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ERC-5521

Referable NFT

An ERC-721 extension to construct reference relationships among NFTs
ReviewStandards Track: ERC
Created: 2022-08-10
Requires: EIP-165, EIP-721
Saber Yu (@OniReimu), Qin Wang <qin.wang@data61.csiro.au>, Shange Fu <shange.fu@monash.edu>, Yilin Sai <yilin.sai@data61.csiro.au>, Shiping Chen <shiping.chen@data61.csiro.au>, Sherry Xu <xiwei.xu@data61.csiro.au>, Jiangshan Yu <jiangshan.yu@monash.edu>
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The ERC-5521 proposal suggests creating a standard for NFTs specifically designed for digital art and music. It aims to provide a more tangible link between the NFT, the artist, and the owner by allowing artists to sign their work and designate limited-edition prints with immutable signatures. This creates a trustlessly enforced link between the artist and the NFT. The proposal also provides a standard method for designating the original and limited-edition prints with signatures from the artist. The goal is to make it easier for artists to maintain a connection with the Ethereum blockchain and their fans who purchase their tokens. The proposal acknowledges that the use cases for NFTs have evolved into works of digital art, and there is a need to designate an original NFT and printed editions with signatures in a trustless manner. Overall, the proposal aims to remove the distance between the artist and the NFT and provide readily available functionality for artists to sign their work and for third-party applications to display the uniqueness of a NFT.

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Abstract

This standard is an extension of ERC-721. It proposes two referable indicators, referring and referred, and a time-based indicator createdTimestamp. The relationship between each NFT forms a directed acyclic graph (DAG). The standard allows users to query, track and analyze their relationships.

System Architecture

Motivation

Many scenarios require inheritance, reference, and extension of NFTs. For instance, an artist may develop his NFT work based on a previous NFT, or a DJ may remix his record by referring to two pop songs, etc. Proposing a referable solution for existing NFTs and enabling efficient queries on cross-references make much sense.

By adding the referring indicator, users can mint new NFTs (e.g., C, D, E) by referring to existing NFTs (e.g., A, B), while referred enables the referred NFTs (A, B) to be aware that who has quoted it (e.g., A ← D; C ← E; B ← E, and A ← E). The createdTimestamp is an indicator used to show the creation time of NFTs (A, B, C, D, E).

Specification

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

  • Relationship: a structure that contains referring, referred, createdTimestamp, and other customized and OPTIONAL attributes (i.e., not necessarily included in the standard) such as privityOfAgreement recording the ownerships of referred NFTs at the time the rNFTs were being created or profitSharing recording the profit sharing of referring.

  • referring: an out-degree indicator, used to show the users this NFT refers to;

  • referred: an in-degree indicator, used to show the users who have refereed this NFT;

  • createdTimestamp: a time-based indicator, used to compare the timestamp of mint, which MUST NOT be editable anyhow by callers;

  • safeMint: mint a new rNFT;

  • setNode: set the referring list of an rNFT and update the referred list of each one in the referring list;

    • setNodeReferring: set the referring list of an rNFT;
    • setNodeReferred: set the referred list of the given rNFTs sourced from different contracts;
      • setNodeReferredExternal: set the referred list of the given rNFTs sourced from external contracts;
  • referringOf: get the referring list of an rNFT;

  • referredOf: get the referred list of an rNFT.

Implementers of this standard MUST have all of the following functions:

