Deep technical analyze of EIP-3778: What other application scenarios can timestamp NFT be used at?

NASH Metaverse
4 min readSep 27, 2021



ERC-721 grants media asset ownership in the form of a standard protocol for handling irreplaceable assets. Examples include encrypted collectibles, game items, etc. Creators have more pricing power and receive stable returns on their own works through NFTization. In spite of this, the ERC-721 NFT protocol has some limitations, as it can only describe the content of the item. time has proved that the cost of interaction is high, and the content is easily copied.

EIP-3778 is also called Time proof Non-fungible Token (tpNFT), which is an extension of the current NFT standard on main chain.

The EIP-3778 protocol contains:

1. [TokenURI] parameter of ERC-721,

2. [Description] parameter for description and storage of plaintext data.

3. [Hash] parameter for encrypted data on-chain.

EIP-3778 allows future data updates of the three parameters through a function method.

When updating the parameters’ data, it will force synchronize update the timestamp certificates, so as to greatly improve the mergeability and potential possibilities of the NFT.

EIP-3778 flow chart

Different from existing NFTs, EIP-3778 determines the uniqueness of high-value things (uniqueness in content and time) with more efficacy through timestamp proof, greatly reducing the cost of generating and verifying timestamp proof. EIP3778 constructs the timestamp in the NFT, so that a series of services and applications that rely on timestamp proof can be directly invoked, automatically deployed, and executed based on the on-chain smart contracts without relying on third-parties for related materials and certification.

This is an extended NFT protocol based on ERC-721, specifically the type that deals with assets that possess time attributes. This enables NFT to capture the value of time, opening up new doors. As a result, we can expand tpNFT into a range of applications including governance NFT, decrypt NFT, and dynamic NFT etc.


Compared with other on-chain time-proof solutions, tpNFT realizes value capture and stronger interaction when it comes to the time aspect of assets, and expands the application possibilities of the ERC-721 protocol (compared with Ethereum Calldate and ERC-721).

Ethereum Calldate:

Unable to verify ownership: Missing structured data with inability to prove ownership as well as non-transferable transactions.

Unable to modify: The content cannot be subsequently modified, which leads to wasted on-chain space.


Unable to update: The parameter cannot be updated, or the parameter supports the update but loses its immutability which leads to reduced credibility. The timestamp of tpNFT simultaneously proves that it meets the criteria of both renewability and credibility.

Lack of timestamp proof: When creating NFTs, the time attribute and time value of the object are passively ignored, a problem that tpNFT solves.

Lack of encrypted information storage: The problem of encrypted “Hash storage” cannot be solved without leaking key information. To solve this problem, we add encrypted “Hash storage” parameters to tpNFT, while also ensuring that it is under the management of timestamp proof.

Limited on-chain interaction and execution capabilities: On-chain contracts cannot execute automated logic by directly interacting with NFTs for timestamp plus content verification, including but not limited to issues such as governance and prediction. TpNFT has built-in timestamp proof in addition to three other parameters (description, URI, Hash encryption), which enables third-party contracts to directly interact with, verify and execute the tpNFT contract.

▪ The main difference between the on-chain timestamp and the timestamp stored in the log is that the on-chain timestamp parameters can directly interact with other contracts, thus allowing composability.

▪ NFTs possesses a time attribute, which can make the interaction among external accounts or NFTs produce different results at different times, providing a logical basis for the time dynamics of NFT.


Based on EIP-3778, many new application scenarios can be expanded to bring new functions on-chain.

Governance: Used as a governance timestamp proof, verification of the effectiveness of voting, and obtaining governance incentives.

Academic: To publish relevant content through plaintext, and encrypt partial undisclosed details through “HASH encryption”.

Prediction: Project the prediction onto tpNFT with time stamp proof that becomes the object of external contract interaction which establishes a basis for judgment for the condition of bonuses or other operations.

Decryption: Bind the asset to tpNFT, allowing third parties to receive partial or whole assets by submitting the “original hash parameters”. We have another EIP to solve the problem of front-end attacks which ensures security.

Dynamic NFT: Using tpNFT, a novel type of NFT can be obtained with just a few concepts. The state of the on-chain NFT will automatically change over time without gas fees. These functions open up new areas for games, installation art, financial contracts, etc.

* Through backward compatibility with ERC721, EIP-3778 maintains compatibility with most existing tools and platforms.

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