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NFTs are being minted in Cardano even without a smart contract in place. How does it ensure that no more token gets minted with the same ID?

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2 Answers 2

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On Cardano, an NFT doesn't require a Smart Contact, as it is minted as a native asset.

To make sure a NFT is a really non-fungible, the minter of the native asset is usually locking its minting policy in time. In other words, you mint just one native asset and lock any further minting/burning in time, so it is impossible to increase its supply starting from a specific slot time.

As an example, have a look at the minting script of nutcoin.

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Lecture 5 in the Plutus Pioneer Program talks about different ways NFTs can be implemented.

A naive way to implement NFTs is by looking at the forge field of a transaction and check that the amount is set to 1. That in itself allows for the minting of just one token - per transaction. Now you can combine that with deadlines in the policy script by allowing the minting of the token until the deadline has passed. This is the way NFTs have been implemented since Mary on Cardano. With the policy in place, and the deadline passed, you can then check a blockchain explorer, that there is only one token minted for that policy.

With Plutus things are much more straightforward of course, but in terms of minting NFTs w/o smart contracts (Mary) that's essential how it's done.

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