pragma solidity ^0.8.4; interface IERC_5521 { /// Logged when a node in the rNFT gets referred and changed. /// @notice Emitted when the `node` (i.e., an rNFT) is changed. event UpdateNode(uint256 indexed tokenId, address indexed owner, address[] _address_referringList, uint256[][] _tokenIds_referringList, address[] _address_referredList, uint256[][] _tokenIds_referredList ); /// @notice set the referred list of an rNFT associated with different contract addresses and update the referring list of each one in the referred list. Checking the duplication of `addresses` and `tokenIds` is **RECOMMENDED**. /// @param `tokenId` of rNFT being set. `addresses` of the contracts in which rNFTs with `tokenIds` being referred accordingly. /// @requirement /// - the size of `addresses` **MUST** be the same as that of `tokenIds`; /// - once the size of `tokenIds` is non-zero, the inner size **MUST** also be non-zero; /// - the `tokenId` **MUST** be unique within the same contract; /// - the `tokenId` **MUST NOT** be the same as `tokenIds[i][j]` if `addresses[i]` is essentailly `address(this)`. function setNode(uint256 tokenId, address[] memory addresses, uint256[][] memory tokenIds) external; /// @notice set the referring list of an rNFT associated with different contract addresses. /// @param `tokenId` of rNFT being set, `addresses` of the contracts in which rNFTs with `_tokenIds` being referred accordingly. function setNodeReferring(address[] memory addresses, uint256 tokenId, uint256[][] memory _tokenIds) private; /// @notice set the referred list of an rNFT associated with different contract addresses. /// @param `_tokenIds` of rNFTs, associated with `addresses`, referred by the rNFT with `tokenId` in `this` contract. function setNodeReferred(address[] memory addresses, uint256 tokenId, uint256[][] memory _tokenIds) private; /// @notice get the referring list of an rNFT. /// @param `tokenId` of the rNFT being focused, `_address` of contract address associated with the focused rNFT. /// @return the referring mapping of the rNFT. function referringOf(address _address, uint256 tokenId) external view returns(address[] memory, uint256[][] memory); /// @notice get the referred list of an rNFT. /// @param `tokenId` of the rNFT being focused, `_address` of contract address associated with the focused rNFT. /// @return the referred mapping of the rNFT. function referredOf(address _address, uint256 tokenId) external view returns(address[] memory, uint256[][] memory); } interface TargetContract { /// @notice set the referred list of an rNFT associated with external contract addresses. /// @param `_tokenIds` of rNFTs associated with the contract address `_address` being referred by the rNFT with `tokenId`. /// @requirement /// - `_address` **MUST NOT** be the same as `address(this)` where `this` is executed by an external contract where `TargetContract` interface is implemented. function setNodeReferredExternal(address _address, uint256 tokenId, uint256[] memory _tokenIds) external; function referringOf(address _address, uint256 tokenId) external view returns(address[] memory, uint256[][] memory); function referredOf(address _address, uint256 tokenId) external view returns(address[] memory, uint256[][] memory); }

Rationale

This standard is intended to establish the referable DAG for queries on cross-relationship and accordingly provide the simplest functions. It provides advantages as follows.

Clear ownership inheritance: This standard extends the static NFT into a virtually extensible NFT network. Artists do not have to create work isolated from others. The ownership inheritance avoids reinventing the same wheel.

Incentive Compatibility: This standard clarifies the referable relationship across different NFTs, helping to integrate multiple up-layer incentive models for both original NFT owners and new creators.

Easy Integration: This standard makes it easier for the existing token standards or third-party protocols. For instance, the rNFT can be applied to rentable scenarios (cf. ERC-5006 to build a hierarchical rental market, where multiple users can rent the same NFT during the same time or one user can rent multiple NFTs during the same duration).

Scalable Interoperability From March 26th 2023, this standard has been stepping forward by enabling cross-contract references, giving a scalable adoption for the broader public with stronger interoperability.

Backwards Compatibility

This standard can be fully ERC-721 compatible by adding an extension function set.

