What Are xNFTs (Executable NFTs)?
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What Are xNFTs (Executable NFTs)?

1 year ago

A new, programmable non-fungible token (NFT) standard that act as Web3 applications, built on Solana by the developers at Coral.

What Are xNFTs (Executable NFTs)?


Maybe you have heard of xNFTs on Solana. This innovative new non-fungible token (NFT) standard has generated headlines and could change the utility and perception of NFTs. This article explains all you need to know about:
  • What xNFTs are and how they work.
  • The difference between xNFTs and NFTs.
  • The Solana Backpack Wallet.
  • xNFT applications.

What Are xNFTs?

xNFTs are a different type of non-fungible token, which combines the use cases of NFTs and applications in one asset. xNFT stands for executable non-fungible token, meaning it is a unique digital item that can run code inside it.
So far, NFTs have been used as collectibles in art, music, and gaming. xNFTs go a step beyond that, allowing you to interact with your NFTs and use them for more than just collectibles on the blockchain. Their unique feature is to enable applications to run natively inside the NFT. For example, a xNFT lets you play a game, listen to music, or access a DeFi protocol, all within one open, programmable system built for Web3. You can also have a xNFT that updates itself based on external data or events.

As a result, xNFTs are dynamic and interactive programs instead of static images or videos.

How Do xNFTs Work?

XNFTs are built on Solana using React xNFT, a framework for building executable NFTs on Solana. React xNFT allows developers to create native web3 applications and protocols running inside an isolated browser sandbox. In other words, xNFTs can render components locally but still communicate with external applications safely and securely.

The sandbox is a secure environment that prevents malicious code from accessing sensitive data or resources on the host device. The sandbox communicates with the host environment through React xNFT components, which handle all the rendering and interaction logic.

xNFTs are minted as SPL tokens, the Solana equivalent of the ERC-20 standard for fungible tokens on Ethereum. SPL tokens can be transferred, traded, or stored on any wallet or platform that supports them. However, unlike regular SPL tokens, xNFTs have an associated program ID pointing to their executable code stored on Solana’s program store.

When a xNFT is opened by a user, the host environment fetches its program ID from the blockchain and loads its code from the program store. The code is then executed inside the sandbox using React xNFT’s runtime engine. The user can interact with the xNFT through its user interface rendered by React xNFT components.

xNFTs can also communicate with each other through events or messages. For example, a xNFT game can send an event to another xNFT music player to play a soundtrack when the game starts. Or a xNFT art gallery can send a message to another xNFT art piece to change its color or animation based on some criteria.

The Difference Between xNFTs and NFTs

Both xNFTs and NFTs can represent verifiably unique and scarce digital assets. However, you could argue there are more use cases for xNFTs compared to regular NFTs.

The main difference is that xNFTs can run code inside them, while NFTs cannot. xNFTs can function as applications or protocols that can interact with users, other xNFTs, or external data sources. For example, you don't have to access a third-party platform to stake a xNFT. The feature is natively integrated into the asset.

Furthermore, xNFTs are exclusive to Solana. They do not exist on other blockchains. Finally, xNFTs use React xNFT, a framework for building executable NFTs on Solana. NFTs on Ethereum use the ERC-721 or ERC-1155 standards.

In short, the ability to run code natively inside the NFT gives xNFTs a wider array of potential use cases. To access these, you need the Backpack Solana wallet.

What Is the Backpack Solana Wallet?

The Backpack Solana wallet is to xNFTs what Windows is to programs, or a "xNFT operating system" according to Coral.

It hosts xNFTs locally and allows them to run the code inside the wallet, without having to access third-party platforms. It also supports regular NFTs and tokens on Solana. Backpack is available as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox, as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

Backpack was developed by Coral, a developer platform that created React xNFT. Coral raised $20 million in a funding round led by the now-defunct FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto to launch Backpack and grow the xNFT ecosystem. Coral described xNFTs as analogs to mini-applications by the popular Chinese messaging app "WeChat."

What Is the Solana Mobile Stack?

The Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) is an open source software toolkit for Android that enables native web3 applications and protocols on Solana. It is compatible with Backpack and aims to make web3 more accessible and user-friendly for mobile users.

The Solana Mobile Stack consists of two main components: the SDK and the Seed Vault. The SDK provides libraries and programming interfaces for Android developers to create rich mobile experiences on Solana, such as wallets, games, NFTs, DeFi platforms, and more. The SDK also simplifies the integration of xNFTs, which are executable NFTs that can run code inside them.

xNFT Applications


xNFTs can be games that you can play directly from your wallet. You can also use your xNFTs as game assets, such as characters, items, weapons, or skins. For example, Moongame is a xNFT that lets you play a space-themed arcade game using your NFTs as spaceships.


Another use case are xNFTs for DeFi platforms. For example, Solend is a lending and borrowing protocol on Solana. A user can access their account and manage their positions on Solend all from the Solend xNFT inside the Backpack wallet.

NFT Collections

Demonstrating the capabilities of xNFTs, Backpack launched its first xNFT collection, Mad Lads, which serves as a clickable ticket into their story. This provides access to numerous offerings by the creators without having to navigate multiple platforms like current NFT holders are used to, as everything can be accessed directly through the Backpack wallet.

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