Numbers Protocol

Digital Media Lifecycle In Web3

The digital-media lifecycle in Web3 has several phases.
  1. 1.
    Capture & Register
  2. 2.
    Commit & Query
  3. 3.
    Create Asset Contract
  4. 4.
    Mint License & Sell
  5. 5.
    Use, Resale & Royalty Distribution
  6. 6.
    Contract Closed
Phases marked as black shall happen in the Numbers Blockchain while phases marked as red can happen in the Numbers Blockchain or other networks via cross-chain communications in the future roadmap.

1. Capture & Register

When digital media files are created, they are pure files lying in the storage of mobile or desktop devices. Through the Register process, the files are turned into Numbers IDs (Nids), 59-character strings generated cryptographically and sent to the Decentralized Web. This process can be done with or without NFT is minted for the content file which makes the architecture more flexible and more cost-efficient for both simple and complicated cases.
Once the digital media is registered, the Nid can be used to find its physical storage as well as the commit history associated with it. Registration is the first commit of the digital content file in the Numbers network, and you can find all commit logs using Nid.
Every registered content file has its own assetTree file in IPFS to describe the property of the asset, including creator, creation time, license, etc. The assetTreeCid can be found in the on-chain commit log as well as the Sha256 and Signature of the assetTree file.
The creation timestamp is Captured and recorded on the chain. In order to increase the authenticity of digital media, one can also collect additional information such as location, device information, etc, and append the information to the metadata. This action is done through the Commit Contract.
After the initial commit is created, this asset officially enters the Web3 space.

2. Commit & Query History

Numbers Protocol adopts similar concepts as Git.
  • Every registered content file has its own assetTree file in IPFS to describe the property of the asset, including creator, creation time, license, etc. The IPFS Cid of the assetTree file can be found in the on-chain commit log as well as its Sha256 and Signature.
  • When there is an update to the asset, such as updating creator information or updating content itself to create a child content, there is a new commit log attached to its asset Nid.
  • Commits are created by the Commit Contract, and users can interact with the contract via the open-source tool, nit, or APIs.
  • The commit action is not limited to owner or creator of the content. Everyone can make commits for the digital media file in order to provide the full and decentralized history of it. However, the commits from owners, creators and other verified sources can be found by applying filters to the committer.
You can choose the open-source tool to interact with the contract directly or use the API service to commit or query asset logs. More details and examples of assetTree and on-chain logs can be found on the following Developer pages:

3. Create Asset Contract

After the initial registration, the content creator can choose if you want to create an asset contract for the content in order to perform more complicated actions such as royalty distribution or multi-license minting.
During the creation of the asset contract, a unique Custody NFT will be minted and given to the creator's wallet. The owner of the Custody NFT is considered the creator of the asset. Only the creator has permission to update the distribution plan and mint License NFTs.

4. Mint License & Sell

Once the asset contract is created, one can choose to mint a License NFT to properly define the license of the asset and allow the NFTs to be sold in the marketplace.

5. Resale & Royalty Distribution

The owner of the License NFT can choose to keep it or resale it in the secondary market. Based on the definition of the distribution plan, the revenue will be shared and distributed to the original creator.

6. Close Asset Contract

In the case that the owner of Custody NFT determines not to keep minting License NFT or stop royalty distribution functions, the asset contract can be suspended or even closed. This is useful when the copyright of the asset is controversial.
If the asset contract is closed, all functions can no longer be executed. However, the minted License NFTs still exist unless they are burnt by the owner.