Dynamic NFTs are a type of non-fungible token (NFT) that can change over time due to external conditions. Unlike static NFTs, which remain the same once minted to the blockchain, dynamic NFTs can alter their metadata and potentially the appearance of the token itself based on certain events or achievements. They are sometimes referred to as "living NFTs".
An NFT is a unique digital token stored on a blockchain, representing ownership of a specific item. Each NFT is unique and differentiated from others by various data points, including a unique contract address and token ID, making them non-interchangeable.
Static NFTs keep their data immutable once minted. This includes NFT art, GIFs, and videos, where the specific image or video linked to the NFT doesn't change after it's minted. Any changes to the metadata of a static NFT require knowledge of code and can be a difficult and time-consuming procedure, making many existing NFTs static and possessing permanently immutable traits.
However, dynamic NFTs offer a way around these limitations. They function by storing data in an editable format, usually created using the ERC-721/1155 token standard, also known as "semi-fungible." This type of NFT is particularly useful for projects that need to regularly update aspects of their metadata, such as real-world assets, blockchain-based fantasy sports leagues, and progression-based video games.
Changes to a dynamic NFT can be triggered by a smart contract, with an oracle typically sending external data to the smart contract, which then triggers a change in the NFT's metadata, and subsequently, its characteristics, like its appearance.
Examples of dynamic NFTs include artwork by Beeple that changes its appearance based on real-world events, the digital cats in the NFT-based game Cryptokitties, and the digital collectibles of NBA star LaMelo Ball that incorporate on-chain sports data and change based on the outcome of games.