Twitter said in September that it would add a way for users to authenticate non-fungible tokens (NFT), and now the feature is live — if you pay for a $2.99 Twitter Blue subscription and are using an iOS device.
On one hand, NFT profile pictures could be viewed as an incredible technology integration adding real utility for verified digital items. Alternately, it’s an unmissable signal pointing out the people that you should block or mute before they try to sell you some of their blockchain receipts.
No matter what your opinion of easily reproduced digital trinkets is, Twitter is integrating them in a way that separates ridiculous images of cartoon apes that have been right-clicked from ridiculous images of cartoon apes that are connected to blockchain tokens by adding a special “soft hexagon” shape around them.
At launch, Twitter is supporting several crypto wallets that users can connect to their profiles and verify that their tokens are of the no-fungible variety.
- Coinbase Wallet
- Ledger Live
- Trust Wallet
However, one side effect of limiting its interaction with the blockchain to a list of approved sources means that information on who owns what is not as decentralized as you may think. As researcher Jane Manchun Wong noted earlier Thursday, a database outage that knocked the OpenSea API offline for a few hours caused Twitter’s NFT collection pages to lose their information too.
This FAQ explains the process (while trying to make sure NFT owners avoid clicking a phishing link instead of Twitter’s official ones, which is an all-too-frequent vector for NFT theft), and answers the question of what happens if you sell the NFT that’s in your picture. As it turns out, Twitter will continue to display the image, regardless of what the blockchain has to say about who owns it, however, it will revert to a common circle frame instead of the special crypto wallet-only hexagon shape.
If you see someone flashing one of these images and need to know more about their items, you can click on the hexagon profile pic. select ViewNFT details and find out information about the “NFT owner, NFT description, collection, properties, and additional details.”