OpenSea has announced a new rarity protocol called OpenRarity, built for the NFT community, that provides transparent, objective, and mathematically sound rarity calculation for NFTs.
On Thursday, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, took to Twitter to announce that it is collaborating with Curio, icy.tools, and Proof to develop OpenRarity. The new rarity protocol is expected to make rarity calculation for NFTs less confusing and more transparent than it currently is.
Through the new rarity protocol, these big names in the NFT community aim to provide a more straightforward, verifiable, consistent, mathematically sound, and objective approach to rarity calculations for NFTs. Moreover, OpenSea intends the protocol to be entirely open-source and reproducible by anyone.
Realizing the Need for OpenRarity
OpenSea and its collaborators evaluated the various rarity methodologies that OpenSea has been using. They realized that ranking varied tremendously between the tools, while many used unclear methods. And with the influx of new NFT marketplaces and tooling, rarity rankings across platforms would be even more diverse, which could mislead or confuse buyers and sellers.
For instance, it has been the practice to combine concepts of rarity (mathematical scarcity of attributes), creator tiers, and market value when determining NFT rarity. And while each one is important, each one must be treated separately.
Moreover, rarity rankings are produced using closed-source code. These rankings also tend to be conflicting across publishers—tools, marketplaces, etc.—so “there is no single source of truth,” according to OpenSea.
Tool providers also charge NFT creators for rarity rankings. For OpenSea and its collaborators, such doesn’t provide a fair playing field, especially if you factor in NFT projects with lower budgets.
OpenSea believes that consensus and transparency are integral to the blockchain and Web3. The collaborators also wanted to create an open standard that the entire NFT community could use; thus, OpenRarity was developed.
Through OpenRarity, OpenSea and its partners hope to look for a foolproof way to provide a set of rarity rankings across all platforms that is unified, consistent, and transparent. Most importantly, they believe that, through transparency, more trust could be built in the industry.
Tenets of the OpenRarity Methodology
OpenSea guarantees that OpenRarity will operate based on core principles that would ensure fairness and transparency. Here are its core tenets:
- It must be easily understandable by creators, consumers, and developers
- It must be objective and based on mathematical principles, meaning open-source and introspectable
- Recalculation must be seamless, especially when the dataset changes due to various factors—mutable attributes, new mints, metadata typos, etc.
- Consistent rarity ranks across all publishers must be provided
OpenRarity will not be one-size-fits-all, and OpenSea and its collaborators openly acknowledge this. And since they know that OpenRarity will not apply to some NFT collections, they are making it an opt-in experience for creators on OpenSea. They also plan to provide developers access to OpenRarity scores and ranks through their API when creators opt-in to make the data more accessible and open.
However, there are some cases that OpenRarity will not be able to support initially, although future iterations of the methodology may finally include them. For one, OpenRarity will not support number-based traits in the meantime.
Additionally, OpenRarity will not support conditional probabilities of traits. Moreover, in the current standard, OpenRarity doesn’t count trait counts toward rarity. And while the standard fully supports creator-determined rankings, OpenRarity focuses on “representing the purely mathematical and objective rarity determined solely by on-chain metadata.”
Per OpenSea, this initiative is just one step towards its “goal of promoting transparency and openness across the NFT ecosystem.” OpenRarity is launching on OpenSea next week, so that is one thing to look forward to.
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