Developer's Corner
June 15, 2023

Difference between Private NFTs and Traditional NFTs

Find out all you need to know about the differences between private and traditional, public NFTs.

Difference between Private NFTs and Traditional NFTs

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If you have been an active user of the Internet over the past few years, there are good chances you would have heard about NFTs. If not, NFT stands for non-fungible token, which is a financial security that consists of digital data stored in blockchains as distributed ledgers. Do you also know that there are different types of NFTs?

Besides the regular ones, there are also private NFTs. You may wonder what exactly they are and how they differ from traditional NFTs. This guide helps you understand the differences between private and traditional NFTs.

What are traditional NFTs?

NFTs are cryptographic tokens that use blockchain technology and remain non-replicable. There are unique data units in digital ledgers that work with the help of blockchain. The units remain non-interchangeable and help create proof of ownership.

Now, you may wonder if the underlying technology behind NFTs is also similar to bitcoin to determine ownership proof. The vital difference here is that every unit of an NFT is unique, unlike a bitcoin unit. You cannot exchange an NFT on a like-to-like basis, just like you do with bitcoins.

There is more information on a deeper level that helps NFTs increase their value over regular digital assets and currencies such as bitcoin. NFTs thus hold a lot of importance and are vital collectible digital assets. They remain, in some cases, comparable in terms of the value that physical art forms have.

Whether it is about art forms, music, or video files, you can convert them to NFTs. Besides, people have even converted memes and tweets into NFTs. The global market size of NFTs will likely grow at a CAGR of 34.10 % between 2021 and 2028. From USD 15.70 Billion in 2021, the market size will touch the USD 122.43 billion mark by 2028.

What are private NFTs?

Private NFTs work just like traditional NFTs except for some programmable privacy features. One of the biggest highlights of private NFTs is their ability to enable private ownership for holders. Assets and transactions get complete protection and privacy as they do not get exposed to unauthorized people.

Traditional NFTs are unlike private ones as everyone can see the details related to transactions and ownership. If you hold a traditional NFT, you remain identifiable to everyone. For people with privacy concerns, there can be nothing better than having private NFTs. The fungibility validation can still take place to identify the owner without exposing the details to everyone.

The validation process is a comprehensive one that doesn’t compromise private data. Besides, there is also no exposure of proof of authenticity and transfer details. Private ownership, private metadata, and access control are some reasons private NFTs score better over their traditional counterparts.

Differences between private and traditional NFTs

Here are some vital differences between traditional and private NFTs.

  • Blockchain history

Traditional NFTs’ transaction records related to them are on the same distributed ledger or blockchain they are minted and stored on. The information helps link the owner with the NFT. Meanwhile, the transactions of private NFTs get recorded on private networks. There is complete privacy in terms of ownership, metadata, etc.

  • Public metadata

Traditional NFTs usually include related metadata information. There can be data related to the rights associated with each token. Anyone who has access to the blockchain can also view the public metadata.

Private NFTs have both private and public metadata. The privacy factor here also remains subject to choice. If you do not hesitate to make the information public, you can share it with everyone.

  • Private metadata

Traditional NFTs do not support private metadata. Examples include the ones built on Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum, and Solana networks. Private NFTs also have a private metadata field you can use optionally. There are several use cases related to private metadata. These include game items with unique capabilities and secret links to top-quality images.

  • Private ownership

Traditional NFTs built on Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum, and Solana networks do not support private ownership. The transaction details remain public for everyone. Private NFTs do not expose the transaction and asset details to anyone.

  • Access control

Traditional NFTs built on Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum, and Solana networks do not support access control. Anyone can view the transaction and ownership details. Private NFT owners can choose who can access their content. Artists can release watermarked versions for the public to help them see the art before they buy it.

How private NFTs offer better privacy over traditional ones

Traditional NFTs record the ownership information on the blockchain, which remains visible to everyone, unlike private NFTs. Creators of private NFTs can keep the file and its metadata visible only to themselves and buyers. NFT owners and creators can also trade, buy, and mint NFTs on marketplaces that support private NFTs.

Another essential advantage of NFTs is their ability to make artworks exclusive. Art collectors can buy and own NFTs without exposing their private and financial information. They can also safeguard their NFT asset bucket from public view. Besides added privacy, private NFTs allow for sealed art bidding as no external factor can influence the pricing.

Creators are other beneficiaries of private NFTs as they can watermark their art and also label it. It helps flag content as sensitive that creators may not want everyone to view. Creators can also share their exclusive content with a select audience and organize private exhibits. Access to secret content is possible through passwords that come with the metadata.

Private NFTs also have several other use cases such as detecting information on tokens and tickets. When it comes to real estate, private NFTs allow ownership history to remain private from everyone. In gaming, private NFTs help keep the assets of players' assets guarded against the opponent.

Why private NFTs are Ideal for Creators

Private NFTs are ideal for creators for several reasons. First, they give the functionality of private metadata. Any creator can share exclusive invites with their buyers to live events or online communities. Another way private NFTs are a blessing for creators is through access control. Artists can ensure anonymity and privacy, which are essential when creating high quality artwork.

NFTs are scarce, which means creators get private ownership that enables complete control of that aspect through proof of time. It is a much better solution than traditional NFTs where ownership and transaction details remain viewable to everyone. People can also see the amount spent on acquiring a particular NFT.

The price value of an NFT, if kept public, can influence its overall value. Privacy is thus critical to keep the monetary value discrete from everyone. For a traditional NFT, its value will be determined based on the price and perception of the public at large. Private NFTs have no such working mechanism as only the creator and buyer can identify the value they are comfortable with.

It is especially critical for creators who have NFTs worth millions to keep their information private. Else, they could invite unwarranted attention from anyone by exposing themselves. Similarly, financial privacy also deters creators from manipulating their pricing as they do not have access to the wallet holdings of buyers.

How to choose between private and traditional NFTs

Both traditional and private NFTs have their advantages. It’s just that private NFTs offer more possibilities and use cases than traditional ones. The choice of a creator to choose either of them may depend on several factors like their target audience and the objective behind creating the NFT.


Traditional and private NFTs have several similarities related to fungibility and other core characteristics. Private NFTs, moreover offer, a few key privileges related to ownership, metadata, and access control information that make all the difference. If you are looking for the best option to choose between the two, it would depend on your objectives of creating the NFT.

Opt for traditional NFTs if you want your art to have a wider audience. Similarly, if you believe you have a unique art form that can attract a high worth and attention, it is better to choose private NFTs.

About Arcana Network

Built for Ethereum and EVM-based chains, Arcana is the web3 infrastructure to easily onboard dApp users and enable user data privacy and ownership. Web3 developers use Arcana’s SDKs for a seamless, familiar user onboarding experience via social authentication and passwordless login. All user data is encrypted, secured with data access fully controlled by the users, and powered by blockchain.

Arcana has raised 2.7Mn USD from some of the leading investors and founders in the ecosystem such as Balaji Srinivasan, Founders of Polygon, Woodstock, Republic Crypto, and Digital Currency Group.

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