Test Cases

Test cases are included in ERC_5521.test.js

Reference Implementation

pragma solidity ^0.8.4; import "@openzeppelin/contracts/token/ERC721/ERC721.sol"; import "./IERC_5521.sol"; contract ERC_5521 is ERC721, IERC_5521, TargetContract { struct Relationship { mapping (address => uint256[]) referring; mapping (address => uint256[]) referred; uint256 createdTimestamp; // unix timestamp when the rNFT is being created } mapping (uint256 => Relationship) internal _relationship; address contractOwner = address(0); mapping (uint256 => address[]) private referringKeys; mapping (uint256 => address[]) private referredKeys; constructor(string memory name_, string memory symbol_) ERC721(name_, symbol_) { contractOwner = msg.sender; } function safeMint(uint256 tokenId, address[] memory addresses, uint256[][] memory _tokenIds) public { // require(msg.sender == contractOwner, "ERC_rNFT: Only contract owner can mint"); _safeMint(msg.sender, tokenId); setNode(tokenId, addresses, _tokenIds); } /// @notice set the referred list of an rNFT associated with different contract addresses and update the referring list of each one in the referred list /// @param tokenIds array of rNFTs, recommended to check duplication at the caller's end function setNode(uint256 tokenId, address[] memory addresses, uint256[][] memory tokenIds) public virtual override { require( addresses.length == tokenIds.length, "Addresses and TokenID arrays must have the same length" ); for (uint i = 0; i < tokenIds.length; i++) { if (tokenIds[i].length == 0) { revert("ERC_5521: the referring list cannot be empty"); } } setNodeReferring(addresses, tokenId, tokenIds); setNodeReferred(addresses, tokenId, tokenIds); } /// @notice set the referring list of an rNFT associated with different contract addresses /// @param _tokenIds array of rNFTs associated with addresses, recommended to check duplication at the caller's end function setNodeReferring(address[] memory addresses, uint256 tokenId, uint256[][] memory _tokenIds) private { require(_isApprovedOrOwner(msg.sender, tokenId), "ERC_5521: transfer caller is not owner nor approved"); Relationship storage relationship = _relationship[tokenId]; for (uint i = 0; i < addresses.length; i++) { if (relationship.referring[addresses[i]].length == 0) { referringKeys[tokenId].push(addresses[i]); } // Add the address if it's a new entry relationship.referring[addresses[i]] = _tokenIds[i]; } relationship.createdTimestamp = block.timestamp; emitEvents(tokenId, msg.sender); } /// @notice set the referred list of an rNFT associated with different contract addresses /// @param _tokenIds array of rNFTs associated with addresses, recommended to check duplication at the caller's end function setNodeReferred(address[] memory addresses, uint256 tokenId, uint256[][] memory _tokenIds) private { for (uint i = 0; i < addresses.length; i++) { if (addresses[i] == address(this)) { for (uint j = 0; j < _tokenIds[i].length; j++) { if (_relationship[_tokenIds[i][j]].referred[addresses[i]].length == 0) { referredKeys[_tokenIds[i][j]].push(addresses[i]); } // Add the address if it's a new entry Relationship storage relationship = _relationship[_tokenIds[i][j]]; require(tokenId != _tokenIds[i][j], "ERC_5521: self-reference not allowed"); if (relationship.createdTimestamp >= block.timestamp) { revert("ERC_5521: the referred rNFT needs to be a predecessor"); } // Make sure the reference complies with the timing sequence relationship.referred[address(this)].push(tokenId); emitEvents(_tokenIds[i][j], ownerOf(_tokenIds[i][j])); } } else { TargetContract targetContractInstance = TargetContract(addresses[i]); targetContractInstance.setNodeReferredExternal(address(this), tokenId, _tokenIds[i]); } } } /// @notice set the referred list of an rNFT associated with different contract addresses /// @param _tokenIds array of rNFTs associated with addresses, recommended to check duplication at the caller's end function setNodeReferredExternal(address _address, uint256 tokenId, uint256[] memory _tokenIds) external { for (uint i = 0; i < _tokenIds.length; i++) { if (_relationship[_tokenIds[i]].referred[_address].length == 0) { referredKeys[_tokenIds[i]].push(_address); } // Add the address if it's a new entry Relationship storage relationship = _relationship[_tokenIds[i]]; require(_address != address(this), "ERC_5521: this must be an external contract address"); if (relationship.createdTimestamp >= block.timestamp) { revert("ERC_5521: the referred rNFT needs to be a predecessor"); } // Make sure the reference complies with the timing sequence relationship.referred[_address].push(tokenId); emitEvents(_tokenIds[i], ownerOf(_tokenIds[i])); } } /// @notice Get the referring list of an rNFT /// @param tokenId The considered rNFT, _address The corresponding contract address /// @return The referring mapping of an rNFT function referringOf(address _address, uint256 tokenId) external view virtual override(IERC_5521, TargetContract) returns (address[] memory, uint256[][] memory) { address[] memory _referringKeys; uint256[][] memory _referringValues; if (_address == address(this)) { require(_exists(tokenId), "ERC_5521: token ID not existed"); (_referringKeys, _referringValues) = convertMap(tokenId, true); } else { TargetContract targetContractInstance = TargetContract(_address); (_referringKeys, _referringValues) = targetContractInstance.referringOf(_address, tokenId); } return (_referringKeys, _referringValues); } /// @notice Get the referred list of an rNFT /// @param tokenId The considered rNFT, _address The corresponding contract address /// @return The referred mapping of an rNFT function referredOf(address _address, uint256 tokenId) external view virtual override(IERC_5521, TargetContract) returns (address[] memory, uint256[][] memory) { address[] memory _referredKeys; uint256[][] memory _referredValues; if (_address == address(this)) { require(_exists(tokenId), "ERC_5521: token ID not existed"); (_referredKeys, _referredValues) = convertMap(tokenId, false); } else { TargetContract targetContractInstance = TargetContract(_address); (_referredKeys, _referredValues) = targetContractInstance.referredOf(_address, tokenId); } return (_referredKeys, _referredValues); } /// @dev See {IERC165-supportsInterface}. function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId) public view virtual override returns (bool) { return interfaceId == type(IERC_5521).interfaceId || interfaceId == type(TargetContract).interfaceId || super.supportsInterface(interfaceId); } // @notice Emit an event of UpdateNode function emitEvents(uint256 tokenId, address sender) private { (address[] memory _referringKeys, uint256[][] memory _referringValues) = convertMap(tokenId, true); (address[] memory _referredKeys, uint256[][] memory _referredValues) = convertMap(tokenId, false); emit UpdateNode(tokenId, sender, _referringKeys, _referringValues, _referredKeys, _referredValues); } // @notice Convert a specific `local` token mapping to a key array and a value array function convertMap(uint256 tokenId, bool isReferring) private view returns (address[] memory, uint256[][] memory) { Relationship storage relationship = _relationship[tokenId]; address[] memory returnKeys; uint256[][] memory returnValues; if (isReferring) { returnKeys = referringKeys[tokenId]; returnValues = new uint256[][](returnKeys.length); for (uint i = 0; i < returnKeys.length; i++) { returnValues[i] = relationship.referring[returnKeys[i]]; } } else { returnKeys = referredKeys[tokenId]; returnValues = new uint256[][](returnKeys.length); for (uint i = 0; i < returnKeys.length; i++) { returnValues[i] = relationship.referred[returnKeys[i]]; } } return (returnKeys, returnValues); } }

