Ellen Britt for CNT #NFT
Next up in our series exploring terms in our NFT glossary is the concept of metadata.
Seems like everywhere you look these days, you see a reference to something called “meta.” The Metaverse is all the rage right now, where you can (supposedly!) meet your friends for drinks at a virtual bar. Or virtually visit the pyramids of Egypt or climb Everest, all without getting on a plane or risking life and limb.
The Greeks Got It!
The prefix “meta” is derived from the Greek (those Greeks were way ahead of their time!) and literally means “higher,” “beyond,” or “after.” When attached to another word, it changes the meaning of that word to mean “more comprehensive” or “transcending.” For example, the word “metaphysics” means the science of things that transcend or go beyond the natural.
But what exactly does “meta mean in relation to NFTs…specifically when you see the term in reference to an NFT’s metadata?
Meta Goes Beyond
Well, if you remember the “meta” prefix as I explained above, you will naturally see that metadata is data that somehow goes above or transcends the actual data in the NFT. Probably the easiest and most familiar example of metadata is email. When you send an email to someone, the email, besides the content of the message itself, also includes data that surrounds the content, such as the timestamp, the sender, the recipient, and even the type of browser you used and so forth. There are different types of metadata, depending on the purpose and these may be administrative metadata, structural metadata, or descriptive metadata.
NFTs Are Smart
So when you purchase an NFT, you are not really buying the NFT file itself, but you are purchasing a smart contract which is your “certificate of ownership” that points to a collection of metadata. This set of metadata contains a link to your NFT file, along with other metadata.
When you purchase an NFT on an NFT marketplace, such as Mintified, the token metadata will most likely be displayed, so that you, as the buyer, can see exactly what your purchase grants you.
And that’s about as “meta” as you can get!!
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