NFT XCM Transfer: Unique Network’s Proposal at Sub0 Asia 2024

Daniel Shiposha's review of Unique Network's XCM NFT proposal, cross-chain NFT transfers and future developments in the Polkadot ecosystem.
xcm nft unique pallet

In a recent presentation at the Sub0 conference, Daniel Shiposha provided a comprehensive review of the Unique Network’s treasury proposal concerning XCM (Cross-Consensus Messaging) NFTs. Here’s a detailed look into the key points discussed.

Introduction to XCM NFTs

XCM NFTs represent a significant advancement in cross-chain NFT transfers within the Polkadot ecosystem. Shiposha highlighted that the first successful cross-chain NFT transfers between Quartz and Karura networks marked a critical milestone. The proposal aims to extend these capabilities, benefiting the entire ecosystem.

Unique Network’s Proposal Milestones Overview

The proposal is structured into several milestones, each focusing on different aspects of the implementation:

  1. Milestone 2:
    • XNFT Pallet: Development of the XNFT pallet, which includes the NFT XCM asset transactor.
    • Custom Claimer RFC: Implementation of the accepted RFC to facilitate custom asset claiming mechanisms.
    • XCM Runtime API: Creation of APIs to help UI and web developers estimate fees and understand acceptable currencies for XCM transactions.
    • JavaScript API: Development of a JavaScript API to simplify integration for wallet developers.
    • R&D for EVM Adaptation: Initial research and development for adapting XCM NFT to Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
    • Documentation and Educational Materials: Comprehensive guides and documentation for developers and users.
  2. Milestone 3:
    • Focuses on adapting the XCM NFT tooling to smart contract platforms, including EVM and Ink!.
  3. Milestone 4:
    • Implementation of the XCM asset metadata RFC to enable cross-chain metadata operations.

Unique Netowek XCM NFT Key Features and Goals

The ultimate goal of the Unique Network’s proposal is to create robust and easy-to-integrate XCM NFT tooling. Shiposha emphasized the following key features:

  • Generic Functionality: The tooling should provide essential functions like creating collections, minting, transferring, and burning NFTs, adaptable to various NFT engines across the Polkadot ecosystem.
  • Reuse Existing Solutions: To minimize integration costs and simplify audits, the proposal recommends reusing existing NFT solutions as much as possible.
  • Handling Foreign NFTs: The system should handle both local and foreign NFTs, enabling seamless cross-chain transfers and interactions.

Addressing Common Issues

Shiposha discussed common issues faced in cross-chain NFT transfers, such as trapped assets due to incorrect fee estimations. The proposed solutions include:

  • Set Asset Claimer Instruction: A new XCM instruction to specify who can claim trapped assets, enhancing the convenience and security of asset recovery.
  • XCM Payment API: An API to provide methods for comparing acceptable currencies, estimating fees, and converting weights into fees, making the process more predictable and user-friendly.

Unique Network XCM NFT Future Developments

The proposal also envisions future developments, including:

  • JavaScript Tooling: Enhancing the developer experience by integrating the XCM Payment API into existing libraries.
  • Smart Contract Adaptation: Working with EVM and Ink! experts to ensure compatibility and optimize the functionality of XCM NFTs on smart contract platforms.
  • Cross-Chain Metadata Operations: Finalizing the XCM asset metadata RFC to support more complex cross-chain interactions involving metadata.


Daniel Shiposha’s review of the Unique Network’s proposal for XCM NFTs outlines a clear path towards making NFTs easily transferable and functional across different chains within the Polkadot ecosystem. This proposal, with its focus on ease of integration, robust functionality, and comprehensive developer support, promises to significantly enhance the utility and interoperability of NFTs.

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