I understand that the Beeple pic consists of very small circles each lead to a pic drawn by the same artist, ie it's uniqueness or high price came from the fact that it is like a consolidation of all his artwork.

Now how is that reflected in its hash???? Did they hash every small pic, then added/concatenated the hash of the big pic? Did they accumulate the hashes in a Merkle Tree/Trie/...?

-How did they include the NFT of every small pic, as well as for the big consolidated one in one ERC-721 token?or this include the use of ERC-1155?

Based on the given answer, I clarify my real doubts about NFT more here in the original question:

1- If the small pics are encoded only as part of the big pic, then this doesn't prevent making new NFTs for the small pics too?ie does the one who paid the 69m$ knows it doesn't include the copyright of the small pics???

2- This brings up another worry on the use of NFT on antiques or museum pieces, if the piece is decomposable & someone stole some parts. What I understand now is that the theif can get new NFTs for the small pieces & even sell them in International auctions, while the original owner will lose his NFT as the lost pieces will destroy its cryptographic function?

3- Even if we are talking electronic NFTs only, howcome anyone can copy it?even YouTube prevents u from downloading a song if the owner prevents???

1 Answer 1


Did they hash every small pic, then added/concatenated the hash of the big pic? Did they accumulate the hashes in a Merkle Tree/Trie/...?

Nothing of the sort, sorry to disappoint.

The official Christie’s auction page for the artwork lists the NFT contract as 0x2a46f2ffd99e19a89476e2f62270e0a35bbf0756 and the token ID as 40913. If we head over to the contract’s page on Etherscan and query tokenURI() for token ID 40913, we get the following IPFS URI:


This links to the token metadata that conforms to the ERC721 Metadata JSON Schema. Over and above the required fields, there are some non-standard fields including a link to the full-resolution artwork JPEG, but that’s pretty much it!

So if a single pixel in one of the “small pics” were to be changed by 1 bit, this would result in the “consolidated big one” having different binary content, which would result in a different raw_media_file IPFS link (strictly it isn’t an IPFS URI, but well…), which would result in a different IPFS token URI. So in this way, the content of every small pic down to the last bit is “enshrined” in the blockchain (assuming the tokenURI cannot be overwritten or the NFT contract updated), but not in the more technologically elaborate way you were expecting.

A more detailed explanation here.

  • I'll read all the links u added, thanks for enriching the answer, but I get from ur answer that anyone can make a new NFT for one of the small pics this way, ie the 69m$ copyright doesn't include the copyrights for the small pics as individual??? This brings up a fear of making an NFT of say an antique that can be divided without broken & losing value, if someone stole some parts he'd be able to NFT them and maybe sell them in certified auctions; while the original owner may not be able to verify his NFT (because some parts that form the cryptographic hash will be missing)?
    – ShAr
    Jun 19, 2021 at 20:31
  • Yes anyone can create NFTs of the small pics, and even of the big pic, but they would be worth nothing. Suppose that your favourite digital artist creates a digital artwork and personally emails it to you as an attachment. I suppose that you wouldn’t download the attachment and then discard the email, but you would preserve the email in its entirety. Furthermore, suppose that the artist uploads the same image file to the Internet, and I download the file and email it to you. So now you have two emails with exactly the same image attachment. Which of the emails would be more valuable to you?
    – dwardu
    Jun 19, 2021 at 20:56
  • I'm talking about the further use of NFT to museum pieces, antiques,... or even hardcopy original drawing. Even if we talk electronic only, even YouTube prevents u from downloading a song with copyright???
    – ShAr
    Jun 19, 2021 at 21:27

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