rNFTs: The Foundation of Complex Digital Assets

Published on
February 22, 2024
rNFTs: The Foundation of Complex Digital Assets


Countless images have been scraped from the web to train generative AI tools without consent or compensation for their creators. While these same tools have brought enhanced productivity to many creatives, they bring new and complex challenges in copyright management, authenticity, and monetization. 

Ringfence integrates artificial intelligence (AI) with blockchain technology to offer novel solutions to these challenges, enabling creators to both protect and monetize their digital assets in the new era of AI through Ringfence NFTs (rNFTs). 

rNFTs introduce a dynamic approach to digital asset management, facilitating copyright compliance, ownership verification, and new monetization avenues for creators. Ringfence is excited to introduce rNFTs as the world’s first standard for a new kind of asset, Complex Digital Assets (CDAs). These assets are constructed of components which together comprise a complete and licensable real asset.

We believe that Complex Digital Assets have significant potential to impact data integrity and Intellectual Property (IP) rights and transfers, bringing new financial and creative control to creators worldwide. This litepaper presents rNFTs as a key component of the Ringfence platform, setting the standard for Complex Digital Assets.

The Ringfence Ecosystem

Ringfence is a comprehensive platform merging AI and web3 to serve the creator economy, with the long-term goal of building the first neural network trained with 100% authorized work. 

Ringfence simplifies the management, monetization, and creation of digital assets while empowering creators to protect their works from unauthorized use, addressing three fundamental challenges:

Content Verification

Anything uploaded to Ringfence by users, whether generated or original, is screened against existing copyright, trademarks, and IP worldwide to verify that it's free from infringement. This ties in closely with Ringfence’s aim to provide digital provenance tracking, enabling users to see the origin, history, and metadata details of assets on the platform.

Digital Provenance & Metadata Tagging

All verified digital assets on Ringfence are tagged with metadata—digital information about the asset, its origin, and creator—permanently recorded. This provides digital provenance, offering a transparent history of each asset, meaning that derivatives of a work generated using AI through Ringfence can be traced back to the original asset.

Enforceable End-User Agreements

Digital assets on Ringfence are backed by enforceable end-user agreements, enabled by smart contracts—programmable and self-executing contracts with the terms and agreements established by their respective creators and written directly into code.

Users can set the parameters for when and how others can and cannot use their work, and how they get compensated, bringing efficient IP distribution and monetization.

What are rNFTs?

rNFTs are a new class of digital assets that go beyond the traditional concept of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). While NFTs typically represent ownership of a single item, an individual rNFT is much like a folder or collection marker on Ringfence, containing multiple assigned assets known as component NFTs (cNFTs). 

Assets uploaded to Ringfence must be assigned to an rNFT to properly sync it with the platform and our custom AI engines. Once users acquire an rNFT, they can upload digital assets and assign them to their rNFT. 

Ideally, rNFTs are used to build collections of related work intended to be monetized in one final Complex Digital Asset, which users can authorize to train Ringfence’s neural network, build custom AI engines, or license through Ringfence’s marketplace. 

Users will be able to acquire rNFTs through an upcoming mint, with more details to be announced soon. Join the waitlist for first access: https://ringfence.ai/

Composition of rNFTs

rNFTs comprise both the 'header' and the 'payload'. Structurally, each rNFT can be thought of as a folder and the cNFTs assigned to it being its contents:

Header (rNFT): The header is the primary identifier for the rNFT, encapsulating metadata that defines the attributes of the bundled assets. This metadata includes information such as the creator's identity, creation date, and an index of the included digital assets. 

Payload (cNFT): The payload consists of the individual assets represented as component NFTs (cNFTs). Each cNFT carries its unique metadata, detailing its characteristics, such as type, creation date, and any specific rights or restrictions associated with its use. cNFTs are also automatically labeled through Ringfence’s verification software to make AI training easier.

Platform Snapshot: Cyberpunk City rNFT and assigned cNFTs.

rNFT Features

The rNFT framework on Ringfence ensures digital asset integrity through three key pillars:

Flexible Management: Ringfence introduces a dynamic feature that allows cNFTs to be temporarily removed from their rNFT framework, enabling them to operate as standalone NFTs. This process is reversible, offering users the ability to reintegrate cNFTs into an rNFT whenever desired. Despite these changes, cNFTs maintain their on-chain identity and metadata, ensuring their history and attributes are preserved. This flexibility enhances user control and adaptability within the Ringfence ecosystem.

Differential Value of Components: cNFTs possess varying values based on their origin, whether original uploads or AI-generated by Ringfence, with original content generally holding a higher value. This highlights each component's unique contribution to the rNFT's overall worth.

Immutability of Components: Users can grant a one-time, non-revocable permission for their images to be used for the training of AI within the platform. This irreversible decision is balanced by the assurance that key metadata, like the creation date, remains immutable post-minting. This setup preserves the core identity and authenticity of the image, ensuring transparency within the ecosystem.

rNFTs as Multifunctional Assets

rNFTs have two key functions on Ringfence. Each provides an important benefit to the platform itself and a financial benefit to the rNFT owner:

As Data Assets

Building a neural network with 100% authorized data requires a vast amount of data. Some of this data is readily available through open sources, but the bulk of data will come from rNFTs on Ringfence and ethically-sourced data from Ringfence’s partners. rNFTs allow us to track dataset contributions and pay those who provide their data and content to train Ringfence AI.

As IP Assets

rNFTs carry all IP associated with a collection of work and provide one easily licensable contract. This means that all cNFTs will attribute their IP to the rNFT to which they are assigned. When an rNFT is bought or licensed, all associated IP is granted to the purchaser.

How rNFTs Work

Users will be able to acquire rNFTs through an upcoming mint hosted directly on Ringfence. More details around this will be released soon. 

Once acquired, users can begin to aggregate their digital assets or AI Generated Content (AIGC) by assigning them to an rNFT. They can then monetize that work by using it to train AI or license it for use by others on the Ringfence platform.

Varied Content: Content assigned to rNFTs can encompass a wide range of types, from images and videos to audio files and text documents. 

Metadata Documentation: Each piece of content assigned to an rNFT is accompanied by metadata that details its characteristics, origin, and any other relevant information. This metadata plays a crucial role in defining the properties of the rNFT and ensuring the traceability and authenticity of its components.

Dynamic Management: The rNFT framework allows for the dynamic management of its contents. Creators can add new components to the rNFT over time, reflecting the evolution of their creative projects or responding to market demands. This ability to update and expand the rNFT's content sets rNFTs apart from traditional NFTs.


rNFTs offer owners multiple avenues for monetization, leveraging the unique characteristics and flexibility of these digital assets:

Neural Network Training: rNFT holders can upload, generate, authenticate, and label digital assets for Ringfence to use in the training of our neural network. All contributing rNFT holders earn rewards from Ringfence for their collaboration. 

: An alternative monetization strategy involves licensing specific components of an rNFT or the entire asset for commercial use. This allows creators to retain ownership of their rNFT while generating revenue through the commercial use of its content, with automated royalties.

Branding and Commercial Use: Creators can also leverage their rNFTs for branding and other commercial purposes. For example, a food photographer could use an rNFT containing their portfolio of work, licensing it to food & beverage companies for commercial use and advertising.

Acquisitions: While rNFTs won’t at first be tradeable, users will later be able to trade them on the Ringfence marketplace. Savvy Creators will build rNFTs that generate monthly recurring revenue, which can transfer upon sale. We believe the market will price these rNFTs similar to any other revenue-generating asset.

Use Cases

While the technology behind rNFTs seems complex, in practice they are deceptively simple. Below are some exemplary use cases of how rNFTs can be used:

Use Case 1: A food photographer uploads the entirety of their portfolio, assigning it to an rNFT. They can then use that to train a custom AI model on Ringfence, creating high-quality derivatives of their works. They can also seamlessly license their work to food and beverage companies to create derivatives for use in advertising, branding, and even video production for advertising.

Use Case 2: A writer uploads their script to Ringfence and assigns it to an rNFT. They then use AI to generate characters, create a musical score, and design beautiful scenery, assigning these to the rNFT. Then, using the smart contract attached to the rNFT, they can easily license the movie for sale or distribution without a middleman.

Use Case 3: An NFT artist wants to release a new NFT collection of 10,000 profile pictures, and they want to ensure that their holders always have a financial benefit from any intellectual property associated with the collection. The artist uploads key reference materials for the collection, assigning it to an rNFT. The artist then hosts the mint through Ringfence, ensuring all NFTs are attached to the rNFT. The project owner can then freely license the IP for toys, stories, books, and more all using the rNFT All collection holders are then easily able to track project profit and distributions, building more community transparency and increasing the collection’s value.

Benefits of rNFTs

rNFTs bring unique benefits to creators, collectors, and holders:

For Creators:

Streamlined Management: rNFTs allow for the bundling of IP under one smart contract, simplifying management.

Enhanced Monetization: Creators can easily license their work, setting specific terms for usage, sharing, and modification, thus opening up new revenue streams.

Optimized Distribution: rNFTs enable a future where Creators can easily connect their work to distribution channels through Ringfence with smart contracts to protect their IP and ensure just compensation.

For Collectors and Consumers:

Richer Experience: rNFTs offer access to a wide array of content, including multimedia collections and interactive art, enhancing engagement and value, and bringing new potential experiences beyond those available with traditional NFTs.

Security and Participation: The structure of rNFTs provides a secure digital assets experience and fosters a participatory culture in the digital realm through licensing and the authorized generation of AI derivatives.

For rNFT holders

Holding rNFTs on the Ringfence platform provides several advantages beyond the protection and monetization of creative work. Wallets containing one or more rNFT will have access to the following benefits:

  • Full Platform Functionality.
  • Access to AI training rewards.
  • Eligibility for any upcoming Ringfence airdrop.
  • And more.

We’ll detail further specific utilities closer to the official release of rNFTs.

Technical Standards

rNFT – ERC6551

NFTs have traditionally played a significant role in redefining digital ownership across various domains, including art, collectibles, and even tangible assets, by providing a transparent and immutable record of ownership and provenance through blockchain. This has not only democratized access to art and collectibles, but also introduced a new asset class for investors. 

However, the utility of NFTs has largely been confined to the realms of buying & selling, lending & borrowing, with limited scope for interaction or dynamic engagement. ERC6551 introduces the concept of Token Bound Accounts (TBAs), transforming NFTs from static collectibles into dynamic, functional smart contract accounts. This shift not only broadens the potential applications of NFTs but also aligns with the growing demand for more interactive and functional forms of digital ownership.

cNFT – ERC721

Through ERC721, rNFTs encapsulate and indirectly grant ownership of cNFTs to a user, streamlining asset transfer within the blockchain. When an rNFT is transferred, it also includes all associated cNFTs, ensuring a comprehensive ownership transfer of the entire collection. This mechanism enhances the functionality and utility of NFTs, aligning with the evolving landscape of digital asset management and ownership.

Adopting ERC-721 for component NFTs (cNFTs) within an rNFT enhances uniqueness, ownership history, and asset integrity. This standard guarantees secure management of digital assets and enhances interoperability across Ethereum's ecosystem, allowing seamless interaction with marketplaces, wallets, and dApps. It also supports metadata addition, providing detailed asset descriptions and maintaining the information depth of each cNFT component–much needed for provenance.

Future Outlook of rNFTs

In the long term, we expect rNFTs to have a significant impact on the digital economy. In industries where IP management is pivotal, rNFTs offer a secure, transparent system for managing ownership,licensing, and monetization:

Enhanced Copyright Management: The blockchain backbone of rNFTs ensures a transparent record of ownership and IP rights transfer, minimizing copyright infringement.

Innovative Monetization Avenues: Beyond traditional models, rNFTs introduce direct sales, licensing, and engagement opportunities, connecting creators and consumers more closely. 

Equitable Ecosystem for Creators and Consumers: rNFT technology promises more control and revenue for creators while offering consumers access to unique, authentic content.

By tackling current challenges in copyright management and monetization, rNFTs are poised to create a more equitable and dynamic digital asset ecosystem, significantly impacting copyright-centric domains, in the entertainment industry and beyond:

Movies: rNFTs will change film distribution by facilitating direct, frictionless licensing agreements between filmmakers and streaming platforms or production companies, bypassing traditional intermediaries. This streamlines revenue flows and allows for dynamic content expansion, such as adding new experiences or audience-driven endings to films, directly under the creator's control.

Music: rNFTs enable artists to license their music directly for commercials, films, or other media, with smart contracts automating royalty payments and rights management. This will fundamentally change the music industry's licensing landscape, empowering artists and offering new creative and revenue models.


In a world where AI tools have become ubiquitous, relying on hoards of data taken without consent or compensation for their creators, these same creators need the tools to protect themselves and partake in financial and creative upsides offered by AI and blockchain. 

While rNFTs enable this on the Ringfence platform, we expect their promise to extend, having a later impact on digital industries through facilitating simple licensing and transfer, as well as bringing fairer and simpler monetization to IP owners and creators.


This document and the information provided therein (collectively, the “Document”) in relation to Ringfence, its crypto-assets, business assets, strategy, and operations, including rNFTdigital assets (“rNFT”), is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to buy or sell or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities, options, futures, other derivatives or other capital markets products (collectively, the “Products”) in any jurisdiction and its content is not prescribed by securities laws. 

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