Twitter Goes Live With NFT Profile Picture Verification

January 20, 2022 6:27 pm

There have always been skeptics about NFTs for pictures because it can be hard to verify true ownership of an NFT if someone else can just copy your picture and use it.

Although ownership of images is just one use case of NFTs, this was one reason that has repeatedly prevented many people from embracing this new industry.

Recently, Twitter launched a new feature on the platform that will enable the verification of pictures on Twitter.

Twitter’s NFTs utilizes the Ethereum blockchain and you will be able to see within Twitter what NFTs you own.

Once you select an NFT to be your profile picture, you will have a hexagon shaped picture which indicates that you own the NFT for the picture on the platform.

Others can still copy the image for their profile picture but it will be presented as a regular circle on the profile which indicates that there is no ownership of the picture or NFT.

With that being said, this method is not fool proof as there are still ways to copy someone’s NFT picture.

CoinDesk explains:

Of course, a truly committed right-clicker might simply re-upload that same image to an NFT platform, mint a visually identical NFT and use that as their profile picture instead, complete with a hexagonal frame signifying ownership on the blockchain.

No word yet on whether Twitter will offer protections against that sort of thievery, which has grown rampant as the market for NFTs has exploded over the past year.

And because Twitter fetches users’ NFTs with application programming interfaces (APIs) from the online marketplace OpenSea, it’s effectively built a third party into its verification process, as opposed to just interacting directly with the blockchain.
If OpenSea goes down, Twitter may have trouble loading those images. (These particular APIs were recently criticized at length in an essay by the cryptographer Moxie Marlinspike.)
For the launch of this new NFT feature, Twitter will be supporting several crypto wallets that users can use to connect to their profiles.
These wallets include Argent, Coinbase Wallet, MetaMask, TrustWallet, and more.
Opinion of this new feature launch varies depending on who is asked.
One one hand, crypto supporters are happy as the integration of NFT profile pictures to a major platform like Twitter will certainly create mass awareness of the industry and shows a real use case of the technology in the social media space.
However, the way that Twitter implemented it was faced with criticism as the only tangible difference was that you knew an image was an NFT was the hexagon shape in the profile.

So far the rollout is still in progress as the feature is currently supported on the iOS version of the Twitter app, but not on the Android or desktop versions yet.

PCgamer.com shares Twitter’s statement on the release:

“Setting up an NFT profile picture means people can associate your Twitter account with your connected wallet’s public crypto wallet address.

This means your Twitter account will be associated with your current and historical crypto wallet transactions and holdings, including all other NFTs in that wallet, because this information is all available on the public blockchain.”

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