Security Considerations

Timestamp

The createdTimestamp only covers the block-level timestamp (based on block headers), which does not support fine-grained comparisons such as transaction-level.

Ownership and Reference

The change of ownership has nothing to do with the reference relationship. Normally, the distribution of profits complies to the aggreement when the NFT was being created regardless of the change of ownership unless specified in the agreement.

Referring a token will not refer its descendants by default. In the case that only a specific child token gets referred, it means the privity of contract will involve nobody other than the owner of this specific child token. Alternatively, a chain-of-reference all the way from the root token to a specific very bottom child token (from root to leaf) can be constructured and recorded in the referring to explicitly define the distribution of profits.

Open Minting and Relationship Risks

The safeMint function has been deliberately designed to allow unrestricted minting and relationship setting, akin to the open referencing system seen in platforms such as Google Scholar. This decision facilitates strong flexibility, enabling any user to create and define relationships between NFTs without centralized control. While this design aligns with the intended openness of the system, it inherently carries certain risks. Unauthorized or incorrect references can be created, mirroring the challenges faced in traditional scholarly referencing where erroneous citations may occur. Additionally, the open nature may expose the system to potential abuse by malicious actors, who might manipulate relationships or inflate token supply. It is important to recognize that these risks are not considered design flaws but intentional trade-offs, which balances the system's flexibility against potential reliability concerns.

Stakeholders should be aware that the on-chain data integrity guarantees extend only to what has been recorded on the blockchain and do not preclude the possibility of off-chain errors or manipulations. Thus, users and integrators should exercise caution and judgment in interpreting and using the relationships and other data provided by this system.

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

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