It could be argued that NFTs are now well established as a method of digital ownership. Many industry commentators even suggest that NFTs could become a larger and more wide reaching market than cryptocurrencies in and of themselves, including bitcoin.
Because NFTs can be used to record ownership of anything, including buying virtual land, books, film rights, game publishing and more, it can be argued that the use cases for NFTs are infinite.
When cryptocurrencies were first emerging out of the ‘digital’ world and into mainstream investment portfolios and discussions, many people viewed them as a scam. Cryptocurrency founders and captains of the industry had to work tirelessly to prove the legitimacy digital currency and its secure nature. However, that didn’t stop scammers preying on uninitiated crypto enthusiasts.
Those involved in creating, buying and selling NFTs are now having these types of discussions, and examining how to deter scammers and safeguard NFT assets.
Hackers, spammers and scammers view the NFT industry is a goldmine for rug pulls and an easy way to exploit others. Even the most prominent NFT collections like CryptoPunks, have fallen victim to the predatory methods of these scams. With this in mind, the layer 1 NFT blockchain Pastel Network claims to have developed technologies that are proven to provide any user with access to a safe and secure solution for storing and authenticating NFTs.
Pastel Network has created its own custom-built blockchain designed exclusively for NFTs. The company claims that their technology provides enhanced reliability, sustainability and transparency for the NFT ecosystem.
Pastel Co-Founder, Anthony Georgiades, says that Every NFT application that launches on Pastel benefits from the Network’s innovative protocols. These include Sense, a sophisticated verification system that can detect subtle differences in NFTs, and Cascade, a distributed storage protocol that offers an on-chain permanent solution for NFTs.
Anthony Georgiades asserts that in order to truly combat the issue of security hacks that NFT marketplaces, creators and buyers are still struggling to overcome, the industry needs a platform that can deliver secure, trustless and dependable services.
Although some NFT marketplaces have begun to ban collections that are in the so called grey area of plagiarism and parody, there are still many instances where NFTs with mirrored and identical characteristics are being sold. This leaves collectors and buyers questioning if they do really own a rare digital asset.
The Pastel founders say their Sense protocol was built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate meta-data. Sense, which is a near-duplicate detection system, quantifies the rareness of NFTs and adds insight into how rare a piece of digital artwork is by giving it a rareness score between 0% (completely a duplicate) and 100% (completely unique) by likening each asset to a digital fingerprint. The Sense protocol provides any user, no matter the origination of the asset, a trustworthy method of verifying authenticity by comparing it against others across the ecosystem.
Anthony Georgiades asserts that Pastel has many other properties which when added together, all result in validating the authenticity of NFTs, and almost eliminates the chance of having an NFT asset stolen or counterfeited.
It’s true to say that currently, the most popular storage solution for on-chain digital assets is IPFS, which removes external dependencies and provides decentralized storage solutions for digital assets. However, this framework was not custom created for NFTs, so it is still has weaknesses and security vulnerabilities.
If Pastel does what it says it can do, then this could be a major breakthrough in security for the NFT market, and the digital asset market in a wider sense. As pastel protocols are not yet being used widely, it remains to be seen whether Pastel can indeed be the security solution for the NFT ecosystem.