Non-fungible tokens or NFTs could be seen as relatively new concepts. However, the increasing popularity and investments of these digital assets in the NFT market are evident. Some of them are being sold for millions of dollars.

In fact, NFT collectors invested $37 billion in the first quarter of 2022. An amount that is approaching the total investment it received in 2021 ($40 billion).

This is why questions like ‘How do I know the NFT I want to buy is legit?’ and ‘How do I  know the NFT is not created by a scammer?’ are arising in the NFT community. 

This article serves as a guide so you can have an understanding of the different ways you can identify if an NFT is authentic or not. 

Source: Statista

NFT authenticity: What aspects should be authenticated?  

Well, first things first. There are two factors to consider when it comes to the authentication of an NFT:

  • Originality and rarity of the NFT: It is considered if the work of art is unique, it has a limited edition, or it is one of the first ones of its kind. It also contemplates if there are derivatives or similar works related to this NFT. 
  • The authenticity of the NFT: It is considered the information of the creator of the NFT as well as knowing the current owners.

How to verify NFT authenticity?

There are different ways to verify if the NFTs are being minted by the original artist. To verify their authenticity you can use the following resources: 

    • Digital certificate of authenticity: Some NFTs have their own certificate of authenticity. Information on these certificates may include the token ID, the NFT’s status and serial number, the manufacturer and owner ID, the creator’s digital signature, and the programming info. However, not all NFT’s come with this certificate so it is vital to further the research with other methods of authentication. 
    • Use a blockchain explorer: There are block scanner tools like Etherscan, Polygonscan, or BscScan. You can use them to inspect the metadata of the NFT, find the asset on the blockchain, or even request the wallet address to ensure the person minting the NFT has ownership and exists. 
    • Use a reverse search: Traditionally, users search for images using a keyword on the search bar. A common example of this is Google Images. However, Google also allows users to use the ‘search for this image’ tool. This will allow you to find images similar to the NFT you are investigating. It will show you variants it might exist, the date of upload, and how long it has been on the internet, among other relevant data. 
  • Social media: Creators usually post their works and NFTs announcements on their social platforms. This is a great way to keep track of their NFT releases, learn what people have to say about the artwork in the comment section, and verify the creator is in fact, the creator. You can even use these platforms to clarify your suspicions by asking directly to the creator.

NFT based authentication: Why is important

Verifying the source of the NFT, ensuring it is not a copy, and validating your NFT transactions is what will make the difference. 

This is especially relevant because it must be kept in mind that the value of an NFT is influenced by its rarity. If an NFT has unsigned prints, it will have little or no value at all. This is when hackers and scammers come into play by selling unauthorized copies or fake NFTs and claiming them as their own. 

The open-source nature of blockchain technology indeed brings advantages, but some people take advantage of it to make scams. Therefore, you must make some considerations when making an NFT investment and authentify all your NFTs. This will allow you to avoid money loss, litigations, or even worse situations involving the purchase of these counterfeit artworks.

 

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