OnFinality Unified NFT API
Medium Spender

Proposer: OnFinality is leading infrastructure provider for the Polkadot/Substrate community.

Proponent: 12mRyiCp9zdh1wEVW5gLLiFBxDPKks72rRXmSupyEK3VAMLf

Date: 28 Jul 2023

Requested DOT: 14,269.071 DOT (USD $74,983.97) (@5.255 USD/DOT - EMA7D on 28 Jul 2023)

Short description: This proposal covers the first Unified API, the NFT API for support of ERC721, ERC1155, Uniques Pallet NFTs, and Substrate NFTs Pallet NFTs, as well as hosting costs for Q3 2023

Full Proposal: OnFinality NFT API Treasury Proposal

OnFinality Unified NFT API

  • Multi-chain applications operate across multiple networks, allowing users to leverage the unique benefits of multiple Polkadot relay chains and parachains simultaneously
  • Polkadot & Kusama ecosystem’s size and complexity makes developing multi-chain applications both time and resource intensive, stunting growth and innovation in the ecosystem
  • OnFinality’s set of Multi-Chain Unified APIs will help ease this problem by providing indexed and processed data for use cases such as NFTs, transactions, staking and governance
  • This proposal covers the first Unified API, the NFT API for support of ERC721, ERC1155, Uniques Pallet NFTs, and Substrate NFTs Pallet NFTs, as well as hosting costs for Q3 2023.
  • The total cost for all of the above, including an already delivered Milestone 1 that is in use by customers, is US $74,983.97

Background and Problem Statement

Developers in the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem face unique challenges due to the size and flexibility of the ecosystem. To access the entire user base, application teams need to integrate with up to 80 separate networks, each potentially implementing similar functionality in different ways.

This leads to an increasing complexity for developers who build in the Polkadot ecosystem, where breadth of support is paramount to enjoying the network effect benefits that the parachain system brings. They are slowed down by the need to understand, implement and index the required data across parachains, each team reinventing the wheel and individually bearing the full infrastructure costs.

For example, tracking transactions and NFTs across the Polkadot and Kusama space are fragmented across a growing matrix of:

  • 80 + Networks
  • 2+ token transaction implementations
  • 6+ NFT Implementations and standards

As a whole for the ecosystem this is highly inefficient and slows growth, and R&D cycles are slow as teams must invest heavily before being able to test their product with users. It puts Polkadot and its teams at a competitive disadvantage over larger networks which closely follow standards, such as EVM, and already have extensive tooling including Unified APIs for their community.

Proposed Solution (Unified NFT API)

OnFinality is building a suite of fast and reliable Multi-Chain Unified APIs for the Polkadot ecosystem to help overcome the integration complexity that comes with 80+ parachains. These new Multi-Chain Unified APIs will include (among other things) transactions, staking, balances, and in this case, NFTs.

This model is well received in other ecosystems, where there is a proven value to multi-chain standardised use case APIs.

It will be Polkadot’s first reliable, scalable, and complete NFT API.

Open-Source Multi-Chain NFT Indexing project

OnFinality’s Unified NFT API will provide access to NFTs and their metadata for all popular standards across the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems and beyond, in a single, simple request. The OnFinality NFT API will just be the first Unified API offered by OnFinality, with plans to expand to transactions, staking, and more.

We envisage that this project will support the following standards over the long term

  • EVM ERC-721 & 1155
  • WASM PSP34
  • Substrate Uniques standard
  • Substrate NFTs standard
  • ormlNFTs

Open-sourcing this project allows developers who prefer to run their own infrastructure to get value out of this proposal. The project code for the first milestone is here https://github.com/OnFinality-io/api-nft/tree/main and is open sourced under the GPLv3 licence.

This project indexes data to allow the following key use cases (but not limited to):

  • Get all NFTs for a wallet address across all parachains
  • Get an NFT’s current owner
  • Retrieve all NFTs for a collection
  • Retrieve the metadata for an NFT
  • Retrieve all transactions for an NFT
  • Retrieve all NFT transactions for a wallet address

This also removes the need for applications to load the metadata after retrieving an NFT, an often slow and complicated process.

Hosted Unified NFT API

OnFinality takes the above open-source NFT indexing project, and hosts a production level high performance public GraphQL endpoint available completely free to the community - up to reasonable rate limits.

This endpoint will be operated with a target uptime of 99.9% allowing wallets and other production applications to utilise this (OnFinality has a proven track record as the largest and most reliable infrastructure provider in the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems). We will publicly share all daily response counts and uptime status of each Unified API.

GraphQL was chosen for its high flexibility compared to a REST or RPC endpoint, and was specifically requested by teams who provided feedback on this proposal. This common GraphQL API interface can be implemented and extended by each developer to make integration into various dApps or wallet applications easier and faster.

Feedback from ecosystem participants

The OnFinality Unified NFT API has been 100% led and validated by the most successful application teams in Polkadot.

"The need for accurate, real-time multi-chain information is a top priority for our users. Dealing with the complexities of querying various chains and NFT standards is proving to be a performance hindrance, especially as the number of NFTs owned increases. OnFinality’s Unified NFT API solution comes as a game-changing opportunity for us to streamline our processes, saving us valuable development time while ensuring optimal performance." - Talisman (Wallet)

"Even though we have support for displaying Nodle NFTs in our mobile app and web client, Polkadot is an evolving network and it becomes more complex with each added chain. The Unified NFT API provides support for all NFT assets, regardless of where they're hosted: enhancing discoverability across the ever-expanding network of parachains." - Nodle (Polkadot Parachain)

“OnFinality’s Unified NFT API simplifies the development of NFT apps, significantly reducing barriers of entry. This not only fosters the growth of RMRK, but also sparks widespread usage and adoption of all types of NFTs across the Polkadot ecosystem.” - RMRK (NFT Standard)

“During our dilemma of building our own blockchain indexer, or trying to find any service out there for a few weeks, we found out about the Unified NFT API (beta), we tested it out on their playground and using Apollo client. It was a great developer experience. There is a genuine need for the product in the Dotsama space, this will push adoption and growth for the whole ecosystem undoubtedly. We are patiently waiting for the production release.” - Development Team, Dotsama NFT Marketplace

Examples of benefiting teams include

  • Wallets need to show a user their NFTs across the entire Polkadot ecosystem
  • NFT Marketplaces wishing to expand their support to more networks
  • Scanners will benefit from richer data such as NFT Name and Description which aren’t available on chain.
  • Data analytics providers will benefit from a off the shelf API that will allow them to expose Polkadot’s NFT ecosystem to a larger audience

View the complete proposal, as well as detailed milestones and costings for this proposal, here:

1.32M DOT
10.77M DOT
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597.57K DOT
1.17B DOT
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