Non-fungible tokens do not live on the blockchain, experts explain Currently, NFTs are stored on off-chain solutions, often centralized: this could change in the future

• The idea of NFT is often associated with that of blockchain technology, but according to two experts there are big misunderstandings about how these tokens are actually stored. For technical reasons, in fact, these assets are not at all on the same blockchain, but are stored elsewhere. Jonathan Victor, Web3 Storage Lead at Protocol Labs, and Alex Salnikov, Co-founder of Rarible, discussed in an interview with Cointelegraph about decentralized storage, the future of the NFT industry, and investments in those assets. According to Victor, major chains offer very limited capacity: therefore, storing huge amounts of data on a blockchain would be incredibly expensive. That is why, due to the large size of the images or videos that make up the NFTs, it is necessary to introduce off-chain solutions. Salnikov also delved into the topic by stating that because NFTs are a totally new idea, many have misconceptions about how such assets are actually stored. He explained that only the transition is confirmed on the blockchain, but the actual file is stored somewhere else: "It is important to understand that the NFT that lives in a user's wallet points only to the file it represents: the file itself, that is, the metadata of an NFT, is generally stored elsewhere." But it is actually possible, even with modern technologies, to store NFTs in a decentralized way. Victor mentioned the NFT project in this regard. Storage, which achieves this by leveraging networks for decentralized data storage such as Filecoin (FIL) and the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol. In this way it is possible to store the NFT as if they were public goods: "When we think about the concept of decentralization, we have to consider whether or not there is a single point of vulnerability. Simply storing data outside the chain doesn't necessarily introduce centralization, as long as you do it thoughtfully." As for the future of the industry, Victor believes that there will be many more digital assets represented in the form of NPTs, and new use cases will also arise. He also believes that the upcoming Ethereum (ETH) Merge will help drive up NFT prices. On the other hand , Salnikov pointed out that their vision of this industry is purely multi-chain, and that is why their goal is to democratize storage and access to non-fungible tokens. Is this a good time to invest in NFT? Victor warned users, urging them to make prudent purchases so as not to find themselves in situations where they could be forced to sell their assets. He explained that NFTs are less liquid than cryptocurrencies, and therefore advised investors to structure their portfolios in such a way that they are not forced into a forced liquidation. Salinkov advised not to consider only the short term, but to look at the bigger picture. He stated that prices will always be volatile, but that almost certainly in the long term the value of NFTs will only increase.