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Kabila’s NFT creators move from IPFS to on-chain storage with Akord

Pascal Barry
Pascal Barry
10 Jun 2024 · 4 min
The mission

Provide NFT creators with a complete toolkit

Creators face many challenges when moving into or starting out in web3. Tools and services are fragmented, increasing complexity and inefficiencies when it comes to launching projects and managing communities.

While many NFT platforms have collapsed during the last crypto bear market, Kabila is part of a growing second wave of projects that are building on the lessons learned from early experimentations in the space.

With over 90% of NFT assets stored using off-chain solutions, one of the advances Kabila were looking to make was in storing assets and metadata in a more permanent, secure and sustainable way.

The why

IPFS requires third party services and temporary off-chain storage

Kabila had been using NFT.Storage, an IPFS pinning service, because IPFS itself does not actually store data – it indexes where data can be found in the network. These third party services offer off-chain storage solutions and that comes with issues.

In contrast to Arweave, NFT.Storage is not a blockchain, so data is not timestamped and stored in a block. In Arweave, data is stored directly within mined blocks, but unlike traditional blockchains, where transactions are the primary on-chain data, Arweave's blocks can contain significant amounts of user data in any form.

Another key reason to move from IPFS and NFT.Storage was their ephemeral nature. Storage of data is dependent on the survival of these pinning services and the ongoing maintenance of fees. Ultimately, permanence is not guaranteed. Arweave was designed to ensure permanence with an on-chain crypto endowment, structured to cover storage costs for a minimum of 200 years in one upfront payment.

The collaboration with Akord has been nothing short of amazing. Their dedication and hours of development and testing have enabled us to enhance our solutions, ensuring the best user experience with optimal pricing and performance.

Adrian Marin Sanchez-Mayoral, COO, Kabila

The solution

Move from IPFS to Akord while maintaining UX

Kabila wanted the move from IPFS and NFT.Storage to Arweave using Akord, while not impacting their users. The goal was to abstract the Arweave blockchain so users could pay in $Hbar, while taking care of their uploads under the hood.

With the previous system, creators could drop zip files of their assets and the Kabila platform would unpack the zip and send the files to NFT.Storage. Working in collaboration with the Kabila engineers, Akord built this feature into the new setup so this flow could be maintained.

When working with on-chain storage and large file uploads that are normal for NFT projects, there can be issues around performance: namely, a period of 5-15 minutes for a file to be fully committed on-chain. Akord’s optimistic cache and gateway to Arweave,, has enabled the Kabila team to serve users’ data in a performant manner while also ensuring any data rejected by the network is automatically reposted.

The outcome

NFTs that will never be compromised

Kabila’s NFT creators will mint their work with peace of mind – their assets are now on-chain, timestamped on the Arweave blockchain. They are immutable, permanent and do not require any maintenance in terms of contracts or retrieval fees. The storage of their work is guaranteed from the Arweave crypto endowment, designed to ensure incentives for the storage of data for at least 200 years.

Data stored in any off-chain solution cannot fully guarantee its future storage, as there’s no assurance the provider will exist next year, in 5 years or longer. Without this permanence, trading data is undermined and its value can be brought into question. Why would I buy an NFT if I have any doubt the data could be lost?

By moving to Akord and permanent storage, Kabila has built a sustainable model that won’t need to rely on monthly payments that are needed for some IPFS services, or the future survival of a third party. Permanent storage with Akord is paid for once, upfront. Once their creators’ assets are on-chain, they’ll stay there regardless of whether Akord exists in the future or not.

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