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When the blockchain underlying a cryptocurrency is forked, both the ownership status of all the currency is cloned, and everyone possesses the coins they had on the original blockchain then on both forks.

That is usually not a problem, because the value of these coins is usually "split" and quickly one of those currencies will be worth hardly anything.

But what happens with NFTs and other smart contracts on a blockchain fork? Some NFTs give you rights to some off-chain things, like e.g. they represent ownership of something.

If the chain is forked, one copy of the NFT might be sold, while the other one isn't. So the same NFT can now have multiple owners on different chains.

Has this happened before?

How is this usually handled?

What does that mean for someone owning/buying NFTs with off-chain implications?

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The authority that gives you the rights per NFT will acknowledge only one of these blockchain, probably the one that consensus says it's the leading/right one.

Just like what happened Bitcoin/Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum/Ethereum Classic - one of them will remain the one while the other will be not accepted.

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  • Thanks for the explanation, I feared, that that is going to be the answer. Because that basically invalidates the whole application of NFTs representing off-chain goods. At the time the NFT is minted, no one can foresee any forks that haven't been planned at that time. So at minting time, no contract can be made, that accurately knows, which fork will be the "real" one in the future. So, at fork-time, all parties need to agree on one fork. And if they don't, the NFT can't represent off-chain-ownership any more, because it's unclear which fork is the "correct" one... Oh my...
    – Dakkaron
    May 2, 2022 at 12:34
  • NFT is unique within the context of its blockchain - if blockchain duplicates, each copy is still unique within its own world. That's not really an issue, it's a fact that all exchanges managed to agree which chain is the Bitcoin chain, there's no reason this should become an issue in the future.
    – Kof
    May 2, 2022 at 13:00
  • Let's say in the future a technology that duplicates physical matter - you'll have the same issue. Even today you have fake paintings out there, if you can't prove your asset is the original, you can have hard time selling it, or you'll sell it in a lesser value.
    – Kof
    May 2, 2022 at 13:05
  • but it has been an issue already in the past. Have a look, for example, at Ethereum Classic. The community couldn't decide, so now we have two Ethereums. Same happened with a ton of other blockchains.
    – Dakkaron
    May 2, 2022 at 13:13
  • Not exactly, Ethereum Classic is something else, not Ethereum. Just like you have Solana, you don't mind that and it doesn't contradict Ethereum, we don't need one blockchain to exist to use it. In all forks, asset values retain - Bitcoin gone to 40k, Ethereum to 3k. BTW there are many more forks to Bitcoin, no one really cares..
    – Kof
    May 2, 2022 at 16:22

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