buyers will know that the NFT they are bidding on is forever secure on the Arweave Network. 

Until OpenSea fully integrates with Arweave this workaround will needed to ensure that the buyer knows that NFT is permanently stored. 

Can't I just freeze the metadata?

When you upload an NFT on OpenSea, the last option you are given is to Freeze Metadata.

This Freezing option uses IPFS for data storage instead of Arweave and therefore will not permanently store your metadata.

There's no harm in freezing your metadata if you wish, but this will not needed if you have already added your art file to the permaweb.

Conclusion

It will be super exciting to watch the NFT space gain traction in all different areas of business, art, government and personal lives in the next few years. 

However, for NFTs to be sustainable, both the ability to transfer ownership and the permanence of the data being transferred need to be established. This is what OpenSea and ArDrive do for their users as they leverage blockchains like Ethereum, Polygon and Arweave. 

Whether you are the buyer or seller, make sure that you have permanent data storage along with permanent ownership transfer when dealing with NFTs. Know before you stow!

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