Railgun and partner project Railway Wallet have released the world’s first shielded nonfungible token (NFT) system on Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain and Polygon (with an Arbitrum launch arriving soon). Shielded NFTs are now live on the Railway web and desktop apps.

This is a huge leap for privacy technology as NFTs continue to expand in utility and relevance in culture, art and decentralized finance (DeFi).

What are shielded NFTs?

With shielded NFTs, privacy-conscious users can anonymize their NFT holdings, using Railgun’s 0zk address system. The upgrade, part of the Railgun 2.0 protocol overhaul, supports all NFT token types, such as ERC-721 or ERC-1155, and is compatible with all NFT collections on Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain and Polygon.

Through Railway, the first wallet to integrate Railgun, NFT holders can shield any NFTs in their wallet to a Railgun 0zk address. From there, NFTs can be viewed in a gallery and transferred to other Railgun 0zk address holders or a public address. In a future update, there will also be an auction house and marketplace to facilitate sealed auctions of NFTs, obscuring buyer and seller as well as the price of the NFT.

Why shielded NFTs?

NFTs have found product market fit in the art world, as seen in the intense interest around them as digital collectibles in 2021, catapulting the asset class to arguably the first mainstream breakthrough of crypto technology. Non-fungibility is also an increasingly useful toolkit for DeFi protocols, such as the success of Uniswap v3 liquidity positions. With Railgun-shielded NFTs, users can privatize their Uniswap v3 positions out of the box by shielding the underlying NFT and even creating a position anonymously in a future update.

Privacy is also required for NFTs to reach their full potential as a transformative financial tokenization technology. They are perfect for bringing real-world assets, such as property or any asset with limited collectability, on-chain. However, for everyday users to be comfortable tokenizing something of high value, such as real estate, crypto tech must raise its privacy capabilities to at least that of traditional finance. This is where Railgun-shielded NFTs can drive overall crypto adoption.

Railgun contributors are also working on novel applications of shielded NFTs. The first such use case will be a Shielded Access Card NFT. This Access Card NFT allows Railgun users to control an externally deployed smart contract without revealing their pseudonymous “0x” address. Contributors will continue exploring the possibilities of shielded NFTs as a new DeFi and crypto primitive. Developers can also integrate all functions of shielded NFTs into their protocols using the Railgun Quickstart SDK. Check out the developer docs here to learn more.

Try shielded NFTs and learn more

Railgun is a composable privacy system deployed on Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain, Polygon and Arbitrum. It is compatible with most Ethereum Virtual Machine smart contracts, enabling a full-featured private DeFi ecosystem. Railway Wallet is a partner project of Railgun, integrating the shielding system across web, desktop and mobile.

Try shielded NFTs and DeFi with Railway today.