Trivver gets patent on tech to protect NFTs from fraud

Non-fungible token or NFTs become a craze in the last few years, with some buyers spending thousands or even millions of dollars for the ephemeral rights to a digital artwork, although there are signs that the market is subsiding.

Last year, an anonymous buyer paid a colossal $6.6m for an NFT linked to a video by Beeple, ten times its original listing price, while in musician Grimes sold some of her digital art for more than $6m earlier this year.

NFTs could be described as digital certificate of authenticity, secured by a blockchain, and importantly doesn’t provide any ownership of the art itself.

For that reason some consider the NFT phenomenon is not much more than a fad and a con – as there is often nothing to stop others freely copying the artwork – while others argue they are desirable collectibles that give their owners rights to use art, and can help support artists.

Whichever side of the fence you are on, where there is money to be made, counterfeiters are sure to follow, and NFTs are no different.

Last year, for example NFT auction house Nifty Gateway promoted a video that depicted a room full of Ai Weiwei's sculptures – which was neither made nor endorsed by the Chinese artist. And earlier this year, another artist, Aja Trier, discovered that her paintings had been turned into thousands of NFTs by other parties, without her knowledge, in an attempt to monetise her work.

Another NFT marketplace – OpenSeas – has estimated that as much as 80 per cent of its NFTs for sale are fraudulent reproductions.

Trust falling

Founder and chief executive of technology company Trivver Joel LaMontagne says that one of the reasons for a downturn in the NFT market is a "lack of trust", along with the prevailing economic conditions around the world.

The company has just been awarded a patent for a smartphone-based scanner application that can be used to verify whether or not an NFT is authentic instantly.

The scanner seeks for a unique 3D pixel fingerprint that can be placed on an NFT, "maintaining and reporting ownership back to the original creator and all subsequent owners of the NFT as well as the purpose of the NFT."

It not only ensures authenticity of the NFT but of can also "ensures sales, royalties and other possible revenue earned from each NFT reaches the rightful owner," according to Trivver.

Another company with the authenticity of NFTs in its sights is MarqVision, which offers an artificial intelligence-powered intellectual property protection platform, which focuses on monitoring NFT marketplaces to detect and report fake listings. It's a similar approach to one taken by SnifflesNFT, currently in beta testing.

Image by Tumisu via Pixabay

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