1111 is a newly released artwork created by Kevin Abosch, and released on March 23, 2021 on OpenSea. It is a thought provoking piece, consisting of cryptographic styled pieces, with artistic alterations claiming to be a “lingual arcana and a repository of sacred knowledge”. The pieces were auctioned off with a reserve price of 1.111 ETH and will remain on sale through Friday, March 26, 2021.
Visiting the //TECH SPECS section of Kevin Abosch’s information page on 1111, presents the reader with an interesting tidbit of information regarding the work:
This information is interesting for 3 reasons:
- The images themselves are stored on Arweave Permaweb
- The metadata is stored on Arweave Permaweb
- Curiously, the work itself is listed as ERC-1155 tokens on Ethereum blockchain NOT ERC-721 tokens, better known as NFTs.
Arweave Permaweb is a decentralized storage network, that seeks to permanently store data on its chain. This differs from SIA and Filecoin in that the data is meant to be permanently stores and not a disposable or transient storage system. The Permaweb deploys a “Proof-of-Access” algorithm and claims extremely cheap effective cost for the permanence, around $.005 / MB.
Assuming that Arweave can achieve its projected goal, then it represents a very important possible solution to a long held gripe about NFTs: “What happens if the exchange hosting the metadata or the actual piece of art (images or video) of the NFT goes offline?” This problem was famously presented by a series of twitter posts by Jonty Wearing.
If the tokens sold by Kevin Abosch as 1111 do indeed point to metadata and art pieces stored on Arweave, and Arweave is indeed a permanent storage mechanism, then Abosch has effectively minted a NFT that will not suffer the same fate 10 or 20 or 50 or 100 years from now when the various other NFT exchanges and marketplaces go offline for whatever reason. For that reason, we do find 1111 a very interesting work.
But, we circle back to point #3 above. Kevin lists the NFTs as ERC-1155 tokens. Browsing to the tokens on etherscan.io yields a source contract with only bytecode available. This is curious, as other projects such as Hashmasks deliberately upload the source code of the contract in order to enable people to confirm the tokens and the contract will work as claimed. It is unclear to NFT Culture staff if this is all part of the grand work, or if it is an oversight or perhaps an attempt to obscure the real connection between the tokens and Arweave.
Furthermore, Hashmasks itself has attempted to solve the Permanence problem: On The Permanence of the Hashmasks Artwork. Their solution is to store the metadata of the IPFS URLs “on-chain” via a contract on the Ethereum platform. What this means, is that the metadata itself, which contains the IPFS locations of the Hashmasks images is stored on-chain, and the Hashmasks website is no longer a single point of failure. An obvious question here is “What about the images themselves, why can’t they be on-chain too?” Apparently, art work for the whole project exceeds 40GB, which is just not economically feasible. Interestingly, Hashmasks too uses Arweave to store the images, and the IPFS pinning mechanism for incentivizing this storage. Perhaps we will do a deep dive on IPFS and pinning in a future article. Where Hashmasks gets things right is that the contracts used to programmatically guarantee all these aspects to their work are fully open sourced and available for viewing and validation on etherscan.io. Hopefully 1111 will take note of this and do it as well.
In any case, we will continue to keep an eye on 1111 and also on future projects that attempt to follow in its footsteps. We will always cheer on people attempting to push the ball forward and make the community better as a whole.