The drop of the new project ‘OnChain Monkey’ started a necessary conversation across the NFT community: what exactly does it mean when NFTs are referred to as being ‘on-chain’ or ‘off-chain’? The distinction between the two is just as confusing as it is essential to understand.
There is a common perception that the blockchain technology that underpins NFTs leaves the digital assets impervious to corruption and is permanent. This is true in terms of the smart contract, however, there is a potential vulnerability that exists in the way that digital artwork (content and metadata) may be stored for some projects. If the metadata for the digital art is stored off-chain, there is a potential that you could be stuck down the road with the smart contract that points to a broken link. Knowing the on and off-chain components of your NFT will make you a more informed collector and enhance your understanding of project quality.