If you have ever tried to list an NFT for sale, you would have encountered an option that asks you whether you intend to freeze the NFT metadata or not. Perhaps, you are confused by this, and you don't know whether to freeze it or not.
There is no hard and fast rule towards making the decision to freeze NFT metadata or not; depending on the purpose of your NFT, either choice is valid. Hence, this article intends to explain the intricacies of NFT metadata and help you decide whether to freeze it or not. However, we must first understand what NFT metadata is all about.
What Is NFT Metadata?
The metadata of an NFT is what defines its properties, including the name, images, videos, description, properties, stats, and many more. When an NFT is minted, its details (embedded within the metadata) are saved on the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). The IPFS is a decentralized database with distributed technology that allows secure and transparent hosting of files, websites, applications, and other digital assets. Hence, with the IPFS, NFT metadata can be securely stored with lesser worries of breaches.
What Does It Mean To Freeze NFT Metadata?
Upon hosting NFT metadata on the IPFS, you may keep it frozen or unfrozen. Freezing the NFT metadata allows you to permanently lock your data on the IPFS's database, making it immutable; hence, the metadata cannot be edited or removed. Hence, other people can view and even use the NFT, but the properties will remain immutable.
The owner of the NFT at any given time (after NFT sales) will have access to owner-only items that aren't publicly available for all to see; however, everything else will be permanently locked.
How much does it cost to freeze my NFT metadata?
Many NFT marketplaces like OpenSea will not charge you any fee to help freeze your metadata, apart from little amounts in gas fees that will be required to confirm the action on the blockchain.
Why Should I Freeze My NFT Metadata?
Freezing your metadata helps to ensure that you can't lose your metadata or risk the chances of it being edited by anyone who has access to the NFT. It is a good idea if you are a creator and hope to earn royalties from future sales of the NFT; however, if the metadata is altered, you may lose the ability to earn royalties.
Why Shouldn't I Freeze My NFT Metadata?
If you need your NFT to be regularly customizable, it isn't advisable to freeze your metadata. For example, if you are creating an in-game NFT asset, unfreezing the NFT makes it possible for players to unlock new NFT properties as they progress within the game; however, if it were locked, then it wouldn't be customizable.
Hence, the customizable nature of the NFTs makes it enticing for NFT holders within that gaming ecosystem to keep playing and unlocking new properties of their NFT assets.
How To Freeze My NFT Metadata?
If you have made the decision to freeze your metadata, then you can complete it in a few steps, regardless of the NFT marketplace you use. For this post, we'll use OpenSea as a case study, but the process is similar across other marketplaces.
Below are the steps involved in freezing your NFT Metadata
- Navigate to the item you'd like to freeze and click Edit.
- Scroll down to the Freeze metadata heading.
- Turn on the feature by clicking the toggle.
- Once the toggle is on, click Freeze.
As said earlier, deciding to freeze or unfreeze your NFT metadata should be a decision influenced by how you intend to utilize the NFT. Deciding to freeze your NFT has its merits, depending on the use case, and the same thing goes for leaving it unfrozen.
Hence, it is advisable to weigh your options and make an informed decision.