Artists Benefit from Verifiable NFT Authorship with Serto

Serto helps artists and creators of all kinds claim their identities in web3 space. By asserting their identities, and using them to create NFT works, artists and creators can use Serto to get started on their journey making lasting NFTs.

The Identity Problem with NFTs that No One Likes Talking About

Many NFT platforms that allow creators to mint NFTs (NFT marketplaces or issuance platforms such as Nifty Gateway or Rarible) do so in a way that cryptographically links the NFT works to the identity of the platform, but not necessarily to the identity of the artistic creator.

In the future, if that platform disappears, so too might the centralized identity data about its creator.

In fact generally, all of the centrally stored, human-readable information about an NFT artwork (i.e. title, description of work) would disappear if the issuance platform disappeared. As we observed in the 2000’s tech bubble and the 2017 ICO bubble, sometimes all tech platforms in crowded markets do not last forever. Contingency plans for supposedly immutable assets need to be part of any realistic NFT maker.

In the future, if that platform disappears, so too might the centralized identity data about its creator.

Such NFTs in the future might hold pointers that direct to dead links that once lead to images, and lack contextual authorship information to even figure out the name of the artist who created the visual artwork originally presented with the NFT. Depending upon the storage solution of any off-chain companion content, the future of poorly constructed NFTs may contain a looming provenance nightmare.

This becomes additionally complex when we consider cross-chain bridges and how assets might maintain (or lose!) contextual data as they travel across platforms as web3 promises. It’s not not cause for concern.

Serto’s Approach

The exciting upside of the current landscape is that the technical composition of NFTs can get a lot better.

If NFT creators want to make sure their identity is inextricably linked with their blockchain-based artworks, they must take this task into their own hands instead of relying upon the centralized identity systems of current NFT issuance platforms.

With Serto Agent, NFT creators can generate their own decentralized identifier (DID), and start using it to represent themselves in web3 space. By anchoring this identifier back to their social identity — such as their website or their Twitter handle — it becomes interwoven with that social identity, a web3 address as recognizably associated with them as their name.

Empowering atomic identities for individual creators introduces a new challenge: discoverability. How does everyone find each other in this decentralized world? How do we break free from the centralized platforms with new spaces to explore information about the decentralized world?

That’s why we created Serto Search, a Search Engine for NFTs, DIDs and web3 that helps anyone easily find more information modeled after the experience of traditional search engines.

With Serto Agent, NFT creators can generate their own decentralized identifier (DID), and start using it to represent themselves in web3 space.

When a creator has their DID in place, and then makes NFTs, those NFTs carry with them a link back to their author, at their cryptographic core. These NFTs could readily be traced back to the social identity of the creator, their website, their real identity — not just some string of letters and numbers. Tools like Serto Search make it easier to learn more about NFTs like this that you might find in the wild.

We are excited to debut this exciting technology for use in the arts with Clarence Greenwood, better known as Citizen Cope. Read about our historic NFT collaboration here. View Citizen Cope’s Verifiable Genesis NFT on Opensea, and verify with Citizen Cope’s results on Serto Search.

Interested in collaborating with Serto? Contact us.

Serto makes decentralized identity technology easier for everyone to enjoy. Our work is powered by ConsenSys. Join us at Serto.ID.