Full-Cycle Blockchain Development for NFTrends: A Case Study

Creating digital scarcity for luxury goods and arts: A full-cycle blockchain development for NFTrends

Vasyl Krasovskyi
February 2, 2024

This case is a brilliant example of what will happen if you gather a team and bring your blockchain product idea to Dysnix. NFTrends have come to us with a great vision broadcasted by a talented group of scientists and experts. The team included PhDs in finance and artificial intelligence, blockchain pioneers, technical advisors, and top managers.

The expectations were high: they asked our team to handle the full development cycle, from interface design to the blockchain’s smart contracts development. The task of developing such an idea was formidable. But as you might guess, Dysnix dared to take on the most challenging tasks and conducted all development works smoothly and on the highest level. Even now, after the MVP stage, our team continues working on this project, and we already have some small victories to share with our readers. Let’s dive in!

About NFTrends

NFTrends, as a forward-thinking and pioneering company in the luxury and art tech sectors, decided to be a system that uses a tech-savvy blockchain approach to secure ownership and authenticate the luxury, art, and any other unique items of both real and digital worlds over their entire lifecycle. 

NFTrends' mission is to provide tracking the chain of ownership for authentic physical and digital items.

Rather than spreading thin by joining the ranks of multiple NFT minting and trading platforms, NFTrends has chosen to laser focus on providing authentication, along with immutable recording and tracking of provenance and ownership for physical items. Beyond catering to tangible artifacts, NFTrends has also pioneered innovative technology for creating digital scarcity by the real-time authentication of digital art.

The main task: Technically implement the core idea of creating digital scarcity

In the core functionality, NFTrends creates Digital Product Passports (DPPs) and Non-Fungible Digital Images (NFDIs) for luxury, art pieces, and other objects with cultural value. 

Buyer’s item list, plate mode. Interface mockup

These DPPs are created by luxury brands at the end of the manufacturing process or by artists as they finish their work. They capture the unique features of physical items and the means by which these items were created in the form of fingerprints taken under the digital microscope. DPPs enriched with metadata about ownership and other relevant details get digitized and secured with a cryptographic key.

Each DPP includes extensive product information, such as details about the author or brand, the creation date, the method of creation, and any relevant information. The critical feature embedded within the DPPs is a unique identifier accessible exclusively by the item’s owner, granting them exclusive access to all related information about the item. This setup represents the most secure and unparalleled method for accessing a comprehensive usage history and other significant events related to any given valuable piece.

Digital passport, buyer mode. NFTrends interface screenshot

In order to avoid foul-play and forgery, NFTrends developed and Dysnix meticulously implemented a sophisticated check-and-balance hierarchy. This system restricts the creation of DPPs to a select group of individuals, ensuring that every item registered with NFTrends is genuinely authentic.

Use case: How DPPs work in the NFTrends’ framework

You've decided to invest in authentic artwork and ensure its enduring value with a DPP. To do so, download the NFTrends app or go to their website.

Digital passport, owner mode. NFTrends interface screenshot

Your next step is to find a gallery that offers DPP-guarded masterpieces. Once you do, the gallery will sign you up as a buyer with NFTrends and, as part of your purchase, transfer the DPP to you. Actually, NFTrends and Dysnix's behind-the-scenes system will officially mark you as the new owner on the blockchain, where all records are permanent and unchangeable.

Logging into your NFTrends account, you'll see all your DPP-tagged purchases. Only you can access and control these DPPs, whether to show off the physical items or sell them. If you decide to sell, the DPP will go to the new owner, disappearing from your collection and popping up in theirs. Almost done, but there's a caveat: you must subscribe to NFTrends services after an initially granted 1-month trial period. This service not only protects your DPPs but also verifies your ownership and facilitates the DPP's transfer if you decide to sell the item. Remember, any new owner will need to initialize and maintain their subscription too!

What if your favorite art piece is sold without a DPP? No need to worry! Reach out to NFTrends and ask to be onboarded as a physical item owner who wants DPPs for your pieces. You'll get to detail and fingerprint your treasures on your own.

But, there's a catch: you'll need a stamp of authentication from an official authority, like an art appraiser or a luxury brand. NFTrends works with these experts, allowing them to include their independent assessments directly into your item’s DPP, sealed with a multi-signature process essential for generating the DPP.

Sounds like a brain teaser? It's meant to be, as NFTrends' mission is to protect valuable pieces from the sneaky hands of copycats and counterfeiters.

Item details, inventory. NFTrends interface screenshot

So, how can you prove your ownership? It is quite simple. As the owner, you only need to hit the "Authenticate" button, and NFTrends will handle the rest. Once the team receives your request, they access the item's digital fingerprints and metadata that outline which section of the item will undergo authentication. You'll then need to record a video of that specific part using your smartphone and upload it to the app. NFTrends’ backend system will compare the images, and they will inform you if the data on file matches your content. In a nutshell, the process is not dissimilar to what one experiences at passport control when crossing international borders.

Crafting of Dysnix's solution

Dysnix undertook the development of both front-end and back-end solutions. The State of Work shortly included:

  1. The app
    a. Design of interfaces
    b. Front and back end
    c. Microservices architecture
    d. Blockchain integration
  2. The web platform (the same set of services as the app has)
  3. Custom smart contract creation
  4. Blockchain Infrastructure preparation 
  5. MVP preparation
  6. Adding the AI recognition functions
  7. Scalability and always-availability
  8. Support and maintenance

Let’s dive into the details of the development and implementation journey that Dysnix went through with NFTrends.

Creation of UX/UI design by Turum-burum

Turum-burum's task was to create a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and feature-rich interface to streamline the creation of DPPs for artists and to serve customers who have invested in these works.

Starting with detailed research in close collaboration with the development team, the UX analyst worked through a comprehensive project specification to achieve the following deliverables:

  • Design efficient information and navigation architecture;
  • Build easy-to-use account pages and well-designed functionality;
  • Create low-fidelity prototypes outlining the core user flows.

As a result, the UX analysts created high-fidelity prototypes of all internal accounts (Business Owner, Inventory Manager, Dealer, and Buyer) and project functionality meeting all requirements.

The examples of user flow prototypes designed by Turum-burum

Based on this data and materials, the UI designer created the first iteration of the future site, tailored to the client's requirements:

  • Not to resemble cryptocurrencies;
  • Not for developers or gamers;
  • No 3D, avatars, and clutter to fit a diverse audience and high-end products/art;
  • An eye-catching, attractive design in soft pastel colors with simple fonts.

Following the first iteration, the client's requirements changed, so the color scheme became brighter and more appealing to the digital art crowd. It was then decided to add some depth by adding background images.

UI design variations based on the data and client’s preferences

After the three rounds of iterations and synergy with Dysnix, Turum-burum created a website design that integrates business objectives and marketing functionalities, bridging the gap for art and fashion enthusiasts with the transformative power of digitization and tokenization.

The final website design by Turum-burum

At Dysnix, we greatly appreciated this collaboration, and NFTrends was satisfied with the results of this stage. The resulting design emerged as a functional and visually appealing shell for the authentication platform inside.  

Development stage

In our development, we were aimed at the backend and frontend synergy: The Java Kotlin microservice architecture backend with a Spring Boot framework, in tandem with a React-based frontend, forms the core of the application, ensuring a seamless UX and best-speed productivity. To ensure secure and fastest possible connections with blockchain and the web, our app was connected with RPC Fast and Infura through the secure endpoints.

The project's infrastructure was architected using Google Cloud services, ensuring scalability and reliability. We created DEV, STAGE, DEMO, and PROD environments in Google Cloud using the Terragrunt/Terraform for infrastructure deployment. We traditionally used Helmcharts and FluxCD for CI/CD and set up Github actions for image snapshotting.

Selling items from the current owner's viewpoint. NFTrends interface screenshot

Other key components included:

  • For orchestrating containerized applications, we used Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).
  • Cloud SQL & Key Management Service ensured secure database management and encryption key storage.
  • PUB/SUB & Artifact Registry facilitated efficient message queuing and artifact storage.

For the MVP, we set up everything in the Testnet of the Ethereum blockchain. However, we moved NFTrends over to the Polygon blockchain for the production version. This decision was based on several advantages, from faster transactions to lower gas fees, making Polygon the optimal choice. 

Item details for a buyer. NFTrends interface screenshot

To make our solution even more robust and long-term, we make everything possible to make further development easier with the following elements deployed additionally to the Kubernetes clusters:

  • Including Istio for service mesh architecture and monitoring/logging with Grafana, Prometheus, and Loki.
  • Adding RabbitMQ for reliable message queuing.

Security is a top priority for us, which is why we implement extra precautions:

  • CloudFlare was used for DNS, HTTPS traffic forward, and security from DDoS.
  • auth0 - for authentication and authorization.

NFTrends demo: A practical showcase of existing MVP during the art exhibition

We’ve prepared the MVP with all the needed functionality for the demo, set for February 2024 during an art exhibition in the UAE, and planned to be a critical milestone. It aimed to showcase the practical application of the NFTrends platform, mainly focusing on the NFDI loan flow. The features and functionality to demonstrate will be set as follows:

  • Artwork addition: Showcasing the ease of adding artwork to the platform.
Adding an item. NFTrends interface screenshot
  • Authentication and blockchain integration: Demonstrating the secure and transparent authentication process using digital passports and blockchain technology.
Loan process. NFTrends interface screenshot
  • End-to-end loan process: From initiation by person A to confirmation by person B, followed by display and interaction by person C, illustrating the platform's comprehensive capabilities.

We wish NFTrends good luck with this demonstration, and we’ll keep everything flawless from our technical side.

Selling items by a sales manager. NFTrends interface screenshot

The digital future of art is in the right hands

NFTrends is ready to prove its innovative functions and reliability, while Dysnix is currently in the following stages of development. Currently, we’re working on implementing AI recognition features in the app to integrate the recognition of unique fingerprints for unique objects. Dysnix plans to continue development and provide support, ensuring the platform remains at the forefront of technological innovation.

Dysnix's solution for NFTrends marks another step forward in adopting blockchain technologies in the luxury and art sectors. We are here to enhance trust, reduce fraud, and open up new financial dimensions in the culture industry, making artists the actual owners of their art.

Vasyl Krasovskyi
Senior DevOps Engineer
Love to share everyday DevOps experience. Mountain admirer.
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