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Private NFT

Let's look at traditional NFTs first, to understand how Private NFTs are different.

Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are a way to represent anything unique powered by smart contracts, residing on any blockchain. They represent a whole entity and cannot be transacted in partial. Each NFT is typically a digital asset, has an owner and this is on a public record that can be verified by anyone. However, NFTs can be accessed and copied by anyone.

Private NFTs on the other hand cannot be copied or accessed publicly, unless the owner chooses to share access or transfer ownership to another user. For example, using private NFTs, digital artists can share a preview of their work, using a lower resolution image, to help prospective buyers look at an asset before choosing to make a transaction. Later, as part of the formal blockchain transaction approving the sale, they can transfer ownership of the original, high resolution and publicly recorded private NFT, to the new owner.

Arcana SDKs can enable dApp users to create, view and transact private NFTs. Arcana private NFTs are based on the Ethereum ERC721 token standard and maintain many positive characteristics of traditional NFTs. Each Arcana private NFT is associated with a DID. The data file linked with the DID is stored in the decentralized Arcana Store safely, using state of the art encryption techniques. Every access to the private NFT is managed by the owner of the NFT. Only the real owner has access to share, revoke, delete or transfer the NFT ownership to another user.

Private NFTs vs. Traditional NFTs


  • Non-fungible, not divisible and uniquely distinguishable
  • Metadata is public, visible to everyone on the blockchain
  • The asset is linked to the owner and each transaction of the asset is publicly recorded


Traditional NFTsPrivate NFTs
All metadata is publicIn addition to public metadata, the private NFTs have non-public metadata support as well. For example, digital art asset preview image title, description etc. could be public whereas details about price or received bid values and persons could be private metadata.
No copy protection. Those who access the copy are not the legitimate, publicly recorded owners and yet can see, hoard copies of the NFT.Private NFTs are owned by a single user at a time who has full access to it, can share, revoke access when required or change NFT ownership as part of a NFT transaction. After the transaction is successful, original owner loses all access to the private NFT.
No access controlEach Arcana private NFT is associated with a unique DID

For Private NFT implementation details, see Arcana Technical White paper.