Kanon Announces KSPEC, the First-Ever Open Source, Permissionless On-Chain Protocol Enabling Flexible, Scalable, Institutional-Grade NFTs


MUNICH, August 10, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Art for the next 100 years: the second chapter

While unveiling the works of art in the K21 collection, Kanon is pleased to announce a new step in the collective’s quest to explore the potential of NFT as an artistic medium and establish sustainable practices and products for this uncharted territory. KSPEC is the first-ever open source, unauthorized on-chain protocol that gives artists the freedom to realize their most ambitious creative visions in the NFT space, offers collectors unparalleled NFT provenance and robustness, and provides NFTs with the adaptability and updating needed to persist over time. Or, as Kanon describes it with reference to an iconic gaming move, KSPEC unlocks God Mode for NFTs.

“As a software startup founder, digital asset investor, and avid NFT collector myself, I was truly amazed at how fragile and creative NFTs are upon closer inspection, despite their enormous success, “said Kanon’s main contributor and KSPEC designer, @fastackl said. “At Kanon, we firmly believe that NFTs have a bright future, but only if these shortcomings can be addressed. KSPEC is our answer. It is the product of the contribution of top museum curators, curators, art and technology advocates. experts to come up with a design that combines the highest conservation standards with cryptonative elegance, transparency and immutability. ”

The limits of TVN

Despite the exponential growth of NFTs in recent months, little has changed in terms of technical capabilities since the media’s inception. While NFTs appear to have addressed provenance and ownership issues, they only do so to a limited extent. While digital art has experimented with ever-changing technologies since the 1960s, NFTs haven’t caught up to allow the same creative bandwidth. Artistic vision and expression encounter a wide range of limitations, from reproducing lengths of video or image resolutions to updating works of art after typing and compiling more complex assemblies of images. multi-part or multi-author works of art. More complex NFTs literally risk “breaking” as file formats change or new metaverse platforms replace old ones, replicating the woes that digital art restorers have faced for more than three decades. The very immutability of the smart contract that tracks provenance and ownership does not allow NFTs to survive in the long term by updating the file (s) to the latest format. Introducing flexibility without compromising undisputed ownership is one of the difficult issues that KSPEC solves.

The challenges of a smart contract-centric approach

Although awareness of these problems is widespread, solutions have (so far) proved impossible or present a set of major drawbacks. Most attempts operate at the smart contract level, introducing data redundancy through parallel hosting, having to chain metadata at the time of typing, or relying on substitution mechanisms like a “sealed” mode. , as in the approach of the inventor of the World Wide Web. Sir Tim Berners-Lee. With every new NFT, artists, collectors, and platforms face tough decisions about whether or not to adopt new sets of smart contracts, and the potential mistakes and exploits that untested code can introduce.

Parallel NFT state

Instead of trying to compress information into smart contracts, KSPEC allows the artwork itself to live in a chain in a “parallel state” inextricably linked to NFT and where an unlimited number of file sizes and unlimited metadata can be saved. This KSPEC parallel state is built using a carefully designed dataset, which is registered on the Ethereum blockchain through the _Data field within the ERC-721 / ERC-1155 standard safeTransferFrom operate in a self-transfer transaction from the typing artist to himself, allowing the artist to officially declare anything from copyright restrictions and high-resolution files to installation instructions when he owns his work of art – in other words, a bipartite contract between the artist and himself which is then transferred to future collectors. This self-transfer can be renewed at any time in the future to update the KSPEC of an NFT, or even applied retroactively on a NFT previously sold in collaboration with the current holder. Elegantly simple yet unbreakable, flexible and expandable, KSPEC is compatible with all platforms and available free and open source to artists and collectors.


Being able to secure complex and extensive asset sets through on-chain KSPEC allows humans and machines to easily retrieve all the rich data and metadata associated with the artwork. One of the most powerful features enabled by KSPEC is KSPEC-ID, the very first unbreakable, unauthorized identity verification system in chain. Regardless of what platform an artist has hit on in the past or decides to use in the future, KSPEC-ID offers them the ability to on-chain, on-demand and at any time verify their identity, including pseudonymous accounts. In a space where counterfeiting work is rampant given the lack, so far, of a robust programmatic identity verification system, KSPEC-ID on its own is transformational.

KSPEC showcases: several firsts

KSPEC has already been implemented in a series of works of art, from Kanon’s K21 collection and the art community at large. For The cosmic number (2021), created by the digital art pioneer Suzanne Treister for K21, KSPEC was used to secure an entire website chained into an NFT, also being the very first use of the protocol. With that of Jenna Sutela video vanities for K21, YAMSUSHIPICKLE (2021), KSPEC allowed the artist to attach a full-length, full-resolution video of almost 2 GB, and for Claire (2021), by Anyma and Marigoldff, a full-length, full-resolution music video. Cao Fei legendary Second Life avatar, China Tracy, will come back to life in the K21 Collection with a multi-attested KSPEC-ID, the first for a pseudonymous artist.

More features and firsts. And the God mode for all

In addition to securing complex digital works of art like The cosmic numberKanon is working on a variety of other “new” features that KSPEC will enable. This is notably a KSPEC multi-signature, which will secure the identities of several co-creators of an NFT chain; the KSPEC physical imprint, which will provide an unbreakable on-line provenance for a physical work of art; and the KSPEC of an interoperable 3D NFT, with secure on-chain metaverse-ready assets that can be scaled up to follow new metaverse platforms and formats as they emerge.

“Although the KSPEC protocol itself is already live, it requires some programming mastery to be implemented at this time. So we are working with selected artists and studios to handcraft KSPEC for works. that push the boundaries of NFTs – a kind of ‘white glove’ service, ”@fastackl continues. “The ultimate vision, however, is to make KSPEC and the abilities it unlocks accessible to everyone: to put God Mode in the hands of any artist with a lofty idea and an Internet connection.”

Please read more about KSPEC in this twitter thread by @fastackl and in Kanon’s Medium post.

About Kanon

Kanon is a pseudonymous collective of institutional art, design and cryptonative technology professionals dedicated to establishing sustainable practices and protocols for art over the next 100 years. Completely immersed in the NFT space, Kanon strives to combine equitable sharing of benefits for artists and their causes with integrations in decentralized finance. Kanon thus redefines the modes of patronage, philanthropy, curation and care, ultimately promoting a new model of institution.

In March 2021, Kanon launched the K21 collection as an inaugural product, bringing together the first NFTs created by established and emerging art world luminaries with iterations of pioneering experiences in digital art.

Please read more about Kanon and its projects at k21.kanon.art, Medium, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, please contact Anja Kaehny, Office A +, at [email protected] or [email protected]; Telephone: +49 151 61 60 41 54



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