NFT Rental Marketplace

I see this thread is a little dated, but this is something I have been discussing with a couple of friends, and I’ve been trying to find out if there are any blockchains that can actually support this, ie where the NFT functionality is native to the block chain rather than handled via smart contracts. I own some FLOW but honestly don’t know much about the technical capabilities of the platform and wound up here after googling for best NFT platforms.

Our ideas started off in a similar space thinking about rentals, but we quickly realized that the core concept here is creating a more sophisticated ownership model in general. It needs to be implemented in such a way that it works transparently for all apps/smart contracts built on the platform. It is obviously logistically impossible to get developers to go and rewrite their apps to account for a new ownership model.

In my view, there are a few core capabilities that are needed:

  1. Fine grained, extensible permission model, similar to ACLs. It should be possible to mimic something like AWS’s IAM roles, so this would include multi-ownership or groups of some kind too. Some base permissions like read/write/execute would be universal, but apps/smart contracts could define their own.

  2. Recursive/transitive ownership. NFTs need to be able to own other NFTs, and the owner(s) of the root level NFT are owners of the child NFTs. The granular permissions are important; it’s like sudo access. You might have execute permissions (the ability to use the token), but not write permission (the ability to transfer the token). You can then have shared ownership with a smart contract which can transfer the child NFTs before burning the root NFT.

Based on my reading, Flow already supports collections, so I’m assuming that part is already handled, meaning you can already buy a team, an army, a pack or deck, etc, and with this you could now rent them as well.

Now, you can create all kinds of interesting use cases through smart contracts, so the base layer doesn’t need to explicitly deal with the complicated management details.

I see a few obvious use cases, but I’m sure others can suggest more:

  1. Rentals, where this started.
  2. Option contracts and other derivatives. You could even deny the execute/use permission so it’s distinct from a rental, but then you could combine them to have a rent-to-own model.
  3. Subscriptions.
  4. Trials/try-before-you-buy

These are all time boxed, but it doesn’t have to be. #3 and #4 are just specifics forms of:

  1. Access management, like IAM roles. One specific and very valuable use case here is licensing. Just like with NFT/web3 gaming, take control away from the issuer such that you have a guaranteed 2nd hand marketplace. Note as well that with multi-ownership, it would be possible to have a 10-user license with discount pricing that can’t be broken up and impact the single user license marketplace.

Being able to do all of this on a 2nd hand marketplace is immensely valuable, and increases the value of the original NFT marketplace. The potential for rental income will push prices up and new businesses will come in and buy up the NFTs to rent them out. They will act like market makers and increase the liquidity in the marketplace as well.

I think any blockchain that can handle this in a smooth and transparent way will stand out a lot from the competition, and I gather Flow is better positioned than most to do this, but I haven’t looked under the covers yet.

Any feedback would be most welcome.