NFTs are unique cryptographic digital assets with distinctive code and metadata. Essentially, an NFT metadata is a set of data that identifies a specific NFT.
They are properties or details that define an NFT asset. It includes its name, description, supply, transaction history, and other important information about an NFT. It can also be a reference to any other digital asset.
While an NFT and its properties depend on metadata, they are not identical. Although the metadata is linked to an NFT, they are stored as separate entities on a blockchain.
Meanwhile, when conducting a transaction with an NFT, the metadata offers further information about the NFT.
When using NFT marketplaces on Opensea, you must have come across an option to freeze your NFT metadata. Simply, freezing your metadata means you are locking its information on an Interplanetary File System (IPFS).
This way, the NFT’s metadata cannot be edited or changed. However, what are the pros and cons of locking your metadata?
This article will take you through everything you need to know about freezing your NFT metadata on Opensea, its benefits, and caveats.
What is an NFT Metadata?
Metadata simply gives further data or information about another data. In the same way, NFT metadata is a set of data that defines the properties and contents of an NFT.
If the metadata of an NFT is stored on a chain, it means that the NFT metadata and the NFT it defines are stored on a blockchain network. While on-chain storage is much more secure and preferred, storing the huge size of underlying NFT files can be expensive and inefficient.
This way, many creators prefer storing their NFTs or NFT metadata off-chain. This way, either one or both of them is stored on a centralized or decentralized third-party file storage system. This can include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Drive, or decentralized peer-to-peer file-sharing servers like the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).
When an NFT is minted on a blockchain, its metadata and other data are stored on the IPFS. This provides a secured, transparent and decentralized environment like the on-chain storage. Afterward, you can choose to freeze or unfreeze the metadata.
If you freeze the metadata, it simply means that you are locking all the properties and metadata of your NFT permanently on the IPFS. This way, they cannot be removed, edited, or tampered with by anyone anymore.
Therefore, aside from that, it makes your NFT data accessible to intending buyers and ensures that you don’t lose your metadata to unauthorized edits or alterations by anyone.
Steps to Freeze NFT Metadata on Opensea
Freezing NFT on Opensea is free, easy, and pretty straightforward. Although you’ll have to pay gas fees, the process takes less than a minute or two.
To freeze your NFT metadata, log into your Opensea account by connecting your crypto wallet to the marketplace.
Afterward, go to your COLLECTIONS, select the preferred NFT and freeze its metadata. Wait until the process is complete; voila, you’ve done it.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to freeze NFT metadata on Opensea:
- Log into your Opensea account
- Navigate to your NFT collection and freeze NFT metadata
1. Log into your Opensea account
In your web browser, navigate to the Opensea marketplace at Opensea.com.
On the homepage, click on CONNECT WALLET from the top right corner to log in with your crypto wallet.
Select your preferred wallet from the available options and sign the approval prompt that pops up in your wallet.
Once you’re in, click on the round-shaped profile icon in the top left corner of the home screen to go to your profile.
In your profile, click on the NFT you want its metadata frozen. On the NFT page, click EDIT, scroll down and tap FREEZE METADATA.
A little notification that tells you more about FREEZE METADATA will pop up. Activate the feature by toggling the button in front of it.
Finally, click on FREEZE.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that once you freeze your data, there is no going back with it.
Click CONTINUE to approve the process. Once you also sign the approval prompt that pops up in your wallet, the process will be confirmed.
Freezing your metadata might take a few minutes. Once it is done, your NFT data will be frozen.
To confirm if the process was successful, you can check the DETAILS section of your NFT page. You can also check it under the FREEZE METADATA heading.
The argument of whether to freeze your metadata or not boils down to your preference. While it has greater advantages, especially to creators, its only disadvantage is that it cannot be reversed.
Therefore, if you have any changes to make to your NFT or collection, once you free its metadata, you cannot rectify them.
That said, if your metadata is not frozen, they are stored in centralized storage. Therefore, if anything goes wrong with it, you will lose all your data.
However, decentralized storage with IPFS ensures your data have immutable and indomitable protection with blockchain technology.
Additionally, the argument of being editable or not, is a factor to consider with freezing NFT metadata. While many argue that an NFT owner can change unfrozen metadata, some believe the sole editor of an NFT is the creator.
However, if the owner can change the metadata, an artist or creator may lose rights to an NFT and, therefore, associated royalties. Therefore, it is safer to be safe than sorry.