This post will dig into EIP 4883, the ethereum improvement proposal for the .SVG NFT standard.
Why is EIP 4883 relevant?
EIP-4883 defines an NFT standard that enables items to be combined in unique ways.
This ability to combine various NFT items / objects is a small step forward for having an interoperable internet, a critical feature of the future of the web3-enabled internet.
To understand what this means, let’s start with video games.
Think about some of the classic / favorite video games….
- Super Mario 64
- Super Smash Bros
- Tony hawk
- Call of duty
As loved as all these characters are, why can’t all these characters play together in one game?
Isn’t it unfortunate that these games are not able to be combined in some way where you could use a weapon from Super Smash Bros in Fortnite and vice versa?
Today’s video games were not built to be interoperable.
Fortnite, for example, is closed off to users without Epic Games accounts.
Similarly, Nintendo games were not built to be played on Playstation or Xbox and vice-versa.
Also, IP rights need to be taken into account as not all games would want to participate in bridged gaming or open metaverse.
What would be possible if video games were interoperable?
Imagine a metaverse where all items in the game exist as unique NFTs, however, all of these items are modularized, where any given item can be combined with any other item.
Imagine playing a tony-hawk pro skater type game in the metaverse…
Imagine if you could bring Bowser from Super Mario 64 over to Tony Hawk’s pro skater game and ride around and do skate tricks as bowser.
Or, sell a skateboard from Tony Hawk as an NFT that can be used in any other game.
SVG-like items such as skateboards would allow users to play with specific NFTs of different characters.
So, I could move a skateboard NFT that I own over to a Mario game for example, and ride around on a tony hawk pro skater 4 skateboard inside super mario 64.
This would be so much fun, if only video games were interoperable.
Interoperability – Why is it important for the internet?
As we think about future of the internet, specifically the 3D version of the internet or the metaverse, making sure everything is interoperable will become more important.
Interoperability is extremely important for the internet, and valuable across a number of apps and use case.
For example, imagine if EMAIL (electronic mail) was not interoperable, the way video games today are not.
This would mean that you couldn’t send an email from Outlook to someone with a @Gmail.com or @yahoo.com email address.
This would make electronic communication on the internet extremely inconvenient, and we wouldn’t easily be able to communicate with people from different organizations, or companies.
Fortunately, the internet mail standards such as SMTP or communication protocols like TCP/IP are open and cross-compatible with everything else.
EIP 4883 helps enable interoperability between NFTs
So, in the spirit of enabling interoperability, composability, compatibility in web3 and NFTs, which is central to the web3 Ethos, let’s dive into EIP 4883, for Scalable Vector Graphics NFTs.
EIP 4883 is for the composable SVG (file format) NFTs which will make any NFT asset able to be combined with others.
According to the description from the EIPs website, the goal of EIP-4883 is to allow you to:
“compose an SVG NFT by concatenating the SVG with the rendered SVG of another NFT.”
- Concatenate means to link (things) together in a chain or series. For example:
- combining one item or object with another.
- adding / removing sunglasses from a profile pic NFT
- What is SVG? → SVG stands for “scalable vector graphics”, referring to a .svg file.
- the .svg file format is an XML-based vector image format for defining two-dimensional graphics, supporting interactivity and animation.
- this enables resolution independent images and items.
- Its important to note that at some point, it will be important that we will be able concatenate 3D file formats as well.
- I could certainly see a future EIP for concatenating rendered .obj or .fbx files, which are supported by the Unity game engine for example.
EIP 4883 seeks to apply the SVG file format to NFTs… allowing SVG NFTs to be rendered in the foreground or a background of an image or metaverse type experience as required.
This NFT standard would mean all NFTs that use it are composable, so on-chain SVG NFTs can be combined with others.
The SVG NFT is able to be re-sized and scale to the right size as needed. e.g. adding glasses & hat NFTs to a profile pic NFT or a fish NFT to a fish tank NFT.
What does EIP-4883 enable NFT owners?
NFT owners of specific rare traits and accessories could then sell these types of accessories to NFT owners from other collections.
What if I could split each accessory or attribute apart, and then list just the glasses or the hat while keeping my Punk?
For example, an Optipunk’s glasses + hat could be split apart from the main NFT, and stored on-chain as associated but distinctly separate NFTs on their own.
These glasses and hat NFTs could then be sold or transferred to someone else, or another profile picture NFT, for example, to a Optichad.
Essentially, then that other NFT PFP can wear the glasses and the hat:
This would mean accessories within web3 could be composable / transferred to someone that owns any other type of NFT even outside the collection.
The SVG allows the item to be seamlessly re-sized in order to form-fit whatever type of character wants to wear it , or object that it needs to be combined with.
Extrapolating forward, it would be awesome if, for example, Fortnite skins that you own could be transferred to other games.
Optimism NFT project with transferrable items
One example of an NFT project that can help us think about the importance of transferability and interoperability is the Loogies, on the Optimism layer 2 network…
Optimistic Loogies or the Fancy Loogies on Quix, accessories can be added to your Loogie. Those accessories are essentially combinatorial, those are composable traits.
It almost seems like this NFT project was built as a conceptual idea to illustrate the need for something like EIP – 4883.
However, as of right now, you can’t leverage these assets in any other collection. Ideally we’d be able to trade these assets across any other given collection.
EIP 4883 would enable you to combine these assets with other collections.
Listen to the podcast
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