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Metaplex's New Era of Decentralization: A Step Towards Sustainable and Immutable Blockchain Infrastructure

A key recent development in decentralization is Metaplex's introduction of Token Metadata, an on-chain program devised to build, manage, and update Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on Solana. This move embodies the core values of the open-source development culture that has shaped the crypto industry.

May 23, 2023 by Illustrious

Solana, an open-source network designed by a global community of developers, has demonstrated its prowess in processing thousands of transactions per second with sub-second confirmation times. This innovative network has encouraged independent tools and protocols to explore new uses for the Solana ecosystem. These efforts, promoting decentralization, immutability, and sustainability, have improved network safety and security while inspiring projects, businesses, and even entire industries.

A key recent development in this direction is Metaplex's introduction of Token Metadata, an on-chain program devised to build, manage, and update Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on Solana. This move embodies the core values of the open-source development culture that has shaped the crypto industry. As open-source, non-monetizable tooling matures, the hope is that more protocols will adopt donation and neutral fee-supported models for sustainability, moving away from token sales and significant capital raises.

The web3 sphere frequently emphasizes decentralization, particularly in relation to the underlying infrastructure of layer 1 or layer 2 networks. However, this principle should also extend to the infrastructure protocols built on top of blockchains. One approach to achieve decentralization is through multi-signature security, facilitated by tools like Squads. This system mandates authorization from multiple independent wallets to carry out actions, substantially decreasing the chance of malicious control.

Advancing this concept, Metaplex is transferring control of Token Metadata to several independent security firms, thus forming a multisig to govern Token Metadata. This step paves the way for increased decentralization and thorough security reviews.

Beyond securing the upgrade authority, the next advancement involves formal verification of a program, and then "freezing" it permanently. This rigorous process ensures the program's functions adhere strictly to its specifications, which elevates the security and long-term utility of the program. Metaplex is leading this initiative towards immutability, starting with its recent updates.

Sustainability in the DeFi sector often comes through tokens or fees generated by the protocol's structure. In contrast, non-DeFi protocols like Linux have achieved sustainability through substantial donations from dependent companies. Web3 sustainability can similarly adopt 'endowment' grants or a fixed-fee model that applies evenly to all users of a piece of infrastructure. Metaplex has endorsed this fixed-fee model, using neutral and non-discriminatory fees to ensure the sustainability of Token Metadata and the open-source tooling developed by the Metaplex Foundation.

The upcoming Token-2022 implementation is expected to offer developers a greater range of options for building sustainable public goods, moving beyond the traditional token sales. These developments reflect a promising future for decentralized blockchain infrastructure and sustainable, immutable protocols.

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