Wietse Wind proposes new mechanism for issuing NFTs on XRPL, asks Ripple CTO for opinion

  • Wietse Wind has published the proposal “XLS-14d” to allow NFTs to be issued on the XRP Ledger.
  • The proposal is fundamentally different from the previous “trust lines” and utilizes the decimal places of the XRP Ledger.

NFTs, non-fungible tokens have been enjoying ever-increasing popularity on Ethereum in recent months. Prices for individual tokens, such as from CryptoPunks collection have skyrocketed to astronomical heights, reaching as high as 78 ETH (136,850 USD at the time).

To bring this trend to the XRP ledger as well, Wietse Wind made a new “XRP Ledger Standard Proposal” today. The founder of XRPL Labs and creator of the XUMM wallet published the proposal on GitHub and is now calling on all developers from the XRPL ecosystem to evaluate and comment on his proposal.

As the developer states, the XRP Ledger (XRPL) already supports a mechanism for issuing tokens that can be transferred to other XPRL accounts with the IOUs (“I owe you”). However, there is a big difference with “most other blockchain projects, like ETH, where NFTs are actively issued, bought, sold, and transferred.”

The XRPL requires users to opt-in to receive a specific token from a specific issuer “by explicitly signing a TrustSet transaction listing the issuer (account) and token code to trust. A user is only able to receive a specific token from a specific issuer after doing this”. On Twitter, he elaborated:

Trust Lines are exactly that: “trust line”. You trust the issuer of a specific token. If you don’t trust the issuer, why would you even want to hold (or even buy) the NFT? All the Trust Line does is say “hey, I trust this issuer (creator) and NFT, I want to be able to hold it”.

Wind’s proposal for NFTs on the XRP Ledger

Wind proposes a better way to issue NFTs. To do this, the developer wants to make use of the XRP Ledger’s decimal places. The XRP Ledger “has an issued token precision of 15 significant figures. The smallest amount of an issued token the XRPL can handle is 1000000000000000e-96.” According to Wind, this is a “quite unusual amount of decimal positions” that no likely use case requires:

here is no likely use case that requires that amount of decimal places to ever be used, as there will always be something closer to the decimal sign. This results in the last digits being sliced off anyway (because of the XRPL supported 15 significant figures). Even some value of a BTC IOU (8 decimal places) + Transfer Fee + rounding doesn’t even come close to using anything close to the available decimal places.

Wind’s suggestion is therefore to assign ” the last (say) 11 figures to client side / user interface NFT behaviour’:

So: if the value of issued currency is in the range of 1000000000000000e-85 – 1000000000000000e-96, clients should handle (represent, mostly a user interface affair) the amount as NFT.

According to Wind, the proposal offers numerous advantages in that no change is required, it can be implemented relatively easily in wallets and client-side software, recognizing and parsing NFT-like values is easy in any programming language, and all existing XRPL DEX functions can be used immediately.

In the comments on GitHub, Wind also called out Ripple’s CTO, David Schwartz, writing:

@JoelKatz: I know (from @nbougalis) that the two (?) of you have some ideas on NFTs as well. Love to read your proposal & hear how you feel about this proposal